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‘Killer music’ and hard graft pay off for Mike

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Brooklyn native Mike Scala who has set up a foundation to help at-risk children in the US and other countries.

Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

American pop/rock songwriter Mike Scala comes to The Loft, Bridge Street next Friday, September 11, and Monroe’s Live on Saturday, September 12.  The ambitious artist, whose stated goal is to play New York’s Madison Square Garden, is currently in the middle of a European tour. Although it’s been going well, it hasn’t been without its challenges.

“A bunch of things happened,” Mike says. “My phone was stolen, my laptop was crushed, my flight got all messed up. It’s been quite a series of events. It’s been a bit trying, but such is the tour and it’s going to add to the story of the adventure!

“I’ve lost all my contacts in the music industry – maybe it’s a sign I need a fresh start for whatever reason.”

That fresh start is off to a good beginning – when Mike takes the call, it’s the morning after a sell-out show in London. He’s expecting some more full houses in the following few nights. What has brought about this surge in interest?

“A combination of hard work, determination, perseverance and just making sure every show I do is undeniably killing!” he says. “I’ve been working super hard in the States and all over – this is the third world tour, so I feel very fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to make it happen.”

On I’ll See You Again, Mike sings about being on Grafton Street one day, and in Dallas the next.  Being on the road so much comes at a price, but it’s one the Brooklyn native is willing to pay.

“Every day I’m in a different city,” he says. “Sometimes the road gets pretty crazy and you forget where you are. Sometimes you get to see the places you’re in, sometimes you don’t. But that’s the nature of the beast.

“If you want to pursue this and you want be in the music business and tour the world, part of it is dealing with all the stuff, like sometimes being broke, sometimes doing really well. Sometimes having your computer crushed!”

Mike Scala’s latest single is Stratosphere, a track he’s especially proud of.

“That’s been the game changer, the one that’s moved things forward,” he says. “I think Stratosphere has been the gateway to a new sound. It’s still pop/rock stuff, but it’s gone to a whole new level. Like any artist, if you’re pursuing it, it grows as time goes on.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

Light touch as Felicity explores dark legacy

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Author Felicity Hayes McCoy, whose late father Gerard was Professor of History at UCG, now NUIG,

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

A conversation with President Michael D Higgins during a visit to the Áras a couple of years ago, helped inform the latest novel by writer Felicity Hayes McCoy. Felicity, who has a keen interest in history, was chatting with the President about the Decade of Commemorations, specifically in relation to the Civil War, which was a looming event in that particular calendar.

They were discussing how to have a national conversation about the devastating civil strife that followed Ireland’s War of Independence and how such a conversation could be contained – or indeed if it should be contained.

Felicity’s latest novel, The Year of Lost and Found, is based on the life of Hanna Casey, an ordinary librarian in a rural Irish town who is faced with a major problem as she discovers a long-forgotten story linking her family and other local families to the Civil War.

The county librarian, a man for the grand gesture and self-promotion, has decided to call upon people countywide to bring in artefacts relating to this period in history to their local libraries. Staff must follow his orders.  But, when Hanna coincidently discovers an important document written by her dead grandaunt, she has a dilemma – how can she leave her family’s past buried while other people are being asked to share their family stories?

“This is a book about ordinary people who happen to get caught in the crossfire of history,” its author explains.

Although Felicity was born and reared in Dublin, she has strong links with Galway. Her father, Gerard, was reared in Eyre Square and later went on to become Professor of History at the then-UCG. Gerard, who died in 1975, was also deeply involved in the campaign to save Galway’s medieval heritage, one of the few people back then to recognise its importance.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Galway band use lockdown to redefine sound with an edge

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Bannered Mare... expanded sound in new release.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Bannered Mare has evolved significantly since the project began in 2018; back then, the act was the sole responsibility of frontman and principal songwriter Joseph Padfield who offered a delicate debut by way of a five-track, indie-folk EP Gizzards.  The sound has grown richer and heavier since, aided by a growing importance placed on Joseph’s bandmates Dylan Murphy, Paul Higgins, Derek Ellard and Kyle Dee.

That change in style is evidenced by Bannered Mare’s latest offering. Due for release on June 25, Flutter is an anthemic rock track in the mould of Biffy Clyro or Queens of the Stone Age.

The Galway group describe it as a song about finding strength and staying focused – a concept that carries weight given the strangeness of the eighteen months that have passed since their last EP, Fear of Missing Out.

“The core feeling is still there from that previous release,” Joseph explains.

“We generally write for it to feel a certain way live. That’s the thing we look for. It’s definitely a more streamlined approach to it this time – it’s not quite as busy and I think it’s a little more mature.

“I wrote this song right after we finished recording the last EP so it’s been a long process trying to get everyone together to record it. We had booked into a studio when lockdown happened so we had to record in bursts guerrilla-style when we could.

“We did the drums in the Claremorris Town Hall Theatre. The guitars and bass we recorded in Croghery Studios in Galway, a small little studio back the way and the rest I recorded at home. We have a DIY approach to things and it keeps the cost down.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Reeling in the years to celebrate iconic album

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Pearse Doherty, John ‘Turps’ Burke, Johnny Donnelly, Davy Carton and Leo Moran on stage at the Warwick, for the album’s back cover. PHOTOS: FRANK MILLER.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s Galway City was on a creative roll, with the Arts Festival and theatre groups such as Druid, Punchbag, Na Fánaithe and Macnas expanding our creative horizons in all directions.

Down in the Quays Bar – then very much a local pub renowned for the calibre of its music sessions – a group from Tuam was creating waves and attracting fans, including Mike Scott of the Waterboys.

That group was the Saw Doctors, “all the way from Tuam”, and Mike Scott had encountered the lads when his band was in Spiddal, making the album Fisherman’s Blues.

They ended up supporting the Waterboys on a tour of Ireland and the UK and, in 1989, Mike Scott produced their debut single, N17, in Dublin’s Windmill Lane. Leo and Davy’s song about youth and emigration captured the experience of so many young people at that time – but it didn’t capture the public imagination. After a few radio plays, it faded away quietly.

“As a teenager, you’d have a dream of having a hit single,” recalls Leo Moran of that debut release. “But when you are writing songs, you become a bit more practical. And we were older and were gone beyond pop-star dreams.”

Their aim was simple.

“Our ambition was to put out a single.”

The group, then made up of Davy, Leo, John ‘Turps’ Burke, Pearse Doherty and Johnny Donnelly, had to earn a living too, and that wasn’t always easy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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