Date Published: 18-Apr-2012
Campaign LK, a Limerick-based six piece, bring their amped up fusion of rock and hip hop to Monroe’s Live this Sunday, April 22.
The band began when vocalist and singer Brian Kelly recorded a track with rapper Weenz in the bedroom of Joe Coffee, a mutual friend.
“It was basically a night’s drinking that turned into a creative writing session!” recalls Brian. “And then we just kept making beats. Then, we had an opportunity to bring that to the stage, so we did.”
Pleased with their late-night collaboration, the pair needed a name for their project.
“I was in a new band, I was setting out a new musical thing,” says Brian. “Of course, we couldn’t just have it as Campaign -”
“There’s ten thousand other groups called Campaign!” laughs Weenz. “So we threw in the LK to differentiate ourselves on YouTube and Facebook and that, and it stuck.”
Not long after forming, Brian and Weenz went in search of a band after being offered a very high profile support slot.
“We supported Rubberbandits in Dolans about two years ago,” says Weenz. “It went so well that things started happening pretty fast.”
“We got asked to back them for the Horse Outside tour,” adds Brian. “So we jumped at it. We started playing some nice stages and we weren’t playing together long.”
As everyone (including Joe Duffy) knows, Horse Outside was a massive success. Being on that tour meant that the newly assembled Campaign LK were thrown in at the deep-end.
“We definitely were,” says Weenz. “We were playing Tripod and a packed out Button Factory, our second and third gigs.”
The combination of Weenz’s full-on vocal delivery combines and Brian’s melodic sensibility gives Campaign LK their sound.
“What happens is I write a riff or a few things that sound good, on the keys or guitar,” says Brian. “It’s nothing fancy; lately it’s recorded into somebody’s phone.”
“We’ll talk about a concept for the song, we’ll try and meet halfway,” adds Weenz. “If Brian is saying something in the hook then I’ll try ‘what does that mean to me’, then I’ll write along those lines.”
A song like Calms Your Soul has elements of hip-hop and hard-rock, but the Campaign LK frontmen are wary of pigeon-holing their music.
“A lot of the people that take the music and like it, they don’t take it as hip-hop-they call it whatever they want,” says Brian.
“We definitely don’t want to be confined to a genre,” says Weenz. “We listen to different types of music. It’s about music; it’s not about hip-hop or rock.”
Rapping may not be seen as something with an obvious connection to Ireland, but Weenz is very keen to differ.
“What we’re talking about is our lives in Ireland, and I rap in a Limerick accent,” he says. “So it’s very Irish. There’s a folk thing there where you’re telling stories, that’s a tradition in Ireland. That’s the way I see it – in some ways it’s more Irish than a lot of other acts out there that I can’t relate to.”
“That’s what folk is – it’s telling stories,” he adds. “It’s about real life with real people. We’re talking about things going on in the world right now, like people on nights out. We’re not talking about love and romance that much. We’re talking about the recession and things like that. That’s what The Pogues and The Dubliners were doing, they were telling stories.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup
Date Published: 29-Jan-2013
Athenry FC 1
Kilbarrack United 2
(After extra time)
For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.
On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.
An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.
However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.
They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.
With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.
Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.
Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.
Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.