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Release of their debut album is a big relief for Salthill brothers



Date Published: {J}

The Galway music scene really has something to celebrate with the release of People Street, the debut album from Salthill natives The Kanyu Tree. An album of undeniable pop hooks, it’s the work of Shane, Daniel and Oisín Cluskey. Daniel, guitarist and vocalist, is in ebullient form as the band prepares to take the stage in Kilkenny. The brothers have been fine tuning the album over the album for over a year and a half – how does it feel to finally release it?

“Just a relief,” says Daniel. “Our worst was problem was to keep on going back. Now we can’t do it! There’s still bits that we think could be slightly different but there’s nothing we can do about it! Which is the biggest relief.”

People Street is released by Sony Ireland, and the exposure a big label helped the band to get on daytime radio. But the sheer exuberance that greeted last year’s single Radio saw the band’s profile shoot way up.

“We literally finished mixing Radio and two weeks later [Today FM’s] Ray Foley played it,” says Daniel. “The power of the label, they just do that straight away.”

The follow-up single Shelf Life was then brought out to meet the demands of the band’s new-found fans.

“Radio was coming to the end of its cycle, so there was a bit of a rush getting that ready. Then we had even more pressure to get the album out. We spent the summer mixing the album over in England with Chris Potter, he did The Verve and Keane, and a couple of Rolling Stones and U2 tracks.”

The Kanyu Tree began life as trio, under the moniker The Cheerfuls. Along with the name change came an altered line-up. Shane, formerly lead singer and drummer, has stepped out as a dapper, nimble frontman. The decision was prompted by an appearance the band made on TG4.

“We saw that online and it kind of looked funny,” Daniel recalls. “Then we saw a couple of recordings of Shane at a gig and they just needed something to focus on. Me and Oisín[bassist/vocalist], we do a bit of singing but Shane is a great dancer, a great mover. He needs to be out the front; he was such a loss behind the drums.

Another Cluskey has now entered the fray. The lads’ youngest brother, Ruaidhrí, now occupies the drum stool.

“We went through a few session drummers and they were all great, but Ruaidhrí started drumming and we said ‘why don’t we get him in?’” says Daniel. “On the road, it’s easier having Ruaidhrí as the drummer and he sings as well.”

“He’s really laid back, so he hasn’t brought any pressure or tension to the group. Then myself, Shane and Oisín – we’re institutionalised at this stage with each other!”

With the huge airplay, comes a certain expectation. Like The Stunning before them, The Kanyu Tree write insanely catchy songs. And, like the Wall brothers, they have the kind of cheekbones you could hang a suit off. How does the band feel about being touted as the next big thing?

“We haven’t really thought about it, to be honest,” says Daniel. “If we do well in Ireland, then we’ll have a good calling card for going abroad. If we do get to travel with the music, then that’d just be class. I don’t know how big you can get in Ireland; there’s only a certain amount of venues.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

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

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

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.

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