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School’s out as music rules for Featuring X

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Featuring X, from left, Dara Farrelly, Jenny McKeown, Niamh Sharkey, Sarah McLaughlin, Eleanor Rogers.

The young and upcoming Featuring X play The Victoria Hotel on Wednesday, July 23 as part of this year’s Galway Fringe Festival.

The Drogheda based outfit, whose influences include the Arctic Monkeys and the Black Keys, are on the road to celebrate the release of their new video and single, Wild Love. They also have another reason to celebrate – the five members of Featuring X did their Leaving Cert this summer, having formed while they were in Transition Year.

“We entered a competition that year, and then gig after gig followed. We met our manager and did an EP and single,” says lead singer Niamh Sharkey. “We were doing underage gigs and things like that. As we grew older, we started doing more pub gigs and late night gigs. Now we’re 18, the sky’s the limit!”

Niamh is joined in Featuring X by Dara Farrelly on lead guitar, Eleanor Rogers on rhythm guitar, Sarah McLaughlin on bass and Jenny McKeown on drums. Their recent video for Wild Love is a witty reprise of the clip for Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love. This time, the models in the iconic 1980s video who couldn’t play their instruments are replaced by the members of Featuring X, who can. The video was directed by Gavin Kilduff.

“He had the idea and he wanted to do it for so long but he just couldn’t find the right band,” says Niamh. “Then he found out we had this song, and it all fitted in. We did it all in one day. That morning we got up, got our hair and make-up done. We spent about six hours shooting.  We played along to the track and it came out that way.”

Standing in front of a camera for six hours could have been quite an intimidating prospect, especially for such a young bad.

“At first, we were a bit weary of it,” Niamh admits. “But we videoed it in a warehouse, it was empty, it was us playing our music, our videographer and our manager, and that was it. It was just like normal band practice, there was nothing to be uncomfortable about in that sense.”

Wild Love was written by Rea Garvey and Andrew Chatterly, but Featuring X also pen their own tunes, as they did for their debut EP last year.

“For our EP, Eleanor and Dara came to the table with these lyrics and riffs,” Niamh says. “From that we all built on top of it – Jenny got a beat for the drums, Sarah figured out a bass line and it all came together. This summer, we’re starting to write again. We’re hoping to incorporate more originals into our set, especially after the release of Wild Love.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Sisters in perfect tune for unique musical snapshot

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Breda and Claire Keville, photographed by Nutan. (Inset) The sisters, as depicted by artist Isabel Alegria, on the cover of the album.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

“A snapshot in time,” is how musician and composer Claire Keville from Claran, near Headford, describes Music from Galway, the new CD which she and her sister Breda have just released.

With Breda on fiddle and Claire on concertina, it’s a gorgeous collection of music from all parts of Galway and beyond, a mix of slow airs, gigs, reels and marches. The sisters are accompanied by guitarist and longtime musical friend Terence O’Reilly on several tracks, which they recorded in the studio of his East Clare home in April of this year.

Claire, a French and Music teacher in Coláiste Iognáid (the Jes) in the city for the past decade, and Breda, who works as a radiation therapist in UHG, have previously released solo albums. Breda’s, The Hop Down, was released in 2006 and The Daisy Field, from Clare came out in 2009. Each guested on the other’s album, but this is their first joint recording, a project they’d been discussing for years.

When it did finally happen, it came together a lot more quickly than either of them had anticipated.

“I didn’t think we’d have it done this year,” says Breda, as Claire recalls that they discussed its timeframe in April, while driving from Galway to Terence’s home in Clare.

After that first day, when they recorded 10 tracks and realised that most of them would make the album, they reckoned it was achievable. Another session in An Spidéal with musician, ‘talented engineer and general all-rounder’,  Ronan Browne, convinced them it was and Music from Galway was launched at the Willie Clancy Festival in Miltown Malbay in July.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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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Connacht Tribune

Telebox channel youthful energy into mature sound

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Telebox...new single and Róisín gig.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Guitar-driven, alternative rock four-piece Telebox are the latest product of the talented youth music scene in Galway. And having packed out the Róisín Dubh in all all-ages gig in May, they are returning to the Dominick Street venue this Sunday at 2.30pm to celebrate the release of their second single.

The group consists of frontman Joe Kelly, guitarist Conall Ó Floinn, drummer Stevie Healy and bassist Eoin Killeen – and their Signs of Joy is available on streaming platforms from this Thursday. It is a smooth and hook-laden follow-up to Platonic Plague, a debut reminiscent of The La’s in its ringing guitars and post-punk pop melodies.

Telebox are a shining example of the ability that exists among teenage Galway musicians, and they serve as a reminder of the need for arts spaces that welcome crowds of all ages.

“For us, the reason we did [the Róisín gig] was that half of us are still underage,” Joe explains. “We find it really hard to get pub gigs and we have connections to the Róisín, so we went to them and said we’d love to do an all-ages thing.

“A lot of our friends are underage as well, so it was a chance for everyone to come together again. No one can go to pubs or anything like that and we’re too old for discos and that sort of thing. It’s a nice middle ground.”

“It was unbelievable,” Eoin recalls. “We couldn’t believe the energy that people brought. It’s like 2pm, 3pm in the day. People aren’t drinking, everyone is sober, and they’re still dancing and enjoying themselves.”

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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Tunes in the Church returns with August concert series

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Tunes in the Church returns with August concert series

The Tunes in the Church concert series returns to Galway after a two-year break. The award-winning, series held in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, will run for the next two weeks, taking place on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.

The concerts will feature some of Galway’s finest musicians, singers and dancers, with two musicians and a dancer performing each night. During the interval, there will be a short historical tour of St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, which celebrated 700 years in existence in 2020.

Tunes in the Church began in 2010, set up by Kerry musician and Galway resident Cormac Begley, who wanted a way of presenting traditional music that was family-friendly and respected the tradition. It is an acoustic, authentic, personal and interactive representation of Irish music, song and dance.

Interaction between the audience and performers is central to the experience, Cormac explains, with relaxed, natural, conversation being a feature of all the concerts.

Tunes in the Church provides a respectful and family-friendly setting for the listener and creates a platform where leading exponents of traditional music can showcase their talents. For more information and to book go to www.tunesinthechurch.com

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