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The Strypes – busy and buzzing as they prepare for Big Top

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The Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

Back in 1965, The Who declared that ‘the kids are alright’ and 58 years later, that’s still very much the case as The Strypes come to town for this year’s Galway Arts Festival. The Cavan quartet, whose are aged between 15 and 18, will be opening for Grizzly Bear at the Festival Big Top this Friday.

The Strypes are Ross Farrelly (lead vocals/harmonica), Josh McClorey (lead guitar/vocals), Pete O’Hanlon (bass guitar/harmonica) and Evan Walsh (drums). As this interview takes place, the band are in Sussex where they are recording their debut album with veteran producer Chris Thomas, who played on The Beatles’ White Album and produced the Sex Pistols’ iconic Never Mind The Bollocks. How did Thomas hear about The Strypes?

“We did a show in Brighton in a really tiny pub, and he came along to that,” says the affable Pete O’Hanlon.  “I think Mercury [the Strypes’ record label] said ‘do you feel like producing this band?’ so he  watched us and said ‘yeah, I’d love to work with you’.”

The Strypes have a deep love of the blues, citing artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry and Slim Harpo as influences, as well as early Beatles’ and Rolling Stones’ material. This knowledge was acquired from music-loving parents and The Strypes’ manager, Niall.

“We got bitten by the blues bug and just completely fell in love with that kind of music; how versatile you can be in being simplistic, but being extremely profound and prolific,” Pete says. “It’s such a varied style of music; with blues, there’s such a landscape that you can fill.”

It’s been a hectic 12 months for The Strypes since they came roaring out of the traps last year. A few weeks ago, they made their first appearance at Glastonbury. How did that go?

“We played the John Peel Stage on Saturday, the day the Stones played,” says Pete. “We didn’t expect the crowd to be as receptive and as big as it was. We didn’t actually get to see the Stones; we had to do an acoustic song for BBC 2, which is a shame. We got to see a bit of it on telly but it’s not the same as being there.”

Though they ended up playing to a crowd of 6,000, Pete admits to some pre-Glasto jitters.

“On the bus journey up were all going ‘what’s it going to be like, is the weather good?’. There’s a lot of anticipation and expectation. I think it went well; a defining moment, a real highlight for us over the past few months.”

The Strypes announced their arrival with the song You Can’t Judge a book by the Cover, a re-working of a Bo Diddley song. Even though the Stones first few releases were covers, The Strypes have been criticised in some quarters for still having some in their set.

“A lot of bands that start when they’re 14 or 15, they start out playing covers and when they hit their  early twenties, they start writing their own stuff,” Pete explains. “But we got picked up [by Mercury] earlier on, and we didn’t have that many originals going at the time we got picked up by the label.

“And we got a lot of stick over here in England, people saying ‘what are you at, playing covers, you’re supposed to be playing originals?. We didn’t think it was very fair; we’re still in the embryonic stage of our career. But the writing’s coming along; the set’s now comprised of mainly originals.”

What with playing legendary festivals, touring constantly and acquiring fans like Paul Weller, Dave Grohl and Elton John – it’s been a wild ride so far for The Strypes. So who’s working with this band to keep its members from succumbing to rock’s notorious pitfalls?

“Niall [our manager] is with us, he’s been with us from the start,” Pete says.  “He’s the fifth member of the band – he’s the only one that could drive when we started! I think the age thing, in this context, is a fair question.”

Glastonbury is not the only English music institution that The Strypes have been invited to play at – they’ve also blazed a trail on The Jools Holland show. How was that experience?

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

CITY TRIBUNE

David’s debut album on sale in local shops

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David Larkin’s debut album, With A Toot on the Flute and a Twiddle on the Fiddle, a tribute to his fellow Roscommon man, Percy French, featured on these pages last week.

For those who want to purchase a copy, the range of places where it’s on sale has increased. Anyone who wants to buy the album can do so by contacting David through Larkin’s Beehive Facebook page. It’s also available at Bell, Book & Candle, The Small Crane, Galway City; Funky Beans, Westside Retail Park, Galway City; OMG / Zhivago, Shop Street, Galway City; and Custy’s Traditional Irish Music Shop, O’Connell Street, Ennis.

Galway City 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.

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

Saileog takes up sean-nós singing residency at NUIG

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Saileog Ní Cheannabháin. Her Carna-born father Peadar was her earliest singing influence.

Saileog Ní Cheannabháin has been named as Sean-Nós Singer in Residence at NUIG’s Centre for Irish Studies for 2021.

The sean-nós singer, musician and composer, who was reared in Dublin in an Irish-speaking family, learned traditional and classical music from a very young age.

Saileog’s father, Peadar Ó Ceannabháin comes from the rich tradition of sean-nós singing in Carna and  was one of her earliest influences.

Saileog grew up listening to singers from Iorras Aithneach in Conamara and she includes Seán ‘ac Dhonncha, Sorcha Ní Ghuairim, Dara Bán Mac Donncha and Josie Sheáin Jeaic ‘ac Dhonncha as formative influences.

Her mother Úna Lawlor is a classical violinist and her siblings Eoghan and Muireann are also singers and musicians.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway City 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.

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

Award-winning author Doireann finds truth ‘in little rituals of life’

Stephen Glennon

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Doireann Ní Ghríofa, whose book A Ghost in the Throat won this year’s An Post Non-fiction Book of the Year Award, took her first breath in Galvia Hospital – now the Bon Secours.

When A Ghost in the Throat, the beautifully-written book by Galway-born author Doireann Ní Ghríofa, was announced as the An Post Non-fiction Book of the Year winner last week, the news came as little surprise to those who’ve read it.

Since its publication, A Ghost in the Throat has received rave reviews. Interweaving lyrical passages with striking prose, it tells the story of a present-day young mother who is drawn to the life of 18th century-poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill and her poem, Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire.

Although this was Doireann’s first book of prose, she is far from unknown, having written six critically-acclaimed poetry collections. These have earned her numerous awards including the Seamus Heaney Fellowship and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.

Arranged a week in advance, the phone call from the Tribune in the wake of the awards announcement proves to be a timely one. Doireann is giddy with excitement. “I am delighted. The funny thing is that it doesn’t just feel like a win for the book; it feels like a win for the way this book tries to tell the stories of women.”

This is hugely important to Doireann – A Ghost in the Throat begins and ends with the line, ‘This is a female text’ – and she hopes the book is viewed as a celebration of the lives of women, past and present, and the work they do, visible and invisible. “That still often goes overlooked,” she says.

As with Emile Pine’s Notes to Self, Doireann casts light on issues affecting women by sharing intimate details of her life. And it’s not just the big themes she gives consideration to, but life’s banalities. When added together, these can also become a burden.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway City 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.

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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