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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

Work for children of all ages in extended Baboró programme

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Grand Soft Day, a new co-production from Branar is for children aged three to six.

The 26th annual Baboró International Arts Festival for Children will take place from Friday, October 14, to Sunday, October 23, in theatres, galleries, schools and communities in Galway City and County.

This year’s extended 10-day festival will have more than 50 live events, presented by companies from all over Ireland and Europe, including Belgium, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Scotland and England.

These will include a special collection of European work made for children up to six years, as well as residencies in special schools and child-led projects.

Children aged eight and older are invited to join the surreal world of Der Lauf, where nothing is quite as it seems. In this show, two circus performers from Belgian company Le Cirque du Bout du Monde, compete in a series of bizarre challenges as they juggle blindly, spin plates and stack glasses, while wearing boxing gloves. As the glasses rise, so do the stakes. The children are their only guides and will either help lead the clowns to order or towards further chaos.

Ballet Ireland will present The Glasshouse, a dance performance for children aged six and older. It is the story of Fiach, an earnest youngster who is on a mission to repopulate the world with plants and turn it green. This fun, compelling show, by exciting young choreographer Róisín Whelan, is about human courage, friendship and the determination to survive. The Glasshouse promises “moments of suspense and joy, exhilarating dancing, vibrant costumes and magical music”.

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

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

A feast of Butlers at the Kenny Gallery

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The Butler family, from left: Liam, Ronan, Lisa and Davin.

Sculptor Liam Butler will return to the City’s Kenny Gallery this Friday night, August 12, for his first exhibition in more than 10 years. The new show, Copper Roots, is an even more special occasion for Liam as it will be his first time exhibiting alongside his children, Davin, Lisa and Ronan.

Liam is a self-taught sculptor who has been creating and exhibiting work for almost 30 years. He has passed on his craft to Davin, Lisa and Ronan, teaching them the techniques he developed throughout his career, as well as his love for copper and its artistic possibilities.

In 2020, during Covid, the Butlers were all together, back home in Galway for the first time in many years. They rekindled their passion for sculpture, spending time in Liam’s workshop, creating   new work, alongside each another.

There was learning, creativity and experimentation, they say. The resulting exhibition at Kennys’ celebrates reconnecting with family roots, and passions passed on from generation to generation.

A welder by training, Liam grew up on a small farm in Kilkenny. He worked in Germany and America for years before returning to Ireland, settling in An Spidéal where he began experimenting, using the skills he learned as an industrial welder to create simple sculptures from steel.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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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

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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