Pop-loving supergroup Talulah Does the Hula talk about expectations, ambitions and drummers with sweet haircuts. Plus, how they stepped outside the shadow of their previous bands to forge a whole new identity.
A few short months ago, Dublin-based pop combo Talulah Does The Hula burst onto the scene armed with tales of bad boyfriends and people with bricks for brains. Their sleek sound owes more than a little to old school acts like the Shangri-Las and Shirelles (with a little bit of April March and Dressy Bessy added in there too) and needless to say, anyone who’s partial to a hook here at Hot Press marked them as ones to watch from day one. Featuring former members of the dearly departed Chalets as well as Neosupervital, the four gals/one guy combo are a sassy, sugary beast who have a very bright future indeed and refuse to let their previous successes cast a shadow over their current endeavours.
“At the start we were just so excited to be writing new songs and doing all the things new bands have to do to get going. So there was no pressure on us when we started out,” offers multi-instrumentalist Caoimhe. “We did worry a little about what people who listened to our previous bands would think. However, we’ve decided that the most important thing is to please ourselves and enjoy what we’re doing.”
Adds Jessie: “Being in bands beforehand has given us a lot more attention and opportunity to play gigs. It’s also a double-edged sword as you do feel that added pressure to sound a certain way. Sometimes we need to remind people, especially ourselves, that we’re only new and have been playing gigs for less than a year – we’re still finding our feet, figuring out what works and what doesn’t. The main thing for us is that we enjoy ourselves.”
The Talulah Does The Hula origin tale is simple enough. “Myself and Paula knew Jessie and Lauren for a few years,” begins Caomihe. “So at a party, Paula and Lauren came up with the idea to start a band with the four of us. Lauren and Jessie were in Neosupervital at the time but wanted to start writing their own songs and after The Chalets we were really eager to start a new band. We needed a drummer and Mike, who was a friend of Paula’s, told us he was the best drummer in Ireland. As it turned out he was perfect for our songs and much better than the crappy drum beats we were using from our Yamaha keyboard.”
Ah yes, dear old Mike. As the only bloke in the line-up should our readers envy him, or feel slightly sorry for the tub thumper?
“No way should anyone feel sorry for him! He can handle it. We’re like his four mammys!” laughs Caoimhe.
“He loves being surrounded by the ladies. He fits right in with the gossiping and the talk of clothes,” smiles Jessie. “In fact he’s probably the most fashion-conscious of the five of us. Just look at his haircut!”
While Mike admittedly does have a sweet ‘do, he’s no slouch behind the ’kit either and current double A-side single ‘Those Girls/Bad Boyfriend’ proves that the passion far outweighs the fashion in Talulah Does The Hula. And while they may find it difficult at times to hold down a nine to five job as well as juggling the band, it’s worth it in the end.
“We’re constantly wishing for more time and money to devote to band stuff. Who doesn’t wish for more time and money to get the things they care about?” states Lauren.
On the strength of their recent recorded output, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before they can pursue things full-time – after all, critics are hailing the quintet as the future of Irish pop (they were awarded Single of the Fortnight in this very magazine). The guys, however, are playing it smart and not taking too much notice of the nice words.
“It’s flattering when you read positive comments about something you’ve worked hard for, but it wouldn’t be very healthy to pay too much attention to them,” considers Caoimhe.
“It’s nice to hear positive things and learn that people like what we’re doing, but really at the end of the day what we do is for us, and the aim is to enjoy it ourselves,” says Lauren. “Everything beyond that is icing on the cake.”
Naming themselves after that poor kid in New Zealand who was dubbed Talulah Does The Hula From Hawaii (“Unfortunate name for a child, but a fun name for a band,” grins Caoimhe) the group are putting their past experiences to good use by making sure they’re making music for all the right reasons and this writer for one says God bless ‘em.
“We’d love to make an album, play some festivals, shoot some music videos and do all the usual fun things bands want to do,” says Caoimhe finally.
“We’re open to all the possibilities,” continues Lauren. “And while it’s nice to dream, we’ve really gone into this with no expectations. As long as we’re having fun and getting to play music we like, then we’ve won.”
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