not a member? click here to sign up
Back To The Future
They may look after Lambchop’s pets and occasionally leg it from Crawdaddy to catch the last train home, but when not partaking in such hi-jinks, Dublin quartet Delorentos are busy trying to kick rock music another rung up the evolutionary ladder.
Phil Udell, 27 Apr 2005
There is, as any quick glance at the Hot Press listings section will confirm, an awful lot of music out there and, encouragingly, a large amount of it is home grown. But where does that leave the ever increasing number of new bands who attempt to join the fray? For Dubliners Delorentos, the answer is pretty simple. “You make a name for yourself by working hard,” says bassist Nial. “We’re all big fans of certain bands and for the past couple of years we’ve been going to see loads of gigs. Maybe if you immerse yourself in what’s going on it pays off.”
He may have a point, with one particular regular gig in Dublin leading the band to land a handful of shows in Chicago. “We stayed for a week in Deanna Veragona’s apartment while she was on tour with Lambchop," he says. "We had to mind her cat called Satan, who was a bastard of a cat and kept on going under the floorboards. We played around Chicago for a week which was really good experience and that more than anything else gave us the kick to get going.”
As entertaining as these adventures are, it’s on home turf that the band know they have to prove their mettle. With so much going on domestically, how would they go about judging their progress? “We set ourselves certain goals,” says guitarist and vocalist Kieran. “We don’t just want to play in Dublin, we want to play around the country as much as possible. If you do that you have to go and entertain them and show them what you’re capable of. You look to play as many good gigs as you can. Now we’re getting to the stage where people are asking us to play. There’s just so many good bands.”
“There’s a lot of nights around Dublin,” agrees Nial, “you’ve got the Ballroom Of Romance, the Radiator gigs, showcases for bands – but it’s hard to know if there’s any interest from the likes of MCD or whoever.”
Kieran doesn’t view all the competition in glowing terms, however. “For every band that’s interesting and does their best there’s another who’s just happy to get a thing in the local newspaper and that’s fine, you play at whatever level you want. It’s a question of whether you’re into being in a band or if you want to make music.” For Delorentos, though, hard work is not a problem. “We’ve sacrificed a lot just to get this far. A couple of the lads have had relationships that have suffered but we’ve worked our arses off. We played a great gig in Crawdaddy and then three of us had to carry the gear to Connolly Station to get the last train and we’re running along the Quays with a couple of grand’s worth of equipment just to catch the poxy last train.” He pauses and takes a sip of tea. “It’s great fun.”
Fortunately, the benefits of such industry are beginning to emerge. The band appeared at the Loud & Clear show at the Olympia and just recently won the National Student Music Awards in Ireland, with the next step a meeting with the UK winners in London. Just one more example of young Irish talent making things happen. Is there, you wonder, any collective inspiration behind this burgeoning wave of musicians?
“I don’t know,” says Kieran. “There isn’t anything to particularly rebel against. Irish music seems to be slipping back in to this balladeer kind of thing, which isn’t necessarily bad but there’s not been a big selling Irish band for a couple of years. These solo artists are writing about relationships and the whole inward looking thing. That’s what people give out with regard about Ireland, the whole selfishness. People are just writing songs about themselves and how their lives could be better.”
There’s no doubt that Delorentos talk a good game and are starting to make the right noises, yet now they know they have to produce the recorded goods. A rough and ready four track demo hints at great promise and a desire to push the boundaries of the basic bass, drums and guitar format. Time in the studio with Marc Carolan (Muse, The Thrills) should see them really begin to shine.
“We have stuff that’s very different to what we do live, with harmonies, pianos and melatrons,” explains Nial. “We’re just really into music and want to develop as much as possible because we’re not experts. It’s more fun seeing how we can develop ourselves. There are going to be reference points along the way but the idea is to move the art form forward, to do something that nobody else has done.”
Delorentos play ULU, London on May 11th. See www.delorentos.net for more info.