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Earning Their Strypes
Knockanstockan-bound rhythm and blues devotees the Strypes tell Edwin McFee all about those record label rumours, how they feel about their famous fans and why they’re hoping to make waves at this year’s festivals.
Edwin McFee, 04 Sep 2012
Currently making all the right tongues wag thanks to their suitably tunesome take on old-school rhythm ’n’ blues and rock ‘n’ roll, Cavan quartet the Strypes’ star is unquestionably in the ascendant right now. Over the summer, they look set to soundtrack festival season in Ireland. With slots at Knockanstockan (more on that later), Electric Picnic and a shed-load of others all pencilled into their diary, the band’s brand of swaggering, 60s-tinged riffola has already made the likes of Tommy Tiernan, Glen Hansard and more as giddy as a gaggle of schoolgirls and it looks like it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the country follows suit.
“All the support we’ve been getting so far has been fantastic,” offers the Strypes’ tub-thumper Evan Walsh.
“It’s exactly what you want if you’re in a band. It’s a dream come through to be making progress and it’s better than nine to five, that’s for sure.”
Inspired by a BBC4 documentary on blues music, the band came to life two years ago and thanks to some good luck, great tunes and a strong work ethic, the four-piece have asserted themselves as being bona fide (whisper it) ones to watch.
“The band began about two years ago,” recalls Evan. “Myself and the bassist [Pete O’Hanlon] and guitarist [Josh McClorey] have known each other since we were very small and we’d been jamming over the years for a bit of fun.
“Two years ago we met Ross [Farrelly] through Josh’s parents being friends with his parents. He joined us as a singer and we started playing around the town at different events; then it became serious when we began playing festivals and clubs in Dublin.”
Feeling a little like square pegs in a round hole in their local area, the Strypes bonded over their love for the Sonics and the Stones and, much like similar-minded international acts like Kitty, Daisy and Lewis, decided to ignore current trends, preferring to plow their own path instead.
“I don’t really know why, but nothing else has ever really appealed to me other than rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll,” offers Evan. “We’re really into people like Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Elmore James and as far as image and the way we play the songs go, we model ourselves on early Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds and bands like that.