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Land Of The Rising Son
Powered by the spirit of Lizzy & Led Zep, Wicklow stadium-rockers-in-waiting Children Of The Son are on a roll. Dave Hanratty meets a band ready for the big time.
Dave Hanratty, 04 Apr 2012
“When I was five or six I started listening to The Beach Boys. I heard ‘Surfin’ USA’ and I was like, ‘Holy shit, what is that sound?’ and then I heard Guns N’ Roses and I just wanted to make music. That’s all I wanted to do. The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Cure… they’ve all played a part.”
It’s a sobering experience to sit opposite someone nearly half your age and realise that they have such a fine appreciation of the history of rock ’n’ roll. And yet, where old-school Wicklow rockers Children Of The Son’s Jack Matthews is concerned, his unflinching passion for all things music is like a shot of adrenaline.
Decked out in a stone-washed denim jacket and sporting curls that would make Brian May envious, Matthews certainly looks the part of a classic rock frontman. It helps that he sounds it too, with the 14-year-old (yep) in possession of the kind of pipes that led Bono’s coach to declare him the most “young and raw” vocal talent she had come across in 30 years. Not that he’s letting any accolades go to his head.
“I just always set the target higher,” he shrugs in a vaguely American drawl. “I know I’m going to continue to improve.”
As it is, Children Of The Son are already making extraordinary strides. They paid a visit to The Music Show last month, brought their guitars and ended up playing live on air at the RTÉ 2fm stand.
“We knew what opportunities were there, if you wanted to take them,” says Jack’s older brother Max, the band’s guitarist and songwriter-in-chief. “The Music Show is such a big thing, so we just turned up with our instruments – and we went for it.”
Since that extraordinary weekend, Eddie Rowley has been raving about them in the Sunday World. They did a barnstorming gig in The Mezz a week after The Music Show that led to a monthly slot there. Dave Allen wanted them for The Mercantile. Niall Morris of MCD subsequently booked them for The Academy. Even better, UK record companies have started to form an orderly queue. They are on the cusp of something big. At 18, Max is the band’s resident sage.