They celebrate their tenth birthday in 2013, by which time we’ll have heard a whopping seven new albums from Limerick’s favourite DIY label. Celina Murphy meets the man behind Out On A Limb Records.
After Derry’s Smalltown America, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last year, Limerick’s Out On A Limb is Ireland’s longest-established independent record label.
They’ve survived a recession, an 18-month hiatus and an online revolution that’s changed the way we access music – pardon our French, but how in the name of Adele’s unborn child did they manage it?
“Pure stubbornness!” laughs Ciarán Ryan, who takes care of 50% of the chores at OOAL. “We nearly ended the label two or three times, once we came very close. In 2009 we met with all the bands in Limerick and we were like, ‘First order of business; Do we keep this label working or not?’ In fairness to them, they were really enthusiastic and came up with a lot of suggestions as to how the label could be run better. They also came up with suggestions of bands we should look at signing and that’s great. If we didn’t have the bands collaborating with us in that way, I don’t think we’d be able to do it all.”
Established in July 2003 by Albert Twomey (now of Plugd Records in Cork) and Richard Burke, OOAL welcomed Ciarán Ryan aboard that Christmas and he and Burke have been co-captaining the ship since Twomey left in 2009.
But back to 2003, when releasing Is It OK To Be Loud, Jesus?, the debut album from gone-but-not-forgotten duo Giveamanakick, was the first – and only – order of business.
“There wasn’t a huge plan per se,” Ryan explains, “just get the album out and see what happens.
“There’s a gazillion independent labels in Ireland now,” he adds, although the real number is closer to 35, “but at the time, we didn’t have anyone to go to and say, ‘How do you actually do this?’ In fairness to Richard and Albert, it was basically going and taking money out of the bank and getting this thing going.”
Fast-forward to 2012 and Out On A Limb are preparing their longest release schedule to date.
“It’s weird, we’ve kind of hit our busiest-ever period,” Ryan enthuses. “It looks like we’ll have four LPs out by the end of the year and three out in the first half of next year, so I’d say by the time our tenth birthday comes around, we’ll be pretty exhausted!”
Due in the next six months are albums from Crayonsmith, Owensie, Windings and brand new signing Jogging.
“That was a no-brainer for us,” Ryan says of the latter, who released their debut under the Richter Collective umbrella, “particularly when we started hearing the mixes back. It sounds brilliant, they’re taking it up a notch so to speak; we’re just delighted to do that record.”
2013 will see albums from Rest, Hidden Highways and Elk.
“It’s not fun at times,” Ryan admits with a laugh. “We’re not working nine to five with the label, but we kind of are in a way, we’re putting in as many hours a week as a full-time job at times. But hey, if we didn’t like it, we wouldn’t still be doing it.”
Jogging’s second LP Take Courage is out now. See outonalimbrecords.com for more.
They Are Twentysomething, Hear Them RoarRead More
Wait, What Year Is This?Read More
Celina Murphy Previews 10 Unmissable Non-Music Treats At Electric Picnic 2013...Read More
Our thoughts on Castlepalooza...Read More
But wait... they’ve got a massive headline show at Indiependence to get through first! Fresh from making festival history at Glastonbury, indie rockers Bastille open up to Celina Murphy about birthdays, hot sauce and David Lynch...Read More
A rump-shaking, arm-swaying, hit-packed set finds Justin moonwalking into Irish hearts...Read More
Flaunting a triumphant mix of pop, garage and deep house, two baby-faced brothers from Surrey are challenging electronic music stereotypes – and landing oodles of chart hits while they’re at it! Celina Murphy catches up with the older half of brother act Disclosure...Read More
Earning his croissants...Read More
A proudly trippy LP where the accessible meets the obscure...Read More
As far as we can tell, planet-hopping extra terrestrial duo Nanu Nanu are alone in the alien pop genre, but in debut album Unit 1, they have a very good reason to set up shop here on earth...Read More
Get this man a croissant! The razor-tongued king of controversy has created one of the most fascinating hip hop LPs of the year...Read More
Of all the Cork-based music makers attracting our attention, none have generated more hype than electronic pop duo Young Wonder. Front woman Rachel Koeman opens up to Celina Murphy about the creative process – and casting her cat in a music video...Read More
A honey-voiced R&B balladeer with serious indie credentials, LA soul man Miguel charmed fans on both ends of the pop spectrum with second album Kaleidoscope Dream, even bagging a Grammy in the process.Read More
Celina Murphy gives her verdict on Lana Del Rey's Vicar Street performance...Read More
With majestic second album Supermigration, the multi-tasking pair behind Dublin/Wicklow outfit Solar Bears have pushed themselves to their creative limits. But as Celina Murphy hears, their unconventional sound didn’t come about by accident.Read More
There is nothing, I repeat nothing, that this woman can’t do...Read More
With debut solo album The Believer, former Alphastates frontwoman Cat Dowling earns herself a place among Ireland’s most intriguing singer-songwriters, but what’s it all about? Sorry, she’s not telling...Read More
Having admitted that their party-starting second album is “a bit mad”, lo-fi genre-hoppers Tieranniesaur talk punk, disco and resisting the temptation of the big red button...Read More
Majestic meets minimal on skillful second LP...Read More
As The Voice Of Ireland overtakes the 9 O’Clock News as the most watched TV show in the country, newbie coach Jamelia fills Hot Press in on her quest to find a superstar...Read More
Never a dull moment on shapeshifting major label debut...Read More
Four is a magic number for new music showcase...Read More
Proof that sex, drugs and guns can be boring as hell...Read More
McCauley told me earlier in the week that he sometimes wonders if music shouldn’t always be like this; freeflowing and collaborative with lots of room for spontaneity. After tonight, I have to agree...Read More