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The Riptide Is High
One of the defiant young bands in Ireland in aeons, The Riptide Movement have gone from busking on Dublin’s mean streets to getting radio airplay in Turkey! Now, with their second album safely nestled in the Irish top 10, they talk about the struggle for recognition, the perils of busking –and their plans to conquer America.
Craig Fitzpatrick, 25 May 2012
Mal: “Anyone that comes to Dublin, they’re going to pass through Grafton Street at some point, aren’t they? There’s something special about that street as well. It’s got a good vibe.”
While they’ve still got a foot planted at street level, with album number two, Keep On Keepin’ On, starting to make serious waves, the band are aiming now to put their feet up at rock’s higher table. Debuting at No.6 was a good start.
“I think we’ve landed with this one,” Mal says confidently. “The first record was just a collection of songs. Saying that, three or four years on, a few of them are still very relevant – ‘In The Eye Of The Storm’ is our finishing number for most gigs, ‘Tip Jars’ is always in the set... But now we feel more comfortable in our own skins.”
Gar nods in agreement. “Through the sheer amount of playing over the last number of years, we’ve really found our sound.”
“Yeah and it’s definitely a relief to have it out,” Tuohy adds. “We were supposed to release it in 2010, but we weren’t ready. We were still learning about the songs.”
They headed for the south of France to finish writing the album. While the expedition didn’t quite end in an Exile On Main Street-style crazed drug scenario, it was an intense five weeks.
“We were down in the south of France in Carcossonne. We drove straight over in two small vans,” explains Mal. “It’s like a ghost town in the winter, most of the places are holiday homes. A real sleepy old little French town. We were taking bets on who would break first, simply because it’s that quiet. You could hear your heart beat.” Who was the first to fall?
They both shout the name of bassist Ger McCarry in unison. Mal looks to his drummer. “He broke after about two days, didn’t he?!” Byrne laughs. “Yeah, he was cracking up pretty quickly! We went for a walk and came back to find him sitting at the keyboard going [mimics playing some bizarre, atonal piece on the keys] ‘Aw, oh, uh, OH!’. Wolf Creek stuff man!”