Her Irish Artist Of The Week... Raglans
The Raglans have been on our radar for quite some time so when we met up with the guys ahead of their album launch and Academy gig, we had to use all our strength not to fangirl them. Did we succeed? Probably not.
On the top floor of the Gibson Hotel, Stephen, Rhos, Conn and Sean (he's single ladies) discussed gigs, groupies, diva demands and Toys R’Us interviews. Yes, there is such a thing.
Together since 2010, the four-piece get their name from Irish literary Patrick Kavanagh’s poem, Raglan Road. Starting out with just lead vocalist, Stephen Kelly and bassist, Rhos Horan, it wasn’t too long before Conn O’Ruanaidh “turned up for the craic,” and “shit hot” Sean O’Brien was "pinched " from a band to complete the Dublin indie-folk group.
Each member has very different musical influences however never really disagree when it comes to Raglan songs. “We all know what works for the band, we’re all on the same wave length.”
“It was always an originals band, we had no idea what we were doing initially, we just turned up and played, it was just a way to pass the time really. We done our first gig after three or four weeks. People started coming to the gigs and we were like ‘okay’, then launched an EP, had a night in the Grand Social and it completely sold out.”
Musical comparisons include The Libertines, Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers, or as the lads summed it up, “just about whoever's out at the time.”
Friend of the band, Finn Keenan, is the man responsible for the first music video, ‘The Man From Glasgow’ and our favourite ‘Digging Holes’.
“He’s the brainchild behind the videos, he was a massive fan of the band and he knows us as people.
“We’d no money and did it (Digging Holes) for like 300 quid. We just drove around in a band with no seats, knocking doors of friends and relatives of his, asking to borrow lumberjack gear, fishing gear, boats, getting away with murder.
“We just had to commit to the idea and we believed that he could translate that vision into something good and he did. We must have watched it four or five times in a row.” Ditto.
Be prepared to press the replay button.
While Conn proves “an attractive option for the gay scene” and Sean’s “leg stamp mating call” gets the attention from the ladies, the lads are still unbelievably humble about everything that comes with the territory.
“The thing about interviews is, only now we’re starting to feel deserving of them because we’ve an album, where as before we just felt like four eejits that no one could give a shit about."
Still bemused by the fact that they can go over to London and get 200 plus people in a room singing along to their tracks, the group’s favourite gig to date was Shepherd’s Bush Empire while supporting Cavan rock n’ roll four-piece sensation, The Strypes.
“I was really relaxed before doing it,” Stephen tells us. “Then when I was going on stage I saw all the people that played in the venue, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Oasis and I was like 'Jaysus, I can’t look at this anymore.'"
However, as the old saying goes there’s no place like home and it’s their album launch in the Academy that the Raglans are looking forward to the most.
"We’ve worked so hard getting to the place where we can properly put out an album the way we want to do it and it kinda feels like a culmination of that and with all the people that have been supporting us from day one to come and enjoy it as well."
Good news for Raglan fans, the wait is over, today is the day we get to hear the lads in all their glory, as self-titled new album, Raglans, is released and already making its way up the Irish charts.
The latest single, (Lady) Roll Back The Years.
Other things you should know about the Raglans…
Favourite lyric you’ve ever written?
Stephen opted for "Ohh, Ohh", and Rhos went for "1,2,3,4" explaining that simple lyrics are the best. "We like to be global so we don’t want alienating people that can’t speak English."
Name one Irish female personality you would take out for dinner.
Stephen - Samantha Mumba/Dolores O’ Riordan
Rhos – Sharon Ní Bheoláin
Conn – Mary Harney (Rhos may have decided this for him).
Sean – Laura Whitmore
Irish male would have to be Brian Kennedy/Jim Corr.
First album you ever bought?
Stephen - Doctor Dre
Rhos - Nirvana’s Nevermind
Sean - The Beatles’ Please Please Me
Conn - Metallica’s Ride The Lightening
Who would you like to collaborate with?
Sean – “I’d like to see what Kanye West would do with one of our tracks”. “Make it shit” according to Rhos.
The Natives (because it was Sean’s first video. Awww).
What track do you predict the greatest success from the new Album?
“Born in Storms is probably the favourite one in that regard. I think it shows a nice difference to stuff that we’ve done before, it’s probably the most left off centre song we’ve done on the album." - Stephen.
Where do you want to be this time next year?
“I want to be right back here with you telling you what ageing is like and I want to be wearing a leopard print suede suit.” – Rhos
“With loads of bad tattoos and less hair.” - Conn
“I’ll take less hair if I can have more memories.” - Stephen
Sum up the band in three words.
Loud. Positive. Direct.
Tickets for the Raglans' album launch in The Academy on the March 6th can be purchased from Ticketmaster.
Sean is the only member free to break the ladies of Ireland’s hearts and we promised him a date by their gig next Saturday, so girls, you know what to do… (watch out for the leg stamping mating call). Also a heads up to the Academy, make sure to have starch in the rider for band diva, Conn, (rock n' roll).
Rumour has it the lads will be appearing on a fairly well known Irish television show tonight, we have no idea what that could be...
To celebrate the release of our DEBUT ALBUM tomorrow we'll be performing on a very well known TV show tomorrow night! pic.twitter.com/2a5atRETCW
— Raglans (@Raglans) March 20, 2014
“Come to the gig and get sweaty with us…” They asked so nicely it would be rude to decline.