Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – firstname.lastname@example.org
Indie-pop trio Hogan play Monroe’s Live on Thursday next, April 28. Their name might be new to many Galway punters, but Hogan have been together for quite a while.
“It got started about six or seven years ago now at this stage,” says lead singer and guitarist, Mark Hogan.
“I was doing a load of gigging myself in bars and as a singer/songwriter. My old manager, who owned the Tullamore Sounds music shop, was organising a festival in Tullamore and said ‘do you want to play on the big stage? But you have to have a band’.”
Wayne Brereton (guitar) and drummer Ronan Nolan were recruited and the trio started performing as Hogan.
“I was going under Mark Hogan for a while, but everyone was coming to the shows expecting Damien Rice, a more chilled-out type of thing. My sound was a lot more energetic, indie-pop type songs.”
Hogan are back on the scene after taking a short break from gigging in December.
“We took a few months for ourselves,” Mark says. “The drummer is getting married in June and he’s organising his wedding in Italy. The guitar player did a bit of travelling, and he’s studying Irish – he loves Irish!
“I did a bit of travelling myself – I went to visit my sister in Alaska. And I did a lot of business stuff as well. I’m a songwriter for other people, and I mostly work with Asian artists out in Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.”
Hogan have also spent a lot of time recording and touring in Germany, and have built a bit of a name for themselves there.
“We haven’t been back there since August, but we’re going back over to do a few festivals, and we’re looking at our first release over there at the end of the year,” Mark says. “We’ve done loads of festivals and our own shows there.”
Working with producer Greg Haver (whose CV includes Welsh trio Manic Street Preachers) has really helped Hogan find the sound they’re after. Mark explains how the collaboration came about.
“He was basically at a music convention, and the studio that we worked in was looking to buy a new desk,” he says.
“Greg was one of the guests of a desk company, to say what it was like when he worked with their desk. Someone from the studio asked him would he come over and work with this Irish band, to try the desk out. We brought him over for one song, then we ended up doing our first album with him.”
For a band with aspirations like Hogan’s, finding a producer like Greg is a vital part of achieving success.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Folk duo launch What Will Be Will Be
Folk duo Niall Teague and Pádraic Joyce are launching their new album What Will We Be, a blend of folk, Americana and acoustic music, this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in An Taibhdhearc.
The success of their well-received 2020 release Taobh le Taobh, as well as recent successes at the Pan Celtic and Oireachtas Song Contests, spurred the duo on to record this new album which represents many years of collaboration and musical development.
It features Niall and Pádraic on vocals, harmonies, and acoustic guitars, Maidhc Ó hÉanaigh on double bass and Neil Fitzgibbon on fiddle. The catchy title track, What Will We Be, features contributions from percussionist Jim Higgins (The Stunning, Christy Moore, Paul Brady) and haunting, driving melodies on vocals, guitar, and fiddle.
Themes of love and hope are woven through Come Away with Me which features interplay between piano and fiddle as well as rich vocal harmonies.
People, places, and broken dreams are celebrated and lamented on Martin and Tom, Guitar Gold, Memories of You and Achill Island. The influence of David Henry Thoreau’s novel Walden features on the tracks Simple and Wise and Walden, with the beauty of nature, escape and simple pleasures at their core.
The album moves from minimalistic folk ballads such as Galway Ghost to swirling, string-laden arrangements on the song Neptune, both of which are influenced by maritime tales from Galway. Much of the work on this album was supported by the Arts Council, including work with musical arranger Eoin Corcoran and the string ensemble Treo.
The album will be launched this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in an Taibhdhearc. Tickets €22, plus booking fee at Eventbrite.ie.
All roads lead to Dunmore as town tunes up County Fleadh
Dunmore is the place to be this weekend for lovers of traditional music, as the Galway County Fleadh will take place there from this Friday, May 19, to Sunday, May 23.
It is 10 years since Dunmore last hosted a fleadh and the local Comhaltas branch, which has re-formed since Covid, is looking forward to facilitating this gathering of music, song, dance and craic.
The official Opening Concert will take place in Dunmore Town Hall this Friday at 8pm with the acclaimed Mulcahy family from Limerick. Mick, Louise and Michelle are well known throughout the country, thanks to their live performances, television appearances and numerous CDs. They were the winners of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Grúpa Ceoil Award for 2023. Tickets for their concert can be purchased on the door and a great night of music is promised.
Two days of competitions will kick off this Saturday at the town’s Community School, with more than 1,500 competitors taking part. Participants will be hoping to qualify for the Connacht Fleadh 2023, which will be held in Ballina, County Mayo, from June 23 to July 2.
Competitions for those aged Under 10, Under 12 and Under 15 will be held in a large variety of instruments on Saturday, as well as in singing and Comhrá Gaeilge. Sunday’s competitions will be for the Under 18 and Over 18 ages groups, as well as in dancing.
On both days a large entry is expected for Grúpaí Cheoil and Céilí Band competitions across all age groups.
Seventeen Comhaltas branches from across Galway will have participants in this weekend’s competitions, which will result in a large number of visitors to the Dunmore area.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the competitions, which offer a great opportunity to hear and see the talent on display. There will be sessions in local pubs over the weekend as well and everybody is welcome to attend these.
For more information on the County Fleadh, go to www.galwaycomhaltas.ie.
Piano concert rescheduled for Tuesday
Music for Galway’s concert with renowned Swiss pianist Cédric Pescia which had been due to take place on April 27 but which had to be deferred, will now take place next Tuesday, May 23, at 8pm, in the Emily Anderson Concert Hall at the University of Galway.
This concert of German classics with Bach at its core, will brings the Bach element of Music for Galway’s 41st season to an end.
This world-class pianist who won the famous Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition, has a repertoire that spans many eras from baroque to contemporary and he is widely known for his elaborate programmes. Cédric Pescia describes music as ‘language and movement at the same time’.
Audiences will have a chance to experience his soft, clear touch as he performs a programme for solo piano that will include classics such as Schumann’s popular Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), a suite of nine short pieces, and the penultimate of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, No. 31. These pieces will be interspersed with French Suites by Bach.
■ Ticket for Cédric Pescia’s concert are available at www.musicforgalway.ie, or by phone 091 705962 and on the door on the night. They cost €20/€18. The price for fulltime students of all ages is €6 while MfG Friends can avail of the friends’ rate of €16.