One of the first ever ‘professional’ interviews I conducted was with the Galway Street Club. A 15-piece street band who were built in Galway but have traces from all around the globe. Ireland, USA, Russia, Germany, their nationalities are almost as diverse as the instruments they play.
They were always on my mind even before I interviewed them, literally. I went to college in NUIG and you couldn’t walk down Shop Street of Galway without coming across a crowd of people gathered around this band.
Once I sat outside Taaffes, my favourite watering hole in Galway, and watched how the band slowly pieced themselves together with a few of my friends. On a lovely summers day, one member started playing and singing by himself as I started my first pint and by the time I went on to my fourth, the whole crew had joined him one by one.
They don’t practice.
The only time they get to perfect their trade is when they all meet up on the street and begin playing. There is something beautiful about watching one of them mess up and look around as they try to rejoin the session but those moments are few and far between now. They are a well-oiled machine at this stage.
Their first live, in-house performance was in Galway’s famous Róisín Dubh and since then they’ve gone on to play in venues in Spain, Germany, Holland, Austria and France.
They have a manager.
They got so big in Galway that people began asking questions, wondering where could they see this band, where they could watch their performances.
When I interviewed them, Dominic Quinn was the man I had to go through. He set up their Facebook page when interest began to grow in the beginning and is the man that keeps the wheels on the madness that is this bus.
They play folk, rock, blues trad, ska, songs you’ve heard of and others that you never knew existed but regardless, you’ll be left blown away by the coming together of all the instruments and sounds.
They rack up tens of thousands of views on YouTube any time a video of theirs is posted on their own site or anyone elses.
Their bread and butter is street performing and you’ve probably come across them on the top of Grafton Street at lunchtime but didn’t have the time to give them your full attention as you were rushing to get some grub.
But, you’re just in luck because they are playing in Whelan’s on June 15th and have just released on album titled ‘Sovereign State of Madness’ too.
It’s madness of the highest degree watching these play live, they’re the type of band that if you had an instrument with you and joined them on stage they’d be only too happy for you to play along.
They are a band for the people and you need to go see them.