If I remember right it was around 2012, we had been playing together as a trio for about two years in sessions around Co. Clare. Our main hub was Cruises Bar in our hometown of Ennis where we would play to a few locals, some random tour groups that popped in on their way out to see the Cliffs and then there were many-many nights where the bar was completely empty and we would just sing and play whatever we wanted. Generally just having a bit of fun with the music. Good times.
One occasion that sticks out around then was on a drizzly cold day, probably in the middle of the summer. We were playing for an outdoor charity function just outside of Clarecaste and we had an early slot on the schedule. We pulled up and there was practically nobody there. There wasn’t a sinner in the vicinity of our stage anyway. They had us up playing on one of those open sided trucks. We made our way up onto the back of a truck and plugged into the makeshift PA that was sitting there. Looked around, no soundman. “I guess we turn this on ourselves?” We were scheduled for around 12pm kickoff. “So… I guess we start playing?”
We plonked ourselves down on some chairs that had no doubt been borrowed from the nearest hotel function room. We pushed up to the old battered microphones and started into some fairly steady tunes. After a few minutes we looked over at each other, by this time we all knew each so well that at a glance we knew we were all thinking the very same thing. It was time to Drive it! “Go hard or go home” is what they would say around these parts – And we weren’t going home anytime soon.
The build started slow and we played one set into another, into another, building, building. It must have lasted a solid 25mins and by the end we were absolutely belting out the tunes. Our hands were frozen off us, but my god we were have some craic. I was half laughing about the situation and half laughing at how feckin great it all was. That was it. That’s when I really knew we had something. Something to show. Something to offer. But there was a vital missing piece and a giant gap need to be jumped before we were where we wanted to be.
Fast forward two years, a lot more local sessions, a few random European gigs, a few local competitions entered, and an album just after being recorded and printed. We pretty got lucky and managed to secure our very first tour of America in the summer of 2014.
Now consider this, we had never played in the US before. Never promoted a CD over there or had any idea or notion of what to expect at the festivals. We were complete newcomers. So imagine our puzzlement when we walked toward the stage of our very first gig at the Dayton Celtic Festival in Ohio, when a full family of six came running over to us shouting “Socks in the Frying Pan! We LOVE you guys!”… Now not only that. They had Socks in the Frying Pan t-shirts on. That might not sound that wild, but, we had NEVER made a Socks in the Frying Pan t-shirt!.. It turned out that they had found some random Youtube videos that we had thrown together while sitting in Shane and Fiachra’s family kitchen year ago. This family had had been following us online ever since. They had gone and made the t-shirts themselves. We simply had NO IDEA what was going on. And that was only the start of things to come. Over the weekend the gigs were thronged. Dancing, clapping, shouting, singing ,waltzing and swinging around the place. It was crazy. They got the whole vibe of our music, they really got it. I remember us playing our absolute hearts out that day. Jetlagged and over the moon. Sweat dripping madness is what I’d call it. That was playing. That was being a real musician. That was living. That was life. And THAT is what was missing. We had somehow made the leap in only two years. And the missing piece? It’s by far the most importantly of all. It’s YOU, the listener, that makes all of it matter.
We look forward to many more sometimes-slow and steady, sometimes-driving madness, always-worthwhile experiences along this musical journey. Here’s to hoping that you are part of that journey.
If you’d like to hear the most recent milestone of that journey, click here to listen to our most recent album, ‘Without a Paddle’.
Thank you for being a listener and for making it all matter.
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