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 tour groups that popped in on their way out to see the Cliffs of Moher 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 that time 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 been given 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. The stage turned out to be 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. There didn’t seem to be a soundman and our scheduled kick off was at 12pm.. So we just started playing some steady tunes..
After a few minutes we looked over at each other and at a glance we all knew we were 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.
We started to build the music slowly but surely 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 strange situation and half laughing at how feckin great it all was.
And that was it –Playing to nobody and absolutely loving it. That was when I really knew we had something. Something to show. Something to offer people. But there was a vital missing piece and a giant gap that needed to be jumped before we were where we wanted to be…
Fast forward two more years, a few hundred local sessions, some random European gigs, two or three music competitions entered and an album just after being recorded and printed. It was the summer of 2014 and we had managed to secure our very first tour of America.
Now consider this, we had never played in the U.S. 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, at that stage 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 years ago while sitting in Shane and Fiachra’s family kitchen. This family 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 fell into the whole vibe of our music, they really got it. I remember us playing our absolute hearts out that day. Jet-lagged 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 first album, ‘Socks in the Frying Pan’.
Thank you for being a listener and for making it all matter.