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An Interview with The Strypes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Connor Mullins   
14 06 2013
ImageBackstage at the Evolution Festival on Newcastle's Quayside, there are a number of radio stations queuing up to speak to Ireland's latest rock n' roll saviours. With an energetic live set playing a selection of covers, as well as original songs inspired by late 50s - early 60s R & B, The Strypes have crash landed onto the music scene in the last year.

Followers of the band include Paul Weller and Sir Elton John, and as we approach to do an interview, their manager reminds them to be quick - they've got one scheduled with BBC Newcastle.

The four-piece rhythm and blues band from Cavan take inspiration for their look from sharp dressed heroes such as The Modfather himself, and they are smartly dressed for the occasion, each with shirts tucked into their jeans. Ross Farrelly, lead singer, looks the part on stage at the festival, sporting big shades, Roy Orbison-style. He taps a tambourine and moves to the beat with the confidence expected of a frontman.

Gigs and festival appearances are starting to come thick and fast for the young lads, and with Evolution the first of many, the band are excited to be playing such large events. "Yeah, it's amazing; I suppose it's amazing at any age, says lead guitarist Josh McClorey. "We were just looking at the crowd earlier on and it's all kids our age, it's good to be part of it. There's a good buzz to the whole thing."

Inspired by bands such as Dr Feelgood and The Yardbirds, their fast-paced live sets of Rhythm and Blues gained them recognition as their reputation began to grow. Their self-produced EP topped the iTunes blues chart in 2012, featuring covers by Bo Diddley and Billy Boy Arnold. The video for original song Blue Collar Jane has amassed more than 300,000 views on YouTube, while Hometown Girls has proven to be popular on iTunes.

The band are now signed to Mercury records, following a brief period at Rocket Music Management, owned by Sir Elton John. He described them as "a breath of fresh air," before adding "They have a knowledge of R&B and blues at 16 years of age that I have only amassed in my 65 years."

The Strypes, however, have come in for some criticism for having little in the way of their own material, with the majority of their sets consisting of blues covers. It's even led to them being called "One Direction in Mod suits." "Rubbish," "appaling," "that's laziness." They all pipe up to put to rest any comparison. Drummer Evan Walsh chirps in with "disgusting." "We're the furthest thing from any of those boy bands, It's just because we're the same age," says Josh. "It's lazy journalism," agrees Evan.

The band are currently working on their debut album with highly acclaimed record producer Chris Thomas, who has worked with the Beatles, and produced albums such as The Sex Pistols legendary record Never Mind The Bollocks. "Yeah, we're working with Chris Thomas, and it's just amazing to be working with somebody who's produced what he's produced," says drummer Evan Walsh. "He's worked with the Sex Pistols and The Pretenders, and everything that he's done, it's just amazing to be working with him and bouncing ideas off him."

The Cavan lads have a busy year ahead in the lead up to their debut album release. The forthcoming festival season sees them play T in The Park and Leeds Festival amongst others, while they also headline their first UK tour, with six dates across the summer. "We just want to keep gigging, and do more of these festivals and try and get the name built up," Josh continues. "Hopefully we can release the album in September, so we'll see how it goes."

They've also got a big show supporting The Courteeners in Manchester, but playing at Glastonbury - and the chance to see The Rolling Stones - is the highlight. "Yeah, we're supporting The Courteeners in Manchester," says Josh. "We're really looking forward to the John Peel stage at Glastonbury because it's such a legendary stage and all the bands we really like have played there. "






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