A NEW chapter in the story of The Kanyu Tree opens tomorrow when the Salthill based band of brothers release their second single ‘Congratulations’ with two shows in the city.
The Kanyu Tree will perform and sign copies of ‘Congratulations’ in Zhivago, Shop Street, at 4pm tomorrow before taking to the stage of the Róisín Dubh at 9pm for a free show.
Some changes have also taken place within the group. While Oisín and Daniel Cluskey remain on bass and guitar respectively, Shane has forsaken his drumkit to step out front as the band’s lead singer with James Casserly taking over the drumstool.
“We’ve always toyed with the idea of getting a drummer because we knew Shane would make a really good front man,” Oisín tells me. “We’ve been locked away rehearsing with James for the last month and really threw him in the deep end as his first two gigs were Strange Brew and Cois Fharraige.”
The Kanyu Tree played its first gig as a quartet at the Róisín Dubh last Thursday. Both James and Shane appeared comfortable in their new roles and the band delivered a great set, which included strong new songs which displayed a growing sophistication in their songwriting.
Oisín says Shane is not in any way daunted by taking on front-man duties. “Shane’s only had two gigs under his belt but he’s a natural,” he says, “and now we’ve the option of introducing new percussive instruments into the live set.”
The new single ‘Congratulations’ is the first song I heard The Kanyu Tree (or The Cheerfulls as they were then ) play and it remains one of their strongest with its Toto-esque chorus and the impeccable vocal harmonies which are such a feature of the Cluskey brothers sound.
“We uploaded the song a couple of months back on Myspace and it started receiving a lot of plays and compliments!” says Oisín of the decision to release it. “It always goes down really well in our live set. The song is about materialism and the hardships of growing up and failing to meet the required specifications of someone you fancy!”
Once the single has run its natural life span, the band will look towards releasing an EP in the New Year and an album later in 2009.
The past 12 months have been good for The Kanyu Tree with their landing some impressive support slots.
“Well 2007 saw us support the Saw Doctors on their UK tour for three weeks,” Oisín says. “This year we’ve already played with The Hold Steady and supported Ocean Colour Scene on their Irish tour. We’re just back from our biggest gig last weekend where we opened Cois Fharraige 2008 in Kilkee where we shared the stage with The Zutons, The Futureheads, and The Coronas.”
How did you go down with audiences?
“Really well,” Oisín continues. “Everywhere we played we got great reactions and sold a lot of CDs and T-shirts after the gigs which is always a great indication of how the gig went. Oh and we didn't get booed once!”
So any strange experiences or humorous anecdotes from those recent gigs that are suitable for printing?
“We arrived down to Port Laoise to start the tour with Ocean Colour Scene with a jeep load of all our gear only to discover that it was an acoustic set! says Oisín. “Daniel also got a speeding ticket on the way down!”
Hardly rock’n’roll debauchery but here’s hoping ‘Congratulations’ marks another step up for the Salthill brothers.