THE OPACAS, the virtual band featuring members from Galway and Leeds released their second single, 'She Walks Away', along with a video featuring an array of local acting talent.
The new single, out today - Thursday October 29 - is a homage to 1960s guitar pop and rock, with vocal harmonies and a very catchy chorus. The video was filmed in a single morning in Athenry and features members of Knocknacarra Amateur Theatre Society and Athenry Drama Society and was filmed in a single morning in Athenry.
The Opacas - Galway based musicians Pat Boyle, Steve Talbot, and Peter Tobin, and Leeds based guitarist Mark Raynor - are a band with an unusual back-story. They have never rehearsed or gigged together. Their music is written and recorded remotely, and put together using standard applications on mobile phones.
Steve and Pete met in person for the first time when filming the video for their debut single, ‘Out Of My Mind'. Neither have met Mark Raynor who was represented in that video by a wooden cut-out.
A comedy caper set in Athenry
A similar approach has informed 'She Walks Away'. "Like all Opaca projects, the video was developed, and actors lined up remotely, with everyone meeting up for the first time for coffee before filming the video, that morning," says Pat. "There were no rehearsals. Some actors met each other before. The idea is to use technology to develop an idea and then coordinate the execution of that idea in a single two-hour window."
In the video KATS's Mark Fitzgerald and Shifra Tobin play the leading roles of a couple trying to resolve a lovers tiff, while Linsey Cant and Ger Holmes play the role of two gossips. Athenry Drama Society is represented by Niamh O’Brien (as a waitress ), John Mangan (as a garda ), and Shane Murray (as a local lad ), who join forces to help resolve the lovers' difficulties.
"It's madcap stuff and typical of the Opacas, filmed in the style of classic 1920’s comic capers of Laurel and Hardy or Charlie Chaplin," says Pat.
In that, it is true to The Opacas spirit, which seeks to "put a smile on the faces of the people of Galway as we cope with a constant stream of bad news stories". The good news is that the band is committed to producing a total of six videos they hope will "see everyone through the current COVID crisis".
A different aspect of that side of The Opacas is captured in another of the band's songs - ‘Wish I Met You’, a father's lament for a stillborn baby. A demo version was played to a midwife who asked if it could be used in UHG at a ceremony for International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day?. "It was a tremendous honour for the song to be played there," says Pat. It can be heard on www.opacas.com/music.
Another music/video collaboration is with Emma Cownie, a Welsh based landscape painter. A piano version of ‘Out Of My Mind’ has been recorded with a video featuring paintings by Cownie. Artists are now being lined up for the acoustic piano version of ‘She Walks Away’ and the video will be released in the coming weeks.
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