GALWAY is their origin, but London is now their base of operations, and the experience - the good, bad, inspiring, and repellant - of one of the world’s major cities is captured in The Clockworks’ new single.
‘Feels So Real’, which has been released on Alan McGee’s It’s Creation Baby label, marks the first new music of 2021 from the quartet of James McGregor (vocals/guitar ), Sean Connelly (guitar ), Damian Greaney (drums ), and Tom Freeman (bass ).
Opening with a drum pattern reminiscent of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, the song builds into a claustrophobic, dark swirl of guitar chords, with agitated, insistent guitar lines slashing through. Meanwhile James McGregor casts a cold eye on his surroundings: “Tripping over bottle tops...syringes, trollies in the river, and gates off the hinges.”
The song is a warts and all portrayal of London, but yet, amid all that is wrong, is a feeling of excitement for being in the British capital, a thrill at the noise, energy, and atmosphere that only life in the city can bring.
'A certain feeling'
“The idea for this song was to soundtrack a certain feeling, a rapture or excitement,” says McGregor, “for the lyrics to set the scene and the music to set the feeling. This song is essentially about how all the things that make up the city; the good, the bad and the ugly are all what make it exciting. In a way it could be about finding hope in hopeless circumstances.”
Written just before, and finished during the course of the first lockdown, ‘Feels So Real’ was recorded at Unity/Aquarium Studios, Willesden, and produced and mixed by Michael Rendall and the band.
The Clockworks have won praise from critics, with Clash magazine hailing their “ferocious sense of purpose, with the careering post-punk guitar lines” and Louder Than War praising their “devilish eccentricity and high energy. They look as sharp as they sound”. Previous singles ‘Enough Is Never Enough’, ‘Can I Speak To A Manager?’ and ‘The Future Is Not What It Was’ received praise from BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac on her ‘New Names’ showcase, while further airplay came from BBC 6 Music, RTÉ 2FM, and Sirius XM.