GALWAY BAND THE OPACAS began life as a virtual band during the lockdowns. Post-Covid, they are taking to the stage, and presenting live music shows with a real difference.
The Opacas - Peter Tobin, Steve Talbot, and Pat Boyle, along with Leeds based guitarist Mark Raynor. - play The Office, Salthill, on Thursday October 20 and Wednesday October 26 at 9.30pm. Admission is free on both nights.
For the Salthill gigs, legendary local guitarist Joe Treacy will fill in for Mark, and the band will also be joined by percussionist Mike McLoughlin.
The gigs will showcase the band’s melodic, harmony driven, and accessible Power Pop, as heard on the singles ‘Outta Time’, ‘She Walks Away’, ‘Wish I Met You’, and ‘We Won’t Look Back’. As well as these songs, The Office shows will also see the band perform new songs, such as their latest release, ‘Long Lost Love’.
This will be more than just a standard music gig. It will be a live music show and a showcase for the arts in Galway arts, as these shows will also promote and celebrate the work of Galway visual artists and drama groups.
Over the past two years, the band have worked with the Knocknacarra Amateur Theatre Society and the Athenry Drama Group, as well as artists like Jin Yong and Chaosheng Zhang, among others, to create a series of sometimes humorous, sometimes inspiring, and always imaginative music videos.
These will be screened at both upcoming Salthill shows, and are The Opacas way of supporting and highlighting the wealth of artistic talent in Galway, and the ties between the different stands of the arts community in the city and county.
With The Opacas now taking their music to the live stage, their sights are set on recording a debut album and playing the Galway festival circuit. You have seen and heard the band online, now see and hear them for real.
The Opacas were formed during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic with the members writing and recording remotely, before putting the music together through standard applications on mobile phones.
In October 2020, they released their debut single, ‘Out Of My Mind', along with its accompanying video, which was shot in The Office Bar in Salthill and on Salthill promenade. Steve and Pete met in person for the first time when filming the video for the song - neither had yet met Mark Raynor in the flesh (he was represented in the video by a wooden cut-out! ).
The band’s initial mission was to "put a smile on the faces of the people of Galway as we cope with a constant stream of bad news stories", through their music and videos. This approach also resulted in a key feature of The Opacas approach - collaborations with fellow creatives through music videos.
This began with the videos for the 'She Walks Away’ and ‘We Won’t Look Back’ singles, with The Opacas joining forces with the Athenry Drama Group and the Knocknacarra Amateur Theatre Society.
Together they created humorous, story based videos, shot in Athenry and Kinvara. The video for 'She Walks Away' was particularly noteworthy, as it told the story of a lovers tiff, and drew inspiration from 1920s silent comedies, particularly those by Charlie Chaplin.
The videos also provided a much needed outlet for the drama groups during the Covid restrictions. As ADG's Shane Murray said, “getting involved with this is just a Godsend”.
A different kind of collaboration were the videos showcasing the work of West of Ireland based visual artists and photographers. Here, The Opacas would create piano or acoustic based versions of their songs, with the accompanying video featuring various works by a particular artist.
Creatives featured in the videos included Emma Cownie, a Welsh based landscape painter ); Connemara based landscape artist Aoife Dowd; Clare artist Patrick Kinneally; and the Galway based Chinese creatives, Jin Yong, a visual artist, and Chaosheng Zhang, the hugely popular local photographer.
Another side to The Opacas was the video for ‘Outta Time’, which saw the band represented as Lego figures and running around Galway city centre.
In a different vein, the band’s song, ‘Wish I Met You’, about a father's lament for a stillborn baby, was played at a ceremony for International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day at UHG.
The Opacas music can be heard on all streaming platforms. Their videos are on YouTube and www.Opacas.com