IDENTITY PARADE, the indie rock five-piece, described by Stiff Records founder Dave Robinson - who discovered Elvis Costello and Ian Dury - as having “a very impressive sound”, play Gigantic at Kelly’s, Bridge Street, on Saturday April 10 at 9pm.
Identity Parade - Kevin Homan (lead vocal/rhythm guitar ), Paul Gilligan (bass ), John Kennedy (keyboards ), Conor Nolan (lead guitar ), and Daniel O’Sullivan (drums ) - have been playing together, in various forms, for nearly a decade and have been keen to experiment with their sound from the very start.
“Myself and Paul have been playing together - mainly as an acoustic duo - since about 2002,” Kevin Homan tells me. “It was actually Paul that came up with the name Identity Parade. I don’t know what he was thinking about at the time but I’m glad he was thinking that way.
“It sort of describes us as a band, which is a collective of people with different influences and who comes at music from a number of different angles. Basically we’ll give anything a go and it doesn’t matter if it’s rock or indie or blues or whatever. We’re very much of the mindset that the song and the lyric take precedence over the music genre.”
This parade of influences very much comes through on their successful chart singles ‘When You Go’, ‘Kicking Stones’, ‘Collette Collar’, and ‘Ooh Ooh’ (all of which appeared in the Irish Top 30 ) and permeates their eponymous debut album. There is a sort of swagger about their brand of rock that owes much to the music made famous in Manchester’s iconic Haçienda club.
“I would’ve been in to a lot of the Manchester stuff from the mid to late 1990s like The Stone Roses, James, The Charlatans, and even Oasis,” Homan says. “I’d also be influenced by bands such as Deftones and Nine Inch Nails. In terms of our band you could probably trace our influences back to The Beatles, The Who, and The Jam. We sort of use that as our template and then work around from there.”
Just over three years ago Identity Parade gave a massive nod to their primary influence when they took to the stage at The Cavern Club. The famous Liverpool venue first opened in 1957 and came to prominence in the early 1960s when The Beatles and other Mersey Beat bands began performing there. For Homan and his mates it was a hallowed space they had to play.
“We got in touch with The Cavern and enquired about playing there,” Kevin states. “They were more than happy to have us over and so we gathered together a few friends and made the trip. The five of us are all massive Beatles fans and so to be on the same stage that they played 50 years previously was amazing. The crowd on the night reacted really positively to our music and it showed us that we were doing something right.”
Shortly after their appearance at The Cavern the band came to the attention of former Saw Doctor John ‘Turps’ Burke. After a couple of meetings the Tuam man agreed to produce some tracks with the band
“There was an instant kinship there and we immediately were on the same wavelength regarding songs,” Homan says. “We sent him some demos and he invited us down to do some recording in Bermingham House outside Tuam. We set up a mobile studio there and recorded six songs. Then John came up to Dublin and we recorded another four. It was great working with John because the guidance we received from him was invaluable and it really focused us on the task ahead.”
There was a rock‘n’roll vibe throughout the recording process as Bermingham House is a former haunt of the Rolling Stones.
“We were told that Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull used to go courting there,” Kevin says. “There was definitely a feeling that the ghosts of the past were working wonders on us and we were tapping in to that 1960s vibe. The production on the album is really good and sounds really professional. We’re incredibly pleased with it.”
Identity Parade released their debut album recently and are beginning a major Irish tour as well as playing London and Berlin over the coming weeks.
“There is a lot of gigs and showcase performances coming up. It’s a very exciting time for the band,” Homan enthuses. “The last two years we’ve been cooped up in a studio demoing and recording. After that you just want to get your music out there and play to as many people as possible. We’re looking forward to coming to Galway.”
Admission is €5. For more information contact Kelly’s on 091 - 563804.