THE YEAR normally does not go by without the Galway Arts Centre hosting a number of music gigs, either in its HQ in Dominick Street or at the Nuns Island Theatre, but a three day music festival, focussing on indie, folk rock, and electronica, is a new departure.
GAC(h ) Duine
The GAC(h ) Duine music festival takes place in the Galway Arts Centre from Thursday April 18 to Saturday 20, featuring live music gigs each night, along with a punk/hardcore event on the Saturday afternoon, and workshops for voice, songwriting, and guitar.
“Music is an art form so why not display and host it in the arts centre?” says Eibhlin Faulkner of the Galway Arts Centre. “It’s about encouraging people who would not normally think of coming into the arts centre and providing a platform for bands in a venue they may not be used to playing. It’s a great chance to get people in to see it and use it.”
“The first gig Dott had was in the arts centre and it’s an amazing space,” says Anna McCarthy, lead singer and songwriter with Galway indie-pop/garage- rock band Dott. “It’s something a bit different and it’s about taking the centre and these bands out of the usual context, and doing something a bit different in this historic building.”
The line up features a wide range of Galway and Irish talent mainly from the indie-rock and folk rock scenes: Dead Red Light, Noriana Kennedy, and Red Eskimo (Thursday 18 ); Peter Delaney, Mikey and the Scallywags (Friday 19 ); and Dott, Oh Boland, HUNK!, Laminator, Adultrock, and Cave Ghost (Saturday 20 ). The shows will be accompanied by visual projections.
“Indie and folk are types of music Irish bands are particularly good at,” says Eibhlin, “and we felt the bands chosen all make sense on the same bill. Also, Red Eskimo are only playing two Irish gigs this year and one of them is for us, so that’s exciting.”
“Oh Boland, who are very new and very good, and HUNK! feature two girls on vocals singing harmonies. They have an abrasive, guitar-pop sound,” says Anna, who is also curating Saturday at the festival. “Upstairs there’ll be computer/electronic music with Adultrock, so upstairs will be one kind of music and downstairs will be another.”
GAC(h ) Duine will also have a specific event for under 18s on the Saturday from 4pm to 6pm with the Hardcore Tea Party, involving live music from Galway punk and metal bands - Redneck Nuns, Blackmail House, and Vagrants. The event is no-alcohol, but there will be a range of tea and cucumber sandwiches available.
Dott record debut album
At the festival, Dott will be play new songs which will feature on their debut album which the quartet just finished recording last weekend. The album will have 12 tracks but has as yet no title or specific release date.
“It’s very exciting,” says Anna. “We will be looking to see if we can get someone to release it. If not, we’ll put it out ourselves. We were thinking of doing another EP, but the band has been changing and evolving so we wanted to get these songs down before the band changes again. The early songs were about being a teenager and getting away from reality, but the newer songs take a more mature look at things.”
If Dott’s style of harmony driven indie pop with a garage edge is continuing to evolve, the band line-up has, over recent months, finally settled with Miriam Donohue on guitar duties and Laura Finnegan returning to bass.
“I knew Miriam as a great guitarist and her own solo stuff is brilliant,” says Anna, “but she had a bit of a baptism of fire when she joined us. Her first performance with the band was for a live appearance on RTÉ Radio 1. When Laura returned from coming back from New York, Miriam had to switch from bass to guitar and join us for a slot at Electric Picnic! I love that me, Laura, and Miriam can do the three part harmonies as it’s like the sixties girl groups, it’s important to the Dott sound.”
In another positive step for the band, its excellent EP Button will be released on vinyl in the US in three weeks. Photos of the four track disc on Facebook show clear vinyl dominated by orange markings, making it a visual as well as aural treat.
The band have also shot a video for their song ‘Leave Tonight’. “It was made by Danny Cooke and shot in a deserted fairground in Plymouth,” says Anna. “It features a young couple on a Ferris wheel.”
GAC(h ) Duine is a BYOB event. Doors open from 8.30pm to 11.30pm. Tickets are €7 (Thursday ), €7 (Friday ), €5 for Saturday afternoon’s Hardcore Tea Party, and €10 (Saturday night ). For more information contact the Galway Arts Centre on 091 - 565886 or [email protected]