Homemade Recordings

As you have by now presumably downloaded your first free EP (and if not, then why not?!), we wanted to give you a little bit more information into what this ‘Home Recordings’ series is about.

I think musicians in general are quite divided about the whole recording/studio process; some love it, others see it as more of a necessary evil and just want to be up on stage performing. I’ve always had a fascination with the process of recording music. I remember, at some stage in my teens, my brother bought a karaoke machine which had two tape decks on it and an input for a microphone. This allowed you to play one tape, sing along and record the results onto a second tape. It was on this that I first started to experiment, recording versions of some of my favourite songs by plugging my guitar into the microphone socket and recording it onto tape. Then I’d play it back on one deck and record another track over that onto the second deck, going back and forth until I wore the tape out!

 
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While this was grand for messing about, when I started to get seriously into writing songs I needed something better. My Dad is a great man for finding bargains in car boot sales, and one day he met a guy who was looking to sell his Fostex 4-track recorder. This was massive! Sure didn’t Bruce Springsteen record ‘Nebraska’ on a 4 track recorder! And so I was in business. I spent most evenings with my best mate John, in my bedroom recording song after song. With this amazing machine I was able to record 4 separate tracks, and these then had to be mixed down to a final master version which was your finished song. It was a great way to learn about multi tracking and the whole mixing process. I will always love that machine, and eventually one day we might return to that way of doing things for a while. Isn’t tape on the way back?

My first experience of a real life recording studio came with the first proper band I was in, which was called Shimmer. We recorded two EPs in Sun Studios in Dublin with the wonderful Denis Lovett. We had booked the night session because we were poor students, and so we worked straight through, mostly recording live, and then mixing the songs, until we fell out of there at about 8am with a finished EP on our hands.

After that, as a student of Ballyfermot’s Rock School, we had plenty of chances to go into the college in-house studio to work with the sound engineering students. Free recording! Even better, I thought! At the time I was in a number of bands (including the first band myself and Beat were in together, called The Four Fishermen from the County of Kildare) so I got quite a few opportunities to get some studio time. Also, as part of the course we had a class in Music Technology, where we were introduced to using a program called Cubase which we could use to record entire songs ourselves.

 And then everything changed. When David Gray released ‘White Ladder’ (which along with Chart Hits ’81 is the one album every household seems to have at least 1 copy of – I have 2!), which was mostly recorded in his flat in London, it proved (to me anyway) that you could make top quality music in the confines of your bedroom. So I invested in a Macbook, a small 8 channel desk and a few microphones. That was back in 2008, and I’m still using the same laptop and equipment today. And it is on this that we recorded the first ‘Homemade Songs’ EP (along with a very fancy microphone we borrowed from our good friend Mark Fitzgerald – thanks Mark!).

 When we were putting together the Need-a-1000 project, we realised we had a lot of old songs which were lying about, as well as some brand new songs which we haven’t even played live, ones which were great but which have not made the final cut for the album we plan to record. And so the ‘Home Recordings’ Eps were born! We enjoyed recording the first EP so much, especially as it forced us to really look at some song arrangements again, and as a result the songs have turned out even better than we ever thought they would!

So we hope you’ve enjoyed the first EP, and we can’t wait to let you hear what’s coming in the next one!

Floyd

 

The Magical 1000

Hi all

By now you will have seen, and hopefully some of you will have signed up to our new 100% FREE project Need-A-1000.

So here is what its all about and why we felt this was the way forward for our band.

There is an article I read many years back which went into the concept of looking to achieve 1000 true fans (instead of aiming for stardom!) and being able to achieve what you wanted with a core group of fans. This is where our Need-A-1000 project was born, although it has taken many years for us to really understand how we can achieve this.

Below is a link to the article in full if you are interested to have a read. If you want a quick summary on what it is all about it can be best summed up I feel from this quote from the article:

“The takeaway: 1,000 true fans is an alternative path to success other than stardom. Instead of trying to reach the narrow and unlikely peaks of platinum bestseller hits, blockbusters, and celebrity status, you can aim for direct connection with a thousand true fans. On your way, no matter how many fans you actually succeed in gaining, you’ll be surrounded not by faddish infatuation, but by genuine and true appreciation. It’s a much saner destiny to hope for. And you are much more likely to actually arrive there.”

https://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/

For years we have been gigging and recording and releasing music with this band and previous incarnations. We would move from one project to another and though at times we have gained traction we never really moved forward in the way we wanted. We realised that it wasn’t just a hard luck story of could haves and might have beens but in fact we were wasting a lot of time and energy in the wrong way.

2018 was a great year for us with some real highlights but again we could see the common trend of the year ending and no real move forward with what we want to achieve. The answer it turned out was simple…we were waiting for it to happen for us!

We have always prided ourselves on being 100% Independent but we realised we were acting like a band that had a record company looking after our every need and we just needed to wait for the calls from venues and promoters!

We might have full time jobs, a gang of kids, and mortgages in our life but we have always been musicians and it’s the first and last thing we think about when the head is on the pillow. This is not a hobby or a boys club, this is our passion and our goal and we want to achieve this with you now!

We believe in a world populated with 7.7 billion people (as we write this blog) that there is at least 1000 people out there in the world that will be into the music we write and produce and the performances we give on stage. We have a mailing list but have never properly engaged with you in the way we should have and we are changing that right now.

We want to share this journey with you and listen to what you want when it comes to our music so we can deliver quality music to you all the time. We want to build a community of Needables to interact with and succeed in our goals in music..

So what is the Need-A-1000 Project look like:

·      Free EP every Quarter in 2019 (16 songs in one year!).

·      Behind the scenes videos on our Debut Album preparations.

·      Cover video.

·      Special live events on-line.

·      Special offers on merchandise.

·      Special offers on new releases.

·      Headline Show discounts.

·      House Shows.

·      Competitions to win stuff!

·      And much more as we develop the project through the year.

So that’s it in nutshell! We have never been so excited to kick off what we believe in reality is not a project but how we will function as band for the next 10 to 20 years.

We hope you want in!

Beat

 BECOME A NEED-A-1000 MEMBER

 

 

Not just another year.

2018 is well and truly here and this time last year I fully believed 2017 was going to be the year our music reached out to more people and grew into 2018.

Sometimes life has a way of kicking you right in the nuts when you don't expect it and last July I lost my father. He was 84 and had a tough last 10 years or so and I always knew the day would come sooner rather then later and told myself I was prepared for it and accepting that this is how the world is. How wrong was I!

This knocked me in so many different ways I couldn't get going. Everything just became numb and any plans or ideas just fell away. I feel now finally that the time has past long enough for me to write about it.

It still hurts everyday, and writing this has my chest tightening up but it has moved to a different stage I feel and now everything doesn't seem so bleak anymore. I wrote a blog entry on this about 3 months ago but I wasn't really ready to share any feelings at that time so that stayed locked away. But now, now I feel my blood running through my body again. I am writing again. Planning and getting things done again, and probably for the first time properly organised and I thank my Dad for that because I have refocused on the important parts of my life that make me happy and concentrate on making something I believe in instead of chugging along in this world.

My Mum asked me to sing at my Dads funeral, Gentle on my mind, one of his favs. Keith had no hesitation in playing guitar for it and I am so grateful to be making music and sharing all types of musical moments with him. For the first time I got to play live with my oldest brother Brian, which was incredibly special to me despite the reasons for it. So this moment will mean so much to me on so many levels. In fact one of the bright moments to look back on during this time was that the family spent so much time together and became closer I feel.

I owe everything to Niamh,Mia and Ella. Bursting with love.

Thank you to everyone who wrote/spoke/called/hugged/ raised a drink/cried/took my head on their shoulder, it was appreciated more then I could ever say.

And finally thank you Pops, for being my hero and you will always be gentle on my mind.

Bren

 

 

 

 

Video and Tour 2017

Hey folks,

So after a wonderful launch night in Whelans a few weeks back (thank you to all that came!!!) we are now looking forwad to getting the new EP around the country and play for you all!

We hope to finalise dates soon for September and October of this year and to coincide with this we will be shooting next month a new video for 'Baby I'm on my way' from the EP.

Lots to do but we cant wait to get stuck in. Not only have we all of the above happening we are alraedy beginning the ground work for future releases and some other interesting little pieces.

If you would like us to play your county then drop us a note and we can do our best to head to your town!!

So keep an eye on our Gigs Page for updates over the next few weeks.

Gottsa stay busy!

Beat

They Said Yes!!!

The moment I stood in Ryan’s Bar in Kilkenny in 2008 waiting for a 3 sister Swedish folk band to start playing I knew I was at a different kind of festival then I had ever experienced before. I watched these 3 sisters (Baskery) light up the room with their energy and then stood in amazement when they walked off stage and straight over to their merch area to sell CD’s! This can’t be normal I thought to myself. Surely they have someone with them to do this for them! But gigs at Hill Billy Casino and Chatham Co Line the next day (which blew my mind musically) went the same way and left me wondering how have I not been at this festival before!

Our old band was coming to an end and the first steps of The Needables would soon begin and it was without doubt that this festival helped confirm in my mind that it was okay to play the music you loved and not try to write a hit record because you felt like you should!

3 more festival visits followed and during this time The Needables were born. When we completed our first EP we scribbled down the goals for the future form the smallest to the largest. One of those goals (which was on the large end!) was to play the Kilkenny Roots Festival. So we thought let’s just send them the EP so that we can get on their radar and hopefully in a few years they might give us a …what do you mean they just offered us a gig at the festival???!!! Holy @##**#!!! How did we get that??!!

Our first time to play the festival was 2012 with 2 gigs on the Sunday. we headed down on the Saturday to catch some gigs as fans and went to check out His Golden Messenger. The gig was amazing and I stood looking at this guy with his brilliant performance and I thought ‘what the hell are we doing playing this festival?'. ‘How did we blag this?'. After the gig and just like all the gigs I mentioned before the magic I watched onstage was now standing beside me chatting about the record I just bought from him! In all my years as a musician this encounter would be probably the most important I have ever had. I asked the innocent question if MC Taylor (real name ,and yes just as cool!) would be hanging out for the rest of the festival and he responded that he had to get back for work on the Monday so he couldn’t. I stood there in shock looking at this guy who just stepped off stage from playing an incredible gig tell me he had a job to get back to. Life as a musician is a bumpy road no matter what level of success you are deemed to have achieved. But it is very easy to think about the negatives, that day changed my outlook on what we were trying to achieve.

This year we head to the festival for the 6th time as part of the Music Trail , incredibly grateful for the run we have had and for the people who have come to see us and returned again to see more! Last year we had people singing our doings louder then he which was quite surreal! We have played and hopefully will get to play plenty of other festivals in the future but this festival will remain deep in the history of our little band.

So my advice to one and all is get down to this festival on the 28th April, and of course don't forget to check us out when you are there!!

Kilkenny Roots Festival a place where people don't try to be cool, they just are cool!

Beat

Down by the water

Hi everyone,

Hopefully you have had a chance to take a look at our latest video. We had a great time recording it, very relaxed and chilled few hours down by the water at a beautiful setting with our good friend Alan Cahill behind the lens doing what he does best.

We wanted to get something together visually that made sense with the EP title 'Tales From The Fish Tank' and also gave the song a chance to just breathe without any fancy light shows or intricate storylines. Don't get me wrong we love these types of videos but this song just wouldn't be suited to it. We had some different ideas but in the end we knew a good setting was the key.

The video was filmed out in Lucan along the canal and was so beautiful don't be surprised to se us there again for more work!!

In addition to the hard work of Alan we also invited our newest Needable relative, Lucian, to snap shots of us as we made the video and the outcome was fantastic. See below just a few of the great shots he got.

We hope you enjoyed the video and we have plenty more on the horizon for you too!

Keep it country

Beat

 

 

 

 

Tales about 'Tales'

So what do you get when you wrap your ears around our latest offering –

Bringing It Home -  Something we tried to do on this record was to record the kind of songs that best shows The Needables sound. Our first EP was made up of songs we wrote before officially starting the band and it was kind of a ‘chuck em together and see how it sounds’ type record where this one is much more the sound of The Needables. This song was the first track where we felt ‘ that’s it, that’s the sound we want’. Don’t get me wrong we are very proud of our first EP but there was no direction with the writing just songs that we thought were the best to record.

Oh Chicago – Everyone needs a happy place and that’s exactly what this song is all about.  Probably the most gentle song on the list and we hope you enjoy it as much as we love playing it. It was one of those quick songs to record and to try over think it and add lots of fancy instrumentation around it would actually just end up taking away from core of the songs and we felt it was best played as you hear on the record….maybe we will release a special 7” live version with a 9 minute guitar solo but for now this is what we have to offer!

You Won’t Cry – This was written just before recording and the song we probably had most hopes for. The problem is this nearly always means it’s the song you struggle with most to get right. And this was no exception! We had everything recorded for it and it all sounded nice but there was a little something missing. So Floyd put down the mandolin track  just to see what it might sound like and that was the point it started to turn for us. Everything fell into place after that and after many head against wall moments suddenly we had caught the sound and atmosphere to the song that we wanted. A wise man once said “I love it when a plan comes together”

Its Better Forgetting The Things You’ve Done – This is my favourite song Floyd has ever written so it took a lot of convincing for me to let it go on this EP as I really wanted it on our Debut Album but we just felt if would fit perfectly in this EP so I gave in! We recorded it a few different ways but ended up going back to the original recording as it caught the emotion best from all the versions tried.

Rainy Day Blues – Well we are Irish so only right that we have a song about Rain! This was our charity single for The Laura Brennan Trust and somehow this ickle song managed to knock Nathan Carter off the top of the ITunes Country Charts!  This song probably ended up a lot different than the one that was in our minds when it came to recording it but I love how it turned out. The electric guitar sound driving through the song is a personal favourite.

When We Lost Ya – A song about death (uplifting way to finish the record!) This is the only time in all the years playing together that Floyd does not play an instrument on the song, I guess I had to give him a break sometime! We are really happy with how this turned out as is often a set finisher as well as EP finisher for us.

Don't forget to pick up your copy at Whelans on 19th June 2015 att our official luanch party

 

Kilkenny Folk Festival & New EP early release

Hey folks

really looking forward to our 4th year at the folk festival this bank holiday weekend.

We can't believe it's been 4 years since that first performance at the festival. It's an honour to be a part of it again. This year we will be playing 3 shows and we will also be giving people the chance to pick up an early copy of our brand new EP!

More details in future blog entries about our new EP but in the meantime we hope to see some of you at the festival.

take care

Beat

Kilkenny Roots 2015:

03/05/2015 - The Pumphouse 10pm

04/05/2015 - Playwright Pub 2pm

04/05/2015 - O Gormans Bar 10pm

Sure it might as well be our year...

 

So its 2015 and the goals as always are written down ready to be achieved! This year however I read over goals for the last few years after writing down 2015’s goals. It triggered a thought that one of the reasons some of our goals for our little band fail to see the day is because we don’t’ talk about them enough. Sometimes not even to each other!!
 
So this year we are going one step further and we are going to share them with you with the view that the more we advertise and discuss these goals the better chance we have to achieve them.
 
Here goes:
 
Release 2 EP’s in 2015
Plan a House Tour (at least 4 Venues in Ireland or beyond!)
Up our fan base mailing to 3000 (Please feel free to spread the word on The Needables)
Expand on our Festivals in 2015
Raise funds for recording Debut Album
 
Some of the above may change as the years goes by, for instance who knows maybe 2 EP’s might become one album!  But it feels good to publish them for all to see. Plenty of challenges to make this happen  but its written down now so you can all hold us to them and beat us with the weapon of your choosing if we fail to meet them!
 
If you want to help us spread our sound to a wider fan base or would like to be a part of our House Tour just drop us a line and let’s get cooking!
 
Beat
 
Ps forgot the obvious goal of WORLD DOMINATION!!!!

 

 

Why we do what we do


Sometimes trying to get your music heard can be tough and through the years we had to accept that one door open probably resulted in four closing at the same time. That’s the beauty of an Independent Artist. So why after all these years keep doing it? Simple, it’s too much bloody fun not to!

When Floyd and myself started this journey we were teenagers ready to change the face of rock & roll, but so was everybody else!! But it was that naive 'nothings gonna stop us now' that you needed to survive all the years. Looking back at it I laugh at some of the choices we made but you had to get burnt to learn the do's and dont's!

So now we are both in our thirties with families and mortgages and all the trimmings but we still hold that little child in us that wants to change the world...just on an extremely smaller scale!!! We recently played our first house gig and it was a real moment of clarity after all these years to why we do what we do. a small tent out a back garden, couches and a homemade stage filled with 15 or so people that soaked up and got involved with every note and word we made. We even had gale-force winds attempting and failing to ruin the night! There was no need for a famous venue, no fear of having to pay and fill it. No fear of whether such and such would turn up. Just the two of us doing what we love and finding new friends that wanted to hear us play. This is exactly why we do it. Exactly why we write songs. It’s even why we play the cover gigs to make the bit of extra cash to let us concentrate on the original work and survive in this little world.

We love it, it’s as simple as that!

Kilkenny Roots 2014

We hit the city for two days with two gigs and lots of madness!

Floyd had once again sorted our accommodation for free but this time he went all out and booked us in the Lyrath Country House...very swanky!!

So on our first night we decided to get some practice in back in the room and after 15 mins along came the dreaded knock on the door. We knew it was a complaint for playing music in the room, so I promptly hid in the bathroom while Floyd took the mission to apologise! As Floyd prepared to launch into his defensive plea he was handed a bucket with complimentary champagne from the hotel and a note hoping we enjoy our stay...again!!! Not sure what name Floyd used to get us in but let's say the rehearsals went down hill from there!!!

Roll on Sunday and the Playright as our first gig at 2pm. The staff now know us from previous years so there was an element of comfort as I served myself behind the bar!!! They were so helpful it just made us feel right at home and so we kicked off to a great turn out (one of the first gigs that day) which included some familiar faces that saw us last year which was lovely to see! What I love most about this festival is the involvement you get from the crowds. Always genuinely interested to hear you play.

So roll on The Marble City gig at 10:30pm Sunday and though the crowd was not as big as earlier it was still full of music loving folks who got into everything we played...even my melodica solo! I got told by a lovely lady called Fiona that she recognised me from my boots, I was very pleased with that!

So another year and again so any new stories and friends. A massive thank you to Kilkenny Roots Festival and the Playwright and the Marble City folks for letting us be a part of this great event.

Beat

Brand New Charity Single - Rainy Day Blues



Here we are folks our brand new charity single 'Rainy Day Blues' is now on sale at ITunes. All profits from the sale of the single going to The Laura Brennan Charitable Trust.


We are really excited about how the song turned out and hope you enjoy what you hear!


So to snap up the brand new song siimply click on the link below:




https://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/rainy-day-blues-in-aid-laura/id830710620?i=830710806

A Stormy Night


For a long time we have been talking about doing a house tour but not actually doing anything about it. Finally we have now taken the first steps into this world with our first house show last week.

So how did it go...

Bloody brilliant!! We knew our kind house givers Fiona & Amy would be incredibly welcoming but as we arrived outside their door there was a moment when we looked at each other and wondered can we pull this gig off. But then we entered their house and like Alice entered our own wonderland!

Walking through the house you could feel an atmosphere that made us feel at ease immediately. Walking out the back we met everyone around a BBQ and open fire and big rugs...this was a very cool house. However that was just the beginning...light bulbs lit up the garden from above leading to a marque kitted out with our very own stage and couches for everyone to sit around for the show...I wondered would there be a chance of a residency!!

The gig itself turned in to an open conversation between songs, almost VHI story tellers like and not even a mid-song storm trying its best to blow over the whole marque could dampen the mood! The set up amazing but we still needed a willing crowd to play to and good god did we find one. From people playing out of tune beer bottles to knocking over beer and having a 'Z' in their name it was one crazy gang :)


The night quickly turned from playing to strangers in someone's house to an intimate evening with friends. If this is what house gigs are about then sign us up!!!

So a massive thank you to everyone that was there and I hope we now have new members in our Needables family.

A special thank you to Fiona and Amy who fed and watered us and made us feel so comfortable...and of course to Bam Bam who must have been suffering for days with sugar withdrawals!!!

Beat

New arrivals,busy times,get back on the road etc etc etc

Hi folks

Well Floyd is a proud father once again so that's 5 between is now in The Needables Crèche so could probably start a new band!

We may not of succeeded with our Guinness Project but it did ring out well with you and we are happy to confirm our first house concert for October 19th and thank you to the other folk who have shown an interest!

If the 19 goes well we will look to roll out some more :)

Will update you with other dates soon and official release of 'Bringing it a home' ie radio noise etc!!!!

Speak soon
Beat

First Headline Gig April 10th Whelans

Its true we are taking the big leap and putting on our first Headline gig this April 10th in Whelans.

After supporting a few acts upstairs in Whelans we knew it was the perfect venue to kick off our first headline gig.

We hope the gig will be timed nicely with the release of our first single form our Debut Album so the night will be a special one for us.

In addition we have the wonderful Laura Elisabeth Hughes as a special guest and if you managed not to hear anything from her yet check out here.

We hope to see you all there

Beat

The Sunday Roast

Well first gig down and a great time was had. Always loved The Sunday Roast gigs and really like the Mercantile set up. However, still missed out on a garlic and rosemary spuds which is upsetting....formal complaint made to Kieron!

The night was opened by the wonderful Laura Elizabeth Hughes who is creating quite an internet storm with 1 million hits or so on her channel!!! If available she will hopefully make an appearance at our gig in April in Whelans.

We got up and as usual my inability to put capos on the right fret came up again...I call it nu-folk but Floyd was having none of it! We played 8 tunes on the night and here is the list:

Next Year
Baby I'm On My Way
Guess Its Better Late Then Not At All
Beauty From A Kiss
Leave A Little Light
Jesus Don't Climb That Mountain
Bringing It Home
Rainy Day Blues

We really enjoyed Cash is King after us and though we didn't get to stick around for all of Future Phantoms gig it was a rock'n set!

Looking forward to coming back...especially to here Keiron's wonderful introductions to each act, pure poetry!

Cheers to all who made it in and speak soon

Beat

2013 Here we go...

 

Well last year was fun but now we really want to take to the next level this year. Having spent the second half of the year writing and really getting the sound we want we are now ready to kick off with more Gigs/Festivals/Videos/Songs/Food/Drinking you name it we want it!

If you have yet to download our free song Leave a Little Light then do so now god damn it.

We will have more info soon and hopefully a venue decided for this debut album that is busting at the seems to get out!!

Happy New Year

Beat

 

 

 

Arthur's Day gig

Hi folks

Beat here, updating you on how our Arthur's Day Gig went. We (I) played The Vesary Arms in Lucan. Floyd was unavailable to join in on the festivities but I managed to survive without him...even with the PA as engineer I most certainly am not!

I had the honour of toasting Arthur at 17:59 which was great and so much thanks to the pub for that nod!

We hope you had a great Arthur's Day too

Beat