Spring Tides are the type of band you don’t forget in a hurry, as the rowdy hop ‘n roll outfit whose music ooze energy and class, know exactly how to put on a show.
They may well describe themselves as “feckless and reckless” on their Facebook page, but the development of their music couldn’t be further from that description.
Since bursting onto the scene with their debut 2016 EP ‘Give Me Shelter’, the guys have been featured on BBC Introducing, played at Electric Picnic and supported such artists as Ryan Sheridan and The 4 of Us, amongst others.
The Donegal four-piece, made up of James O’Donnell, Gerard McMonagle, Sean McGranaghan and Cathal Kelly, released their second EP ‘The Sun Sessions’ in October of this year and have been consistent in their progression of creating a solid fan base far and wide.
Their stand alone single ‘Harry Haller’ which was sandwiched between the two EP releases, was a big hit for the guys, gaining a ‘Balcony TV Music Video Award 2017’ nomination in the process. With past winners consisting of Mumford and Sons and The Script, they were the only Irish band to make this year's shortlist which contained twelve international acts, from the US to Israel.
It’s not surprising that this featured highly in frontman James O’Donnell’s standout moment from 2017. “I’d say the standout was the Balcony TV Awards nomination and pushing it right to the last day in the voting” said James.
“It was great to get so many people engaged and voting for us and kept us on people's minds while we were finishing up the Sun tracks.”
The four track EP ‘The Sun Sessions’ got it’s name from where it was recorded, the legendary birthplace of rock and roll, Memphis Tennessee in the Sun Studio. They have close ties with the US, and their music has even featured heavily on many radio stations from coast to coast and they often make the trip across the pond to promote their music.
“We’ve always been fascinated with the US like a lot of Irish people, we were reared on Creedence Clearwater, Bob Dylan and The Band so it's always had a major influence.
“The more recent connection has come from our old band mate Tony Kelly moving there permanently five years ago. He’s done a lot with making connections with people and championing the Tides cause over that side of the water.
“The reaction has been really positive [to the new EP], people have been sending us messages from far and wide saying how much they enjoy the different sound on there and it’s been getting great support from a few radio stations.
“We always seem to get a great response over there, the tour had a few hiccups with scheduling issues and that but overall it was really positive. We tend to focus on the southern parts but managed to get a show in Chicago this time around that went great so we’re heading back again in July” explained James.
Harry Haller (Official Video) - Spring Tides
The frontman let us into a little secret on what’s in the pipeline for the band: “The next big project is going to be the video for ‘Anytime I Choose’. We’re incredibly excited about that because we’ve managed to sweet talk a huge local name into directing and starring it. We’ll be announcing more news on that in the new year.”
And the plans for next year? “2018 is going to be more along the lines of 2016” explained James. “We got a bit waylaid this year with various other commitments but the writing hasn’t stopped, so the intention is to get an album out for the summer.
“We’re looking to get back to where we started out. In the corners of pubs trying out new material on the unsuspecting public and generally having a bit more craic with the gigs again so people can expect to see us lurking around singing obscure covers, climbing on tables and generally acting the maggot. Along with that we’ll be booking a few showcase gigs around the country in Spring then touring in the summer.”
Spring Tides will be getting into the festive mood this Christmas as James revealed: “We have a live slot for the Highland Radio Christmas special on the Friday 22nd where we’ll be doing a few Christmas songs and possibly busting out our own festive tune. I started writing it today so we’ll see how that goes.”
Like a lot of local acts, Spring Tides see the support of local music lovers as vital to the success of the band and they are extremely thankful for it. “It’s huge” said James. “Without a strong local fan base most bands will struggle. Putting out original music isn’t an easy game to be in at the best of times and can get quite demoralising if you don’t have your locals onboard.
“We’ve been lucky that the people of Derry have taken to us and always come out in numbers to support our shows and we’ll always be thankful for that.”
With so many incredible local acts on the scene at the moment, it’s a great opportunity show your support by giving the gift of local music this year. You can get in touch with the Spring Tides to purchase merchandise via Facebook and Soundcloud, be sure to check out them on YouTube too!