The Dandy Horses hail from Belfast, and are an energetic and eclectic folk five piece. The multi-instrumented band make good use of banjo’s, whistles, guitars, fiddles and many more. We wanted to find out more about these guys so have a read of our interview below…
1. How did you get your initial start in music?
All 5 members of the band started playing and performing music long before becoming The Dandy Horses. Several of the dandies are in fact self taught musicians, while others started getting lessons well before they even reached double figures! However, as a unit, The Dandy Horses performed their first gig at an original music night in The Empire Music Hall, Belfast, nearly 4 years ago. After that, it was a case of a lot of hard work and perseverance, travelling around Ireland playing every little event, festival or venue that would have us! Lol.
2. What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?
At the minute we are really enjoying writing, arranging and recording our own songs and developing our style and technique as a band. We had a great time creating our debut album ‘Tales From Hard Luck Town’ and are even starting to think about our next album! Of course, it goes without saying that we would love to be able to reach a wider audience with our music and if we could make a full time living from our songs… well what band wouldn’t want that?!
3. How long have you been writing your own music?
As The Dandy Horses, we have been writing our own songs for three to four years now. It is always a fun process! We bring our songs to the band and then let them take on a life of their own as each member of the group adds their own little something to the arrangement. Sometimes the song goes in a totally different direction to what we expected!
4. Who are your top three influences and why?
Now this is a very difficult question. There are five band members and so there would be very very different responses based on who you ask! Lol We all come from very different musical backgrounds. I know for certain that Sean would say Donal Lunny and Planxty. As for the rest of us, there are too many to mention. But let’s start with The Pogues, Alison Krauss and The Beach Boys
5. Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?
It’s fantastic!! Lol. ‘Tales From Hard Luck Town’ is our most recent release and it is also our debut album. We have been working on it for two to three years now and loved every minute. It is a collection of songs, each telling the tale of a different character who lives in Hard Luck Town. Although there is a very dark undercurrent, some of the songs are surprisingly upbeat. We also have the lyrics of the songs on our website if anyone wants to delve into the stories a little deeper.
6. Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?
We are based in Belfast, but happy to travel! Haha… We frequently travel to venues around Ireland and have just returned from a tour to Germany and Holland. We were also flown out to Ethiopia two years in a row to perform at the St Patrick’s day Ball hosted by the Irish Embassy. But back to Belfast. It is very difficult to pick a favourite venue. There is such a vibrant music scene at the minute with so many fantastic bands and venues to choose from. A couple of our favourite would be The Black Box, The Empire Music Hall and of course The Ulster Hall. Great spots for live music!
7. Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?
There really are so many cracking good bands around Belfast and Northern Ireland at the minute. Michael Mormecha has just released a solo album. He recorded and mixed our album for us too and did a great job. His style is a little different from ours but well worth a listen. Also, Runabay and Malojian shouldn’t be left out!
8. Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.
Our music can be found in all the usual places, iTunes, Amazon etc. We also have videos up on our official YouTube channel. Of course, our website www.thedandyhorses.com can keep your readers up to date with all our news and up coming releases and gig dates.