Young, cool and most importantly Irish, Oh Boland chats to Rebekah Rennick about their ninja kicks, space travel and being Henry Rollins.
Galway-based trio Oh Boland are not your usual mix of musicians. Describing their sound as “garage punk or garage pop, ”lead vocalist Niall Murphy challenges audiences to “think 1960’s pop music all rattled up in a food blender with the left overs from last nights kebab.” They sound nothing less than delicious, don’t they?
School friends brought together by an unwavering passion for writing and performing, it was only a matter of time before a band materializes. Speaking to Murphy, the energy and rawness of their musicianship, which attacks you aurally from the get-go, is tangible as he discloses the band’s humble beginnings.
“We played in a community hall in the middle of nowhere, and the band before us decided to close the curtains on the stage before we were finished. That provoked our lead singer to go out after the guy mid-set and perform a sort of ninja roll/kick thing. We all felt like Henry Rollins,” he laughs nostalgically.
With all members having previous musical experiences, Murphy, who “got sick of the anxieties of being a mopey singer talking to noisey audiences and wished to get back to the electric guitar and punk music,” the he used to play as an adoloescent, soon rounded up Éanna Mac Donnchadha (bass) & Simon McDonagh (drums) fresh from their indie-pop project as Young Kodiaks.
Their influences range from Ty Segall to Yo La Tengo, but it’s their kaleidoscope of tastes and interests that give Oh Boland their enticing element. “We’re a totally eclectic assortment when it comes to taste, definitely. I started the group by myself under the pretence of starting a garage band and was wholly committed to that.”
Murphy continued, “At the time, I listened to nothing but garage rock. Simon and Eanna were really into more indie pop stuff. The group they played in before Oh Boland was really into that electro indie stuff. We feed off each other and our tastes. Of course, we all listen to an eclectic enough mix of styles anyway, individually speaking, and that shows I think.”
Dedicating their band name to Dave Boland of The Deprevations, and the face behind the elusive-yet-electric evenings in Citog at the heart of Galway City, Oh Boland are an infectious, itching combination of scratchy guitars and swooping tunes.
“I work quiet hours in a bar in a small town and have a lot of time to think and wait. There’s a lot of waiting involved. I can’t sit down to write a song. It always seems to creep up on you. It’s really just a matter of knowing whether it’s good or not when it comes,” says Murphy.
The future is bright for this three-piece, with a plethora of gigs under their belts thus far and many more to come, so catch them quick and “expect discussions on space travel and why Richard Gere will rot in hell.” Oh but why not.
Download Oh Boland’s EP Oh! at: ohboland.bandcamp.com
Or find them on facebook: www.facebook.com/OhBoland