Hard-rocking outfit The Minutes for free Guinness Live gigSeptember 27, 2012 - 7:00am
Guinness Live returns to Galway’s Latin Quarter this weekend, with 50 free live shows taking place across 11 venues. There will be sets from Aslan, The Undertones, The Strypes and the excellent Delorentos.
Also taking part are the hard-rocking three-piece The Minutes, who play Kelly’s, Bridge Street at 11pm this Saturday.
The Minutes released their debut album, Marcata in May 2011. It arrived at a time when bands like The Black Keys were satisfying a hunger for raw guitar music. But when Mark Austin, (vocals/guitar), Tom Cosgrave (bass/vocals) and Shane Kinsella (drums/vocals) formed The Minutes in 2006, the scene in their native Dublin was not rock-inclined.
“When we were starting off playing, we were totally different to the other bands that were playing around Dublin,” recalls Mark Austin. “There were loads of people with keyboards, but there was nobody just going for it, playing simply and with passion.
“We didn’t do it because there was nothing going like that – we did it because this is what we wanted to do. But it’s funny how things change, there are definitely more bands that rocking out there now, whereas even two years ago, that wasn’t the case.”
Though they are now signed to Model Citizen Records, The Minutes were still an independent band when they went to New York to record Marcata.
“We recorded the album ourselves,” says Mark. “The label only came in at the end of things. When we started the band, we gave ourselves a year or two to get it together and make a record. Then we gave ourselves a deadline of three months to write it.”
The Minutes’ biography speaks of an album made in a ‘five-day blow-out’, but Mark says that wasn’t as hectic as it sounds.
“The impression is that it was intense and tough but – I don’t want to jinx this for the next one! – it was really easy,” he says. “We’d done our homework beforehand, we were very well rehearsed. When we went into the studio, we got everything pretty much done in the first three days; the core of everything.
“We just took our time with things,” he adds. “We’re renowned for being a live band, and we recorded it live. That record is just us, that’s the great thing about it.”
The Minutes may have made the album under their own steam, but having a label helps immensely with distribution. More importantly, it has allowed them to throw themselves into touring. This year, the band made their second appearance at the Reading/Leeds Festival.
“There was a definite progression,” says Mark. “The first year we were on the Introducing Stage – that was cool, they broadcast it that night on BBC. People pay attention to that. So when we came back this year, we were on a bigger stage. We were on the Festival Republic, and it was down to us to draw a crowd. Which we did, to our surprise. We didn’t ram the tent [in Reading], but there was a few people there – it was the same at Leeds.
“After the Leeds gig, we were talking about it being a good progression. We’ve moved up; it’s very hard over in the UK. We felt like our work over there had slightly yielded something. It was good to see.”
Though they’ll draw heavily from Marcata for their Kelly’s gig, punters can also expect to hear some new tunes from The Minutes. As a band, they like to be able to shake up their live show.
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.