Hamlet’s launch in Whelan’s

On Friday Hamlet Sweeney played his first gig of 2009, launching his release strategy on the world.  He will release a single every month this year – the first one being ‘I am a man’.  We recorded a handful of tracks in December with Karl Odlum (who has been the producer for, among others, Gemma Hayes) and some of these were then mastered at the iconic Abbey Road studios in London.

‘I am a man’ is one of the tracks that I’ve really enjoyed playing with Hamlet over the past year.  Hamlet had recorded quite a full demo version in his home studio that impressed me from the outset with the dark, unapologetic tone of the words and music.  It has a punchy riff – my keyboard version is different from his multi-tracked guitar original, which may get released on an anthology or B-side some day – and also now features a clarinet solo.  This was good fun in the gig, as I got to switch between the two.

Hamlet Sweeney in Whelan's (30jan09)
Hamlet Sweeney in Whelan's (30jan09) - photograph by Joanna Butcher

Playing with us on the gig were two excellent musicians, Gavin Fox and Binzer, who play together in the band Concerto for Constantine.  It’s always interesting when Dublin musicians get together, swapping stories of who they all know!  Binzer played on the initial recording sessions with Karl down in Wicklow (Karl was on bass) when we put down the basic tracks.  Gavin I hadn’t met before, but he came in and did a great job with the songs.  Which were:

‘Is she real?’
‘Sunshine’
‘Street lights’

These first three were just Hamlet and I, the guys joining us at this point.

‘Miss Inconsequential’

We played this at Bewleys and slowed it down considerably for this gig, helping the song find its natural groove, I think. It settled into a nice Del Amitri type feel.

‘Mr Slim’
‘Tie a ribbon up in your hair’
‘Canary in a coalmine’
‘Voices in my head’
‘The Una Molloy hangover song’
‘Hey girl (Ooh la la la)’

Dropped because of time restraints, which was unfortunate (’cause people really enjoy it).

‘El capitane’
‘Perfect day’
‘Buy this song’

This was great fun with the band!

‘I am a man’
‘The boogie man’

‘I am a man’, the first of twelve releases this year, is available for download now.  Here’s how:

  1. Text ‘music 2274’ to 57501.
  2. Enter the pin code you receive on downloadmusic.ie.
  3. Download the song.

This last step is very important.  If you don’t download it, it won’t register for the charts…

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