Sound advice -- band has top tips for rock wannabes
FROM playing in front of a crowd of 15,000 at College Green on New Year's Eve to mentoring a school band -- it's been a hectic year so far for Walking On Cars.
Taking time out from recording their new album, the five school friends -- singer Patrick Sheehy, pianist Sorcha Durham, guitarist Dan Devane, bass guitarist Paul Flannery and drummer Evan Hadnett -- spent this weekend doing workshops with three bands in their native Co Kerry.
And with a new album on the way, their single 'Tick Tock' going to number eight in the Irish charts, a 'Late Late Show' performance and over one million hits on YouTube, Walking on Cars are not in a bad position to dole out the advice.
Their debut single, 'Catch Me If You Can' went to number one in the iTunes chart and number 27 in the Irish charts, staying there for over 20 weeks.
"We started about three years ago and I wish someone had sat down with us and given us a few tips and we might have got where we are now a bit sooner," bass guitarist Paul Flannery told the Irish Independent.
"We just gave them some advice on using social media, what to do and what not to do at a gig and some tips on writing songs and how to get the best out of what you're doing," he said.
Taking the advice on board were Sean Carroll, Murrough Connolly, Matt Clancy and Patrick Walsh, all aged 17 and fifth-year students in Tralee.
The lads have been playing together for about a month and all attend the Kerry Diocesan Youth Service (KDYS) in the town, where they hope to perform a gig in front of their peers.
"They gave us a lot of advice on writing and how to structure a song."
It's all part of the Kerry Music Education Partnership, a new performance music education scheme aimed at providing affordable music tuition to children and teenagers, inspired by the U2 and Ireland Fund's Music Generation.
The project is being run by the Kerry Education and Training Board in conjunction with the KDYS.
Research conducted by Dr Susan Motherway, a music lecturer at the Institute of Technology Tralee, on the provision of music education in the county found that less than 10pc of children and young people were availing of music lessons. Of the 3,000 who availed of lessons, most were doing so through music schools or Comhaltas branches.
But Dr Motherway's research for the Kerry Education and Training Board revealed around 31,000 under-18s remain outside the music education net.