May 5, 2012

The Strypes – Young, Gifted and Mod

by Yolanda Leigh

When you think about Mod culture probably the first place you that doesn’t come to mind is deepest, greenest Ireland. However, that’s all about to change with the emergence of a brilliant, new and (very) young band that hail from Cavan in the Southern half of the country.

Primarily at the moment they just concentrate on cover versions of sixties and modern day classics – however, please don’t let that put you off, or make you avoid them because you think they’re “just another rip off band”. To watch them is quite simply a wonderful experience and considering they’re only fourteen years old the sound they make is completely sublime.

The band consists of Ross Farrelly on vocals, percussion and harmonica, Josh McClorey on lead guitar, backing vocals and keyboards, Pete O’Hanlon on bass, backing vocals and harmonica and last but by no means least Evan Walsh who plays drums. At the moment, the band still remain unsigned which is an absolute crime – according to their blurb they “eat and sleep Mod” so hopefully it won’t be long before some record company sees sense and signs them up quick sharp!

Tell us about their sound

Well, first of all have a look at their first single – released last year, which was a cover of The Beatles “You Can’t Do That” and just prepare to be amazed.

The Strypes - You Can't Do That

To think they’re so young and they’re already making such a brilliant sound is really quite amazing. Fair enough, they had a great original song to get to grips with, but they’ve put their own spin on it and done a great job, the guitar playing for one thing is quite awesome and Ross Farrelly is a very assured and competent vocalist already with hopefully scope for development as he matures.

Alongside the great talent they have such a brilliant look and have all the mannerisms and moves just right too. It doesn’t look like a group of teenage lads copying their idols, it looks like a group of teenage lads who are doing what they want to do and doing it really well, because they love it. It’s slightly out of kilter in a world which is filled with manufactured pop and singers who all look and virtually sound the same.

Their First EP

On 13th April they released their first proper EP called “Young, Gifted and Blue”, through “EmuBands Records”. It’s available for purchase through iTunes and all the other usual outlets. The debut release contains cover versions of The Yardbird’s “Got Love If You Want It” which you can listen to here:

The Strypes - Got Love If You Want It

It also has their versions of Bo Diddley’s “You Can’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover”, more from The Yardbirds with “I Wish You Would” and finally a rendition of The Bird’s “Leaving Here”. The confidence they show in tackling these songs and making such a great sound really bodes well for their future, when hopefully they’ll maybe start to tackle writing and recording their own music and lyrics. Also, lets hope they manage to avoid the pitfalls of fame (you know, drink, drugs and then later on drug treatment to get over their addictions).

However, they’re seemingly not afraid to tackle more up to date stuff either, and probably one of their more unusual efforts is a version of The Last Shadow Puppets hit “Meeting Place” which they’ve given a real mod overhaul and made to sound totally different from the original:

The Strypes - Meeting Place

It’s a really interesting version; with the added jangly guitars and less of the almost Burt Bacararach-esque strings from the original they’ve somehow made it sound even more sixties than The Last Shadow Puppets did, which is no mean feat.

Why should we bother with them?

Apart from their astounding talent and the fact that they actually bring something fresh to the songs they’re covering, we need to step back for a moment and examine what it is they’re actually doing. Think about it for a moment or two. These guys are young, and they’re not churning out samey-samey rubbish for the masses. What they’re actually doing is bringing the sounds of some wonderful sixties bands to a brand new generation who, maybe apart from The Beatles, would have had little or no interest in anything from that era. The fact that they themselves even know who Bo Diddley and The Yardbirds are is a pretty marvellous thing and they can only be congratulated for their commitment to honing their craft at the temple of the Mod Gods of the swinging sixties. Here’s to them and a great musical future, of which – if they keep up the good work, they’re totally assured. The Strypes. You heard them here first...