The tide is highTHE Riptide Movement, whose second album, Keep On, Keepin’ On, shot straight into the Irish Top Ten upon its release in April, is riding the crest of a wave after a recent sold-out show at the Academy, Dublin.
The four-piece, who are currently painted onto the cover of Hotpress Music Magazine, have come up the hard way and, through a concoction of hard work and determination, they have gone from busking on the streets of Dublin to more than likely having buskers cover their songs all over the country.
Speaking to bass and harmonic player, Ger McGarry, he said: “The Academy gig was electric, it was a culmination of all our work over the past few years and it was literally packed to the rafters with 900 people singing every word.”
Formed in 2007, after two bands disbanded, The Riptide Movement is made up of Mal Tuohy (vocals, guitar), JPR Dalton (lead guitar), Ger McGarry (bass, harmonica) and Gar Byrne (drums) and they play a rootsy style of Southern folk-rock. The band spent their first two years gigging together across Ireland and the UK and through plenty of practice they created a finely tuned, rugged sound and a phenomenal live set. Their hard work also set them on a path to meeting their producer, the legendary Tony Colton (The Doors, Rory Gallagher and Ray Charles), who produced their first record.
Their 2009 debut album, What About The Tip Jars?, clocked up 15,000 in album sales through sheer grit and determination, without a record label, publishing company, manager or agent in sight. Besides their obvious playing and writing talents, it is the band’s work ethic that is their greatest asset and there can be no argument about this; they have gigged, busked, sold, bought, traded and sweated their backsides off to pay for their albums, equipment, tours and label running costs.
The new album, written on a burly five-week stint in France, and recorded at Grouse Lodge, is the follow up to their hugely successful debut album. It is a solid reflection of what the Dublin swamp rockers have to offer. From the superb rock track Hot Tramp, to the gentle, powerful lead single, Thieves In The Gallery, the new album is an accomplished collection of prog-folk, power pop and dirty fat rock tunes, which literally scream to get out of your speakers.
“We produced it all ourselves as we knew exactly what we wanted it to sound like and we had learnt a lot from the recording of the first album. We like been in control of every aspect of the band,” says Ger.
The Riptide Movement is an independent band in the complete sense of the word. It is self-managed, self-produced, self-distributed, self-published and is its own booking agent. Its story gives an all-encompassing glimpse into the world of an up-and-coming band getting stuck into the music business and doing it all themselves, a group of hard-working musicians and the life of a DIY record label striving in the depths of a recession. It’s a great story.
They are an uplifting example of how through hard work, determination, faith and resilience you can overcome any obstacle put in your way. At a time when record labels are going bust and the banks aren’t lending to anybody, the Riptide Movement is sourcing new revenue streams and investment opportunities. While record stores are closing and artists are lamenting the death of CD sales, they’re selling thousands. The Riptide Movement is an inspirational story that would rouse anybody to get up and do what they want to do.
After an amazing and raucous performance in the Roisín Dubh last Friday, the band continues to tour the country in support of its new album. They are moving onto Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick on Friday, May 25 and play Kytelers in Killkenny on Saturday, May 26. You will also be able to catch the lads at festivals throughout the summer, including Westport Music Festival and Sea Sessions in Bundoran.
– Darragh O’Dea.