By Roisin Peddle
“I think we brought the weather with us!” Niamh Farrell of HamsandwicH says with a laugh, responding to the reaction to Dublin-based five-piece’s latest single, the summery and cheery ‘Illuminate’.
Speaking before the band went on stage for their debut gig at Dublin’s iconic Olympia Theatre, the lead singer says the band is delighted with the success of ‘Illuminate.’
“It’s really had a great response. A lot of radio stations who mightn’t normally play our stuff, like RTE Radio 1, are really responding well.
“We had a few songs to choose from, so it was a bit ‘are people going to like it’.”
There seems to be little fear of people not liking HamsandwicH. First gaining success in 2007, the band’s debut album Carry the
Meek marked them out as ‘One to Watch’ in a Sunday Times end-of-year poll.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing however for the Meathmen and their Dublin front woman. Bassist and founding member John Moore left in 2010. Later that year, their manager and mentor Derek Nally, died of a heart attack. On the day of his funeral, the band went into studio and began to record the album that would become White Fox.
The single ‘Ants’ from that album soon went viral. Aided by a charming video by Marc Corrigan showing an ant preparing a romantic, human-sized dinner for two, the song caught the Irish public’s imagination.
“It was an album that gave us more than we expected,” Niamh Farrell says. “When ‘Ants’ was picked up that gave the album a new life, and then when ‘Models’ was picked up by Tourism Ireland… It just went on.”
It’s four years since White Fox, and we can expect a new HamsandwicH album in August. The band hasn’t been resting on their laurels, however.
“We were gigging constantly,” Niamh says of the last four years. This year has been the first time the band has been able to dedicate any time to the studio, and unlike the lightning-fast recording of their second album, this time around has been a slower process.
“We wanted to have it out sooner, but we wanted to be happy with it,” she says, adding that there was no point in rushing to put out an unpolished product. “We decided not to put ourselves under pressure.”
Niamh admits that she was nervous ahead of their Olympia gig.
“I was very, very nervous,” she says. “Once we did a sound check it was okay. I’ve come to terms with the size of the venue.”
Regulars on the festival circuit, she’s now delighted the band are playing their own headline gigs. “It’s incredible; it’s a great honour to be able to do our own shows.”
The future is bright for HamsandwicH. The band have their “fingers crossed” that they will hit the festival circuit this summer, as well as playing the UK and Europe.
“This is the year we want to do all that,” Niamh says. And with great songs like ‘Illuminate’, nothing will stand in their way.