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Lifestyle & Leisure

Keeping it old school

Wednesday, 18th March, 2020 1:06pm

A troop of talented musicians are taking their sense of humour seriously on Leeside as they prepare to release their debut, vinyl-only album.

The Dagenham Yanks have been banging out tunes since 2017 and now the needle is ready to drop on the culmination of all their hard work with their first LP ‘Transubstantiation’.

Their songs, which span rock, indie, punk, dance and anything else that was bouncing around in the ‘80s, are complex and have undertones of tongue in cheek humour specific to Cork, says front man and self-professed “no spring chicken” Mark O’Sullivan.

Mark explains that the vinyl-only release is an attempt to recapture a lost era of Cork when music lovers would “potter into a vinyl store” and spend hours looking for something to take home.

“We just wanted to go back to our roots really. We decided, you know what, we're going to keep it old school; a throwback to ‘70s and ‘80s culture in Cork.”

Mark only started to write songs four years ago but soon found himself eager to take his newfound talent to the next level.

“A few years ago, I was strumming away and then it seemed to be turning into something more interesting, so I said I'd give it a lash,” he explains.

Having received plenty of positive feedback from what he calls “proper musicians”, Mark got his head down and started to take his song writing more seriously.

The band quickly formed and set forth, nailing their colours to the mast from day one with a mission statement that reads: “To be joyous, witty and intelligent while never ever being up one’s own arse.”

“Tongue in cheek music is what we try to do, with a bit of a nod and a wink. The last song we released, ‘Majestic to Know, Good to be Seen With’, was based on that idea of celebrity and people being up their own back sides,” Mark laughs.

Ranging in ages from 19 to 49, The Dagenham Yanks are frontman Mark O’Sullivan, singers Taly Murphy and Tanya Adamson, drummer John O’Connor, bassist Tadgh Moran and guitar player Rob Keating.

The band’s name comes from an old term used in Cork to describe well off expatriates returning home from Dagenham in London for Christmas.

The Yanks have played all manner of venues around the city and county including the Crane Lane and Henchy’s Bar, in an attempt to re-ignite a Cork live music scene which Mark feels has fallen away somewhat in recent decades.

“Again, my mature head is hearkening back to the early days of the late ‘80s and ‘90s when there was real band music scene. That culture I think is gone. There used to be a thriving scene back then,” says Mark.

The Dagenham Yanks were set to launch their new album this month, but due to measures being taken to stem the spread of the coronavirus, the band was forced to postpone all events indefinitely.

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