BY SEÁN P. FEENY
ON Saturday night Donegal band In Their Thousands took over a hundred people on mystery tour to mark the launch of their second EP.
There had been plenty of talk about this unique idea as people deliberated all week in the run-up to Saturday on where the mystery tour would be leading to.
As the buses left the carpark in Letterkenny at 8pm on Saturday, people were still trying to guess where In Their Thousands where taking the people to, and with every town, village and road sign passed, the deliberation got more exciting.
As the the buses neared the Fanad peninsula the guesses got so fantastic that suggestions were made that the launch would be taking place underneath the Harry Blaney Bridge.
But as the turn was made towards Ballyheerin the guesses got more specific and people knew the tour was going to the home grounds of one of the band’s members.
The three busloads of music enthusiasts were greeted by the Friel family and a roaring bonfire in Ballyheerin as everyone was led into a brand new shed which had been kitted out to great detail for this special night for In Their Thousands.
The stage was set for an unforgettable night, thanks to assistance from good friends of the band, including professional rigger Antoin Patten and Jason Black, providing expertise and equipment.
“We just wanted to do something different, alternative, with the release and give people a reason to do something or go somewhere they wouldn’t normally go,” said Ruairí.
Warming up the crowd were two other very talented acts from Letterkenny, Brendy (Brendan McGlynn) and The Capitol.
Whether he performs solo or with a band, Brendy is a real force to reckon with, while the young lads from The Capitol are also hit all the right notes with their e-bow with their modern sound reminiscent of early Sigur Ros and Radiohead.
Something that is very special to any band playing original material, is hearing your own lyrics being sung by the crowds and no doubt In Their Thousands will have gotten a great kick out of the gathered fans singing every word from the first song in their set, Effie, to their now so reconisable finale song, Effort For The Waste.
In Their Thousands, as well as the many other great original acts emerging over the past two years can only be commended for what they are doing at the moment and that is once again putting Donegal on the map for fantastic musical talent.
In Their Thousands released their first EP in February to acclaim at the Earagail Arts Awakening event in Rathmullan House.
Since then they have toured with Mark Black & The Trips & The Heads of State, hitting some of the country’s best known venues like Whelan’s of Dublin and the Roisín Dubh of Galway.
Throughout this process the band was writing new material for upcoming releases and the result of the last few months writing is the second in a series of four EPs called Cellars which was recorded in Attica Studios in Termon with Tommy McLaughlin.
Inspiration for the name of the second EP came from a few different places, said Aidan.
“First of all, the gig that launched the first EP was in a Cellar, the Cellar Bar in Rathmullan, and that was the gig that really drove us on throughout the year because of how well the songs were received. It was our first proper gig as In Their Thousands, we didn’t know what to expect.
“We saw there was an appetite there for original homegrown music and the songs we were playing behind closed doors.”
Declan added: “The concept of the 4 EPs from the start was to have the artwork from each release as one piece of a puzzle, each with a different theme.
“We have to credit Annette Gallagher here for helping us see that through so far.
“Hopefully that is reflected in the songs too in that they are all different but they come together to form one piece in the end.”
Liam said: “The 3rd and 4th EPs are being planned as we speak and both will be out by early 2013, we’ll start looking at making an album after that.”