It takes equal measures of determination, integrity and vision to stick to your guns. Most young rock/pop groups would just give up if things weren’t seen to be going their way, but five-piece Irish band Walking On Cars look adversity in the face and laugh at it.
Walking On Cars took their initial baby steps in 2010. The five school friends – singer/lyricist Patrick Sheehy, pianist Sorcha Durham, lead guitarist Dan Devane, bass guitarist Paul Flannery and drummer Evan Hadnett – dived headfirst into the creative pool, immediately writing quality songs with ease. By the end of that summer, the band played their first gig in a youth café in their windswept hometown of Dingle, County Kerry.
It took a while, however, for such early enthusiasm to transform itself into the level of commitment it takes for any band to jump several rungs of the ladder, and so it wasn’t until mid-2011 until they took matters further and far more seriously. “I got home from college,” says Patrick, “and that’s when we got stuck into it. I didn’t go back to college, because we thought we’d give it a shot.”
Bang: they began to record demos. Bang bang: they rented a house in the Dingle peninsula. Bang bang bang: tucked away in the wilderness, they listened to loads of music. “The place we rented was a really old cottage,” reveals Sorcha. “We had no television, no phone, no Internet, no transport. We were there for six months – just our equipment and us. It was an amazing time, ideas were flowing constantly.”
Within a year, Walking On Cars had gained national prominence not only by winning the Red Bull Bedroom Jam 2012 competition but also through extensive radio play of their infectiously melodic debut single, Catch Me If You Can, which reached no.27 in the Irish Charts and stayed there for over 20 weeks. (The song also went to No.1 in the iTunes chart, while YouTube views are currently over 250,000.) The band’s second single, Two Stones, reached no.12 in the Irish charts, while YouTube views are currently over 300,000.
At this point in the band’s development, however, there is a collective sense of asking what’s going to happen next. “We’re at a stage now,” agrees Sorcha, “where we have to make huge decisions about the next phase of our career. At present, we’re completely independent – we finance everything, and that’s been both exciting and challenging. We gig all over the country, but we don’t pay ourselves, as everything goes back into the band.”
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