Greater Belfast & Ballymena, County Antrim
AJ Gilmore (Vocals, lyrics), Steve Simms (Guitars), Alan Boyd (Guitars B/Vocals), Billy Causby (Bass & B/Vocals) and Gerry Lisk (Drums)
Location:- Greater Belfast
Ok, do you want the truth…or just the rumours?
Rumour has it this band began in 2000 as a vehicle for the songs written by long-term friends/bandmates Gilmore & Simms. They recorded these songs and released a self-financed single ‘Under A Cloud’ in April 2001 to critical acclaim and creditable sales given its self-financed status. This prompted the decision to keep recording and by the end of 2001 an album was completed – ‘Melancholics Anonymous’
If the band’s name (taken from the Doors’ song ‘Crawling King Snake’) conjures up images of a secret place where dark tales are told in furtive whispers, the album did nothing to dispel this image. Indeed, the album title, ‘Melancholics Anonymous’ makes us think of a place where the lonely and alienated gather to give their testimony and the 10 songs feel more like 10 confessionals. Gilmore’s unashamedly dark lyrics mix fact with fiction, the real with the imagined. The listener is never quite sure where the truth ends and the rumour begins, but this is reality not fantasy and every song touches a nerve and makes us think of our own dark times. It is clearly personal and yet every tale has an everyman quality. The reviews the album has received (included with this biog) all remark on the quality and depth of Gilmore’s lyrics and Simm’s meticulously constructed music which provides the perfect backdrop for them.
Dark times? Yep, they came and put a stop to proceedings in early 2002, just as RD were about to start promoting ‘Melancholics..’. Both Simms and Gilmore had spanners put in their works and though the break was meant to be temporary, it is only now, 10 years later, that both are able to pick up where they left off. Rather than dwelling on the past the pair want to make up for lost time and right a few wrongs. They have put together a new band of experienced musicians in Boyd, Causby & Lisk. They’re all fans of the album but rather than pretend they can just pick up where they left off, the band is going to create their own persona that may be slightly different to that of 2001. The songs from ‘Melancholics Anonymous’ will be the start but not the be all and end all.
After a few months of rehearsals and a few acoustic gigs to pay homage to the ‘old’ Rumour Den by playing the songs from ‘Melancholics Anonymous’ in their original arrangements, the 5 piece band is ready to hit the stage, starting with a slot at the AiirFest, a festival run by AiiRadio.net who were first in an increasingly long line of radio stations and unsigned websites who are championing the Rumour Den cause.
Of course…it could be just a rumour…