Clondalkin & Portlaoise, County Dublin
The Anoraks formed in August 2008, with old friends Jay Ritchie, Peter Darcy and Greg Devereux coming together to forge a new group from the ashes of former bands such as Harvest, OMB and the Furious Tree and The Ripleys to name but a few. Darcy and Ritchie, old song writing collaborators began to delve into their vast back catalogues for the right songs to propel the Anoraks to the next level. They knuckled down and crafted their tunes, heavily influenced by the mod and psychedelic movements of the sixties. Opting against long drawn out self-indulgent solos and instrumentals they focused on catchy 3 minute melodic anthems that instantly grab your attention, leaving an imprint on your mind. With Devereux and Ritchie’s vocal harmonies, reminiscent of the Beatles and early 60’s Bee Gees and Darcy and Ritchie’s combined swirling psychedelic guitars, topped with all the swagger and attitude of a Gallagher family get together they began gigging as a trio, while searching for the right rhythm section. It wasn’t long before they recruited ex-Deshonos bassist Keith Jones, who instantly complimented the sound with his thunderous riffs and watery, trickily interludes. A chance encounter with drummer Darren Gorey lead to their first full rehearsal and their debut gig followed two days later. Impressed by Gorey’s talents, he was added to the line-up and The Anoraks’ sound was complete. They instantly began gigging and played the length and breadth of the capital, often venturing outside for various rallies and festivals, with some UK dates added in spring 2009, in Glastonbury and Bristol. Their songs have been praised far and wide and they are currently building up their fan base, looking for their big break. With an E.P launch in late summer 2009 followed an album release next year they are looking to take the charts in 2010 by storm as well as producing a stomping electric live show.
‘Hall of Bowing Trees’ – A departure from their other material this 6min psychedelic opus provides the opening to their live show. A foot-stomping groove, backed up by Indian drones, meandering acid-drenched guitars and twin vocals, this tracks lulls in its listeners in true hypnotic fashion.
‘Walter Jones’ – A rip-roaring and catchy in your face belter about a fictional character conceived by Darcy and Ritchie a few years ago, during a hot summer’s song writing session. A simple but effective 4 note riff prompted the song and the name is loosely derived from ‘Walter Mitty’ and ‘Keeping up with the Jones’. Everyone knows a Walter Jones!!
‘It’s a Disaster’ – A head-bobbing choppy mid-tempo Darcy/Ritchie collaboration inspired by Ray Davies and albums such as ‘Something Else’ and ‘Village Green’. Almost a contradiction, the song’s lyrics are downbeat and regretful yet the music is instantly catchy, cheery and upbeat.
‘Away on a Hillside’ – Darcy’s dream-sequence acid trip. Unlike the previous two tracks this song has many intricate weaves and turns, descending through various tempo changes to take you a journey of discovery. Originally a folky piece this has taken a world of its own, and is beautifully rounded off with Darcy/Ritchie’s plucky splashy guitars, Jones’s bass flourishes, Gorey’s cymbal crescendos and jungle tom rolls and Devereux’s bright sparkly vocal.
‘The Magical Sound’ – Another fast riff-based stomper with a snarling lead vocal by Devereux. The lyrics throughout the verses and chorus are dark with ominous undertones yet it descends into a rousing cheery and hopeful middle eight, complete with beatles-esque harmonies and 60’s farfisa organ by Jones that is sure to keep you humming long after you’ve heard it.
‘In My Command’ – The song that Lennon & McCartney forgot to write. Heavily inspired by Beatles songs; ‘Rain’, ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ and ‘Taxman’ this harmony-drenched track showcases everything in the Anoraks’ arsenal. Ritchie’s delayed drone-like guitar, bolstered by Jones’s pumping bass riff and Gorey’s thundering drum fill provide the rhythm with Darcy’s jingly trebly backwards guitar weaving in and out like drops of acid rain. Devereux and Ritchie’s vocal harmonies hark back to the 1966 and there are even a couple of tempo changes to boot. The Anoraks believe this is the best song to end a show on and the outtro is pure rock ‘n’ roll heaven.
The Anoraks are:
Greg Devereux: Vocals
Jay Ritchie: Vocals, guitars, organs
Peter Darcy: Guitars, sitar, organ
Keith Jones: Bass, organs
Darren Gorey: Drums, percussions