C!ties, a young instrumental trio from Ennis Co. Clare, still aren’t entirely sure what they’re doing, but they’re really enjoying it nonetheless.
They formed in 2007 as young shams, played gigs, wrote tunes, and self produced an EP by November 2008. It was recorded with two microphones and one extremely broken cymbal. This EP is available free online for all on cities.bandcamp.com. It has garnered positive reviews from Jim Carroll at the Irish Times, who called it "a fascinating blur of electronics, buzzy punk, mad- for-it synths and Godzilla-sized hooks, [they] tear up the alt.instrumental rock- and-rave handbook and start again from scratch." It was also named Clare Album of the Year by Andrew Hamilton of the Clare People, received positive reviews from Crude Magazine, The Limerick Post, and received airplay on BBC Radio Foyle, RTE 2XM, Phantom FM and more.
However, C!ties so far have lived and died as a gigging band, forever playing somewhere in the country. Touring has taken them north, south, east and west, missing buses, trains and everything in between on their quest to play every henhouse, crackhouse and whorehouse in all of Ireland. This has given rise to the honour of playing with contemporaries such as And So I Watch You from Afar, Adebisi Shank, Enemies, Bats, Rest and This is How it Ends, crossing genres with Hooray for Humans, Director, Heathers, KVX and The Ambiance Affair, and bridging the Irish Sea with bands like Maybeshewill, Death of London, Alright the Captain, Chrik and Beyond this Point are Monsters.
This live show received great reviews, with state.ie saying "they go and make a disturbingly well-constructed, diligently boisterous, bloody loud electro-punk racket, with plenty of adrenalin-pumping synth buzzes when least expected or called for, and live beats that tear up all the rock, dance and drum ‘n’ bass rule books. Amazing. Whatever you do, see Cities live as soon as possible." Cluas.ie say they're "possibly the loudest band I've heard live" and after a set at Hard Working Class Heroes 2009, Jim Carroll declared that “the acts most mentioned in dispatches coming my way were O Emperor, We Cut Corners, Cities and Adebisi Shank”.
In 2010, they followed up on the releases front with two split 7” records, each an experiment in odd pairing. The first was unleashed in September in an extremely haphazard blitz-like fashion on anti-label Stress, Debt & Chest Pains. It involved trying not to get spray paint on their shoes while designing the covers of the records an hour before each gig. On the other side, some crackly turntablist scratch-folk was to be found - courtesy of Deviant & Naïve Ted, a schizophrenic DJ who brought his pyjama-wearing friend Jimmy the Hideous Penguin to melt some minds together on tour.
The second split 7” was a much more guitar based affair, released through Out on a Limb Records in November, featuring a slab of loud, fuzzy, driving rock from Guilty Optics. Great laughs were had, new friends were made, and for the first time in three years, they actually used a real tour van to get around – except of course the one or two that got the bus.
With no space to breathe between the two 7” releases, they ignored being a band for a while to spend Christmas with their mammies. 2011 is lining up to be a case of - as per usual for C!ties - trying to fit too many goals into nowhere near enough time. Time is short. Make the most of it.