In an exclusive article, Fangclub, the Dublin rock / punk band shares, with PlayIrish USA, the reasons and music that made them fall in love with New York City.
Fangclub have always had this strange connection to NYC.
We received our first ever review from a blog in NYC called Dingus|International Music. At the time we only had demos out there, so getting such a killer review really pushed us to lock down and improve our sound.
Steven [Hickey] wrote some of our songs in NYC when he spent some time in the East Village. He came back to the rehearsal with a lot of new demos and we kick-started Fangclub. Something about the New York music scene rubbed off on us. There's that Ramones aesthetic we try to stick by when it comes to our songs: Two minute blasts of huge punk rock pop songs!
Fangclub got a chance to play in NYC in 2015 at the CMJ Festival. We played shows in Muchmores, Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, at The Delancy and Rockwood Music Hall.
I can't think of a single place we've been to before where a venue operated as café/bar/laundromat and main ATM on the street. The venue part looked like a giant living room and the girl who greeted us as we walked in was cutting the stems of fresh flowers to place them in jars at the bar.
We got to catch some awesome bands during the festival as well, like Palehound at Pianos in the East Village. We kind of randomly ended up at that show and it turned out to be one of the best nights. That's what happens in New York City. You can wander into any venue and find your new favorite band.
Every other day we walked around the city in a daze. The entire experience was surreal.
One day you'll be taken aback by how long it actually takes to navigate the National History Museum and the same night find yourself in the world's first Will Ferrell-themed bar to find out just what is a “Dirty Mike and the Boys”.
We were lucky enough to attend a talk given by Neil Degrase Tyson in the CUNY School of Journalism just by randomly applying for tickets the week before. Another night we ran into the cast of Saturday Night Live as they were leaving the NBC building. Its got a real 'anything-can-happen' vibe to the city. You never know who you might meet.
Some of the best days were just wandering around Central Park, getting a slice of pizza and convincing people at the fountain that we were related to Liam Neeson and Colin Farrell.
Coming from such a small town in Ireland, hanging out in New York really puts stuff in perspective. This could have been an overwhelming experience but the people and the city are just so effortlessly cool, you forget about all that and can't help but fall in love with the place.
The “New York rock” sound is in our songs. We can't shake it. It's just part of the package now.
Being a touring band, you can be walking down your home-town one minute and within a matter of hours be playing a club somewhere else in the world.
Lucky for us that 'somewhere else' was New York City.