Thursday, April 15, 2010

Oliver Cole of Turn fame plays solo material Upstairs in Dolan's tonight

OLIVER COLE is in a good mood.
The former frontman with much-loved Irish indie band Turn, who broke up in 2006 after becoming the nearly-men of the Irish music scene, has just released his solo album ‘We Albatri’, and is calling into Limerick on Thursday to perform songs from it.
The affable Kells man describes the process of recording his new solo offering as a cathartic one, after the demise of the band he was in for the bones of ten years.
“I spent about three years making it - or at least, I started it straight away after I left the band,” says ‘Ollie’.
“Then I kind of went off the rails for about a year, a long-term relationship ended, and there was a crisis of confidence. I came back to it about a year and a half ago and finished the record - and I am glad I took that break, I got a fresh perspective on things.”
The album is far removed from anything Turn produced, We Albatri ringing with a pop sensibility that chimes of everything from McCartney to The Shins.
“That is something I had never done before - Turn was quite a dark band, and I didn't want this record to be dark, even though I had an awful lot of things I needed to talk about, I wanted to disguise them in hooks and good melodies and keep the listener interested,” explains Cole.
In 2008, following a chance conversation via MySpace with a German fan, and a swap of some unreleased songs for a box of sweets, Cole ended up in deep in the Black Forest in Germany, in a studio owned by Philipp Rauenbusch, bass player with multi-platinum selling act Reamonn.
Cole recorded the album with friend and producer Ciaran Bradshaw, while some old friends chipped in, including Graham Hopkins, Paul Noonan, and old Turn mucker Gavin Fox.
“That was amazing, I think if that didn't happen, the record would never been made. It was a gift from the heavens. It was a very positive time,” he adds.
“Turn was a lot more claustrophobic. We were a rock band that were good at writing power pop songs, that were inevitably really noisy - and we could never really get away from that, and as a songwriter, I didn't want to do that for the rest of my life. I want to grow up to be Billy Joel or something, turn into a proper songwriter at some point,” he laughs.
Listening to the strength of his solo record, Cole is well on his way to showcasing such ability, and his new departure has clearly lifted his spirits. He has finished a journey, but a new one is beginning.
“Yes, but this is the fun part. Ireland is a great place to travel, people are in a good mood and I'm really looking forward to it,” he adds chirpily.
Oliver Cole plays Upstairs in Dolan’s tonight.

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