Walking on Cars have had quite a year and it’s far from over for them. The Irish five piece have released their debut EP, toured internationally and are in the middle of their first tour of Britain.
The band seem to be taking to Scotland well as singer Patrick Sheehy emerges from the radio Cally studio armed with a bottle of Irn Bru.
EP hand in hand was released this summer and the band admit ‘It didn’t probably do as well as we hoped it was going to’. Having said that, they are pleased with the work they put into it and it had been a while in the making. Making the e.p took them out of their native Dingle to the bright lights of London. Pianist Sorcha Durham says it was an exciting time: “We spent most of our summer there recording tracks and it was a great experience”. The studio schedule was pretty grueling with 12 or 14 hour days standard so they didn’t see much of the city, “you just go home and sleep after that,” Sorcha admits.
The band are half way through their tour with the Kooks before they do some headline shows of their own and have been bowled over by the reaction they have been getting: “We’ve gotten some great reactions. I for one didn’t expect that at all. I thought it would be much harder to win them over a little bit” enthuses bass player Paul Flannery.
Though enjoying their support slots and appreciative of the opportunity to do them, the band are clearly itching to get back to playing headline shows. They won’t have to wait long as they’re playing King Tuts in Glasgow on November 24, Manchester’s Night and Day the following night before finishing off at Dingwalls in London on November 27. They believe these headline shows will give them more of a chance to connect with their audience. The band are particularly looking forward to their Glasgow show “our first headline show in Scotland” says Sheehy excited by the prospect. “we’ve actually heard loads about King Tuts as a venue so we can’t wait.” Sorcha adds.
Walking on Cars aren’t quite sure what the crowd can expect from the gig: ” our shows are a mixture of old and newer songs so we’ve been together three and a half years and we still have songs in our set that are pretty much the first we ever wrote” reveals Sorcha.
The band formed after Sorcha returned from college. She had done years of classical piano and Sheehy called her up and asked if she wanted to jam. Sorcha remembers: “I’d never been in a band before. The lads had been so I didn’t know what I was doing”. Sheehy cheekily replies that “she still has no idea what she’s doing”. This learning on the job is all part of it for a new band. Soon they decided it was time to take things more seriously and moved out of the kitchen to their own rehearsal space. The rest, as they say, is history.
One time of year they always make sure they are home in Dingle is December when the town comes alive for the Other Voices festival which is televised: “a lot of bands, quite big bands come through that time of year so we’re always very excited about it.” Sorcha says.
Walking On Cars’ forthcoming single, Always Be With You, is release on December 8th and it’s one of their newest songs so it still feels fresh to them and they want to get it out to the public. They’re also working on their debut album which will be released next summer. “We’re still writing all the time so we might add a few songs on here and there maybe.” Says Flannery. It seems like after this album is released things will take a step up for the band.
For now the band are more concerned about what to do with a rare night off. They toy with the idea of going to check out king tuts before coming back to play it but seem to settle on a more low key night with Sorcha preferring to “find a nice restaurant, have a nice meal and a couple of gin and tonics”. With that they’re on their way to discover what the night has to offer.
Two weeks later an almost full king Tuts is waiting for Walking on cars to take to the stage having been suitably warmed up by Zibra.
Walking on Cars weren’t quite sure what to expect from this gig but from the opener Tick Tock the audience are singing back at them. The band seem both surprised and delighted by this. The resulting enthusiasm meaning Flannery and Sheehan look likely to accidentally hit each other with their guitars.
Having quickly found their feet the band grow in confidence with each song in an hour long set. On first meeting Sheehy you might be forgiven for thinking him a fairly unassuming man who specialises in witty asides. Put him on stage and he quickly turns into a lanky dynamo cutting particularly angular shapes.
Stage left Sorcha is practically a vision of zen like calm when compared to her bandmates although she seems as amazed as them at the welcome the band are receiving.
When final song hand in hand is played neither band not audience are ready to call it a night. Walking on cars return to chants of “one more tune” from a still up for it audience.
The Glasgow audience have once again lived up to their reputation for being welcoming, energetic and ridiculously enthusiastic. The band hail them as “flipping mental”.
Even now the King Tuts stage seems almost to small to hold them for long. Next time they make the trip across the Irish Sea will likely be after their debut album is released and a bigger stage will surely beckon.