Tag Archives: Northern Ireland

Afterglow

Robb Murphy - Afterglow Cover art

The boats stack up as they wait for the lock
The captain’s at the table and he’s glad for the stop
He’s got a place he can saddle his shoes
Feet on the land and a drink with his crew

Time will pass years will go
Memories fade stories grow
Here at The Turning Point I’ve come to know
Peace is found in the afterglow

The mood is up as the sun goes down
And the sky rolls over Spijkerboor town
Nobody here feels a stranger’s weight
As the night unfolds the stories are told
God this place has a home in my soul

Two men who met their fate
One robbed one killed by the state
He thought he’d sneak on through
But cut down as suspicion grew

A place for medication, a home for a school
A place for an army to gather and rule
And when they lined up the locals to vet
They couldn’t find where the secrets where kept

The mood is up as the sun goes down
And the sky rolls over Spijkerboor town
Nobody here feels a stranger’s weight
As the night unfolds the stories are told
God this place has a home in my soul

And there may be nothing in a young man’s eyes
But give him time and he’ll awake inside
If it’s what you want stars will align
Don’t let others change your mind

They come from east, they come from west
Music is a force that pounds underneath your chest
Nobody here feels the stranger’s weight
As the night unfolds the stories are told
God this place has a home in my soul

‘Afterglow’ tells the story of a special place, a place we’ve visited each time Robb and the band were touring in The Netherlands; Café ‘t Keerpunt in Spijkerboor. Spijkerboor is a small village in Drenthe (province in the north of The Netherlands) with a peaceful and rural character. I remember walking into the pub for the first time and we were welcomed by the owner, Willem Dijkema, his wife Anneke and dog Skipper. It felt like stepping back in time. The pub breathes history and there’s a story attached to everything you see in the pub. From the pictures and instruments on the walls, to the cabinet behind the bar and the jukebox.

The story of the ‘t Keerpunt starts around 1750 when a lock keeper started a small pub for captains who had to wait at the ship lock. Since then the pub had 11 different owners, but until today the pub still exists. It stood the test of time.

‘t Keerpunt (translated to English: The Turning Point) is the heart of the village. It’s where locals come in to have a drink, eat and talk and it’s where events and activities take place.
It’s not only locals visiting the pub. The pub is known for its live music, poetry, literature and plays. Artists from all over the world have performed there and people come from far to see their favourite artists play there.

A few years ago Willem asked Robb if he would be up for writing a song about ‘t Keerpunt. More artists did the same and Willem explained that he wanted to make a compilation CD of songs about ‘t Keerpunt. Robb didn’t have to think twice about it and right away said yes to that request. This compilation CD will be released later on this year when Willem and Anneke will celebrate their 20 year ownership.

Each time Robb and the band performed at ‘t Keerpunt it feels like coming home. Many great memories were made there. The kindness, warmheartedness, the hospitality, the history… this pub is one of a kind. And this is what the song is about. Afterglow… a song about Café ‘t Keerpunt, a place where the stories and the music will never stop.

You can download ‘Afterglow’ on Bandcamp NOW!

‘Afterglow’ will be available on Spotify, iTunes, iTunes Music Player, Google Play Music, Amazon and other online music stores and streaming services from the 15th of March 2019.

Story behind the picture #3

“A picture is worth a thousand words”
This quote is so true…but even more so a picture is worth a thousand memories.

Forgotten memories… Pictures help to keep memories alive; they can transport you to a different time and place. Each picture holds a story…a story you may have forgotten about. One look at a picture can bring back those forgotten memories. You remember when the picture was taken, where it was, what happened during that day, who you were with and what the weather was like. It makes you relive that moment.
Thankfully a lot of pictures were taken in the past years. Robb posted the picture below a couple of days ago. And of course there’s a story to tell about this picture!

The photo was taken during a tour of The Netherlands a couple of years ago…very early in the morning… Seeing the picture immediately brings back the memories of that day. We had to get up very early in the morning to visit Ekxpresso, a Saturday morning radio show on KX Radio in Amsterdam at 7 am. With a gig the night before we only had a couple of hours of sleep.
Sleep-deprived we arrived at the radio station and we received a warm welcome from Jeroen van de Beek (presenter) and Walter Bakker (producer) with coffee and breakfast. As I already mentioned in a previous blog, silliness takes over when tiredness kicks in…and that’s exactly what happened during that radio show too.

After the show we went outside to take some pictures…it’s then when the picture above was taken. You may wonder what is happening there…what are they looking at?
Well…nothing really… Until today no one knows what they were looking at 😉
It’s just silliness taking over!

Below a video with footage filmed during this morning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw8jxyhDBK8

It definitely was a day to remember!

IMG_2331

kx radio

Want to stay updated? You can find more about Robb Murphy and his music through the following links!

www.robbmurphy.com

https://www.facebook.com/TheRobbMurphy/

https://twitter.com/TheRobbMurphy

https://www.instagram.com/therobbmurphy/ 

Upcoming Tour Dates

 

 

Story behind the picture #2

What’s going on in this picture? Well…it’s just another day in Mr. Murphy’s life… 😉

There’s more to tell about this picture though.
Two years ago Robb released ‘Headstrong’. For this song a video was created, involving a bunch of animals who escaped from the zoo.
In the run-up to the release we shared photos of the making of the video, created a story around the animals and also shared photos of animals taking over Robb’s house. Next to that a few promotional videos were made. When the picture above was taken, Robb was filming this video…animal on the loose…

…and then his phone rang… 😆
The person Robb was speaking to probably never knew what was happening.

For the next video Robb dressed up as a zookeeper… trying to catch those pesky animals:

Thinking back about the ‘Headstrong’-release makes me giggle. The making of the video and the run-up to the release brought so much fun and laughter!

Here’s a link to the pictures of the video shoot. This will give you an idea of how the making of the video went:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheRobbMurphy/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1013656132008362

Preparing the release and the making of the video took up a lot of time. Many people were involved with the video, including friends, family, band members and even The Ulster Quartet!
Along the process more ideas came up and there was this last minute idea to make a release video. Band members got involved once more to help with the making of that video. The animals took over Robb’s house…waiting for Mr Postman to deliver a ‘Headstrong’-vinyl.

The release of ‘Headstrong’ was a success; the song received a lot of critical acclaim. ‘Headstrong’ is one of Robb’s most streamed songs on Spotify and yesterday the video passed the 20000 views on YouTube.

Listen on Spotify through the following link. Please give Robb a follow while you’re there, so you’ll stay updated on future releases!

If you’re a vinyl lover…there are still some 7” vinyl singles left! You can get a copy through the following link:

https://robbmurphy.bandcamp.com/album/headstrong

Headstrong

 

 

Lazy Sunday

energysaving

I’m definitely in energy saving mode today.
I woke up later than usual… It was already light outside…and cold so I decided to stay in bed a while longer, nice and warm. Waking up slowly, a nice and quiet moment before actually getting up. Suddenly the big pile of laundry I had been ignoring all week popped into my head…gone was that nice moment of relaxation…brutally interrupted by the image of laundry in my head… For a moment I was wondering if I could just ignore it another day, but that wouldn’t be an option… The children were already asking for their favourite clothes that had been sitting in the laundry basket for days… Unfortunately laundry doesn’t magically do itself… so after a big sigh I decided that it was time to get into action and get the laundry done today. Coffee first though! Coffee and breakfast! A little procaffeination won’t harm… Yes, I master the art of doing nothing until I’ve had my cup of coffee!

Laundry is done now…well partly…I only did what was necessary and decided to do the rest of the laundry in the following days…if I have (want to make) time for it…
I’ve put on some music and just made a big pot of tea. Next to coffee I’m a big tea lover. There’s a shop in my home town that sells loose tea and I love to try new flavours. Yesterday I went to buy some of my favourite tea and also bought a new flavour to try. Loose tea always tastes so good!

I’m sipping my tea while writing this blog and looking back on the past week. It’s been a busy week behind the scenes. Two bits of news you may have missed or may not have noticed yet.

Robb is featured artist on Coffee House Radio this month. Coffee House Radio features music from singers and songwriters. Online, they provide a 24/7 stream of music and featured artists. Next to that Coffee House Radio broadcasts an hour long radio program with music from some of today’s finest new and known singers and songwriters. The show is on WHFC, WMNB, and WCSQ. You can find Coffee House Radio on Twitter through the following link:
https://twitter.com/CoffeeHouseRadi
Visit their website to listen: http://www.coffeehouseradio.com/

Over to the other bit of news. We received a great review of ‘North Star’ from Angry Baby !
“Glisteningly wintery, warm and fuzzy, the song holds an entire landscape in the simplest of arrangements.”
Read the full review through the following link:
http://www.angrybaby.co.uk/robb-murphy-north-star/
While you’re there, check out their website! You will find some great new music on there!

Time to end this blog with a song. No better song to use for this blog than ‘Coffee & Tea’!
Have a listen! And…while you’re there on Spotify, please give Robb a follow!

 

Music to celebrate life

Publicatie1

‘…Murphy’s lyrics are serene, subtle and tender…’

‘…it will stop anyone who appreciates quality music in their tracks…’

‘…There’s no doubt in my mind that these tunes will continue to impress folk lovers for years to come…’

Just a few quotes from a review we received of ‘The Mysteries of the Heart’ last week.
The review was written by Tommi Tikka, who’s the curator of the ‘Music To Celebrate Life’-playlist on www.musicto.com

A couple of weeks ago I submitted ‘The Mysteries of the Heart’ to this playlist and a few days later Tommi Tikka got in touch with me. He listened to the song and was impressed. We had a nice conversation by email, some more information was exchanged and Tommi wrote a review.

We were really happy to read this review. First it’s encouraging and motivating when someone takes time to listen to the music, but it’s even more encouraging when the music stops people in their tracks and makes them listen to more. Receiving positive reviews and feedback is great but what makes a review special is when you read what a song does and how it affects someone.

As an artist, Robb writes and records a lot of music. Things that inspire him are just everyday situations, nature, dreams etc. Once a song is released we always hope that people will listen, but even more we hope that people can identify with the lyrics and that the music will affect them. There really is nothing more rewarding than that!

You can read the full review here:
https://www.musicto.com/celebrate-life/mysteries-of-the-heart-single-mix-robb-murphy

If you’re a music lover and like to discover good playlists and new music on Spotify then take a moment to also check out www.musicto.com – you can even become a ‘Music To’ playlist curator!
You can find all of their playlists through the following link: https://www.musicto.com/search-spotify-playlists/

‘The Mysteries of the Heart’ was released a couple of years ago as the first single from the album ‘Sleep Tonight’. There are several versions of the song. Listen below!

 

Hello 2018!

holiday

Someone please turn back time… Tomorrow I’ll be back at work after a 2 week break and I’m far from ready… I can already see myself waking up tomorrow morning totally confused and wondering why my alarm went off in the middle of the night… It may take a minute but then reality will kick in… Break is over, the new year started, no more pyjama days and no more sleeping in. Back to work it is!
Hello holiday blues! 😉

It’s good to get back into some routine though. Being off for a while is good, but laziness kicked in and I lost my productivity at some point during my 2 week break.

It’s also time to get things going again with the music. We have a lot of plans for 2018. Last year was all about setting the foundations. Like Robb mentioned in his newsletter, for us 2017 has been a year of planning and preparing for the new things to come in 2018. We have been writing, recording, upgrading (studio and brains), creating online content, and collaborating.
This year we’ll be sharing a lot of what we’ve been working on and we’re really looking forward to it!

Just in case you’ve missed things on social media, here are a couple of updates:

A new website is one of the things we’ve worked on last year and it’s live now. Check it out! You’ll find news, pictures, music, videos, blog, tourdates and more!

http://www.robbmurphy.com/

Let us know your thoughts about it! Do you like the website? Is there something missing on the website that you would like to be there? We would love to get your feedback!

Also, we’re now using Bandsintown to announce gigs. Track Robb on there to stay updated on upcoming live shows.

Upcoming Tour Dates

 

It’s 9 pm and I’m going to relax a bit and think of the good memories made in the past few weeks before going to bed.
Time to end this blog with a song… ‘Headstrong’
I definitely “need my headstrong” tomorrow!!

 

Happy New Year!

It’s the last day of the year… I just made some tea and I’m listening to the Top 2000 on Radio 2 (The Top 2000 is an annual marathon radio program in The Netherlands, that plays the 2000 most popular songs of all time, from Christmas through New Year’s Eve). It’s rainy and windy outside and ‘Dancing Queen’ is playing on the radio. I’m looking back at the past year. It’s been a year with ups and downs, but I’m grateful for all the great memories 2017 brought.

New Year’s Eve…whether you love it or loathe it, it’s there! It’s one of the largest global celebrations, the end of another year… on TV the saddest, the best and the most successful moments of the year are being shown, shops are crowded with people getting food and drinks to celebrate that last night of the year. The most frequently asked question on this day is ‘What’s your new year’s resolution?’

We’re programmed to reflect back on the year. Where were you a year ago? What were the best moments in the past year? What have you achieved? Are you happier now than you were a year ago? What do you feel grateful for?

At night people gather to celebrate, dance, drink and be happy. There’s a collective feeling of things coming to an end and a feeling of a new beginning; expectations are high. At midnight we’ll ring in the new year with fireworks and champagne. It’ll be the 1st of January…the start of a new year… Apart from sore heads, eyes being sensitive to light and family obligations waiting, is this day any different from other days? If you think about it it’s just another day.

It’s funny how we all let time dictate our lives. We’ll get running for another year…365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months to fulfill the dreams and to accomplish the goals we’ve set for ourselves on New Year’s Eve to find ourselves in the same setting again next year… ringing in the new year with fireworks and champagne. It’s a really strange global tradition if you think about it.

In reality, New Year’s Eve is just the same as every other night of the year, but as it’s such a big global event, it’s something that connects us all. We all make it a special night and make it meaningful. I’m doing the same thing. I don’t need a big celebration but personally I do think that new year’s eve can make a difference. It’s a good moment to use the vibe to make some positive changes and set some realistic goals. I like the feeling of a fresh start in the new year to work towards my dreams.

Over to you, thank you for reading and sharing the blogs this year and thank you to all who’ve been supporting Robb’s music!
Happy New Year to everyone and I hope that 2018 brings you everything you wish for!
Tomorrow we all have a new year, make it a good one!
“…‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know…”


The Mysteries of the Heart, lyrics:

I will say it once and say it clear
I’m standing on a roof top crying out I am sincere
And I’ll look up to the heavens and I’ll wave my flag of truce
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

I’ve been holding on to something real
I’m holding on to hope that I can finally clench that deal
And I’ll look up to the heavens and I’ll pray I have your ear
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

And let it all unfold, the mysteries of the heart
And let the truth be told, if I really have your hand

And I’m not giving up or letting go
I’m ready to evacuate my self-doubt, take control
All I want is something real
All I want is something pure
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

And if there was a mountain in the sky
I’d climb up to the top and place a rock for you and I
And I will show you love
And I will show you hope
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

And let it all unfold, the mysteries of the heart
And let the truth be told, if I really have your hand

So I wont hinder ’till tomorrow
I’m ready to accept my fate and let my feelings show
So I look up to the heavens and I’ll pray for clarity
Take a breath and fall onto one bended knee

And let it all unfold, the mysteries of the heart
And let the truth be told, if I really have your hand

 

Happy New Year

 

Space cake…episode 2

People who are looking for a space cake recipe…I’m sorry to disappoint you, but you won’t find it in this blog… Space cake…I can almost hear you say “If there’s no space cake recipe, then what’s this blog about??” 😉

Well…I’ve been writing blogs about everything happening behind the scenes with Robb Murphy (singer-songwriter) for two years now and ’Space Cake’ happens to be one of the most viewed blog posts in the past few years. Every time I see that someone viewed that particular blog, it makes me giggle and think that it’s probably someone who was looking for a space cake recipe… Space cake tells the story of customs mistaking the Dutch spice cake (ontbijtkoek) I took with me on a trip to Northern Ireland for drugs… If you’re curious, go and have a read. It’s one of the many funny things that happened in the 4 ½ years I’ve been working with Robb.

Two years and many blog posts written…
Today I was reading some old blogs….there’s so much I wrote about! It’s good to read it all again, because I forgot a lot of the funny things that happened in the past few years. Reading the blogs brought back a lot of great memories!

Over the past few years the amount of people visiting the blogs increased, this year in particular. In the first months of the year I wrote blogs to introduce you to the band members. They were sent a very long list of questions to get to know them a bit better…and they all took time to answer the questions….without complaining…except for Robb, who complained that I sent him 9 million questions to answer 😉 I’m glad that they all took time for this, because these blogs were read a lot! Until the end of last year Space Cake was on top of the stats, but every blog I wrote about the band members were viewed a lot more! Kevin is the man though! Sorry Robb, Al, Rick and Dave…I think that Kevin has some secret admirers 😉 because his blog is the best read blog so far!

If you didn’t read the ‘Introducing’-blogs yet, click on the pictures of the band members below, that will guide you to the blog posts.

Robb Murphy Rick McKee Kevin Carlisle David Bennington Alan Ladd

Two years of blog writing…thank you all who’ve been reading my blogs!
I’m sure that there will be many more blogs to come, keep an eye on here or follow us on Social Media.

Those of you who are reading this blog for the first time…Robb is a singer-songwriter from Belfast and if you’re a music lover and like acoustic music with elements of pop, country, classical and folk, check out his music!

 

Take A Stand – 5 years

Take A Stand…Robb Murphy’s solo career started with this…the album was released 5 years ago on the 27th of April. Something to celebrate…and to write a blog about! I’ve been looking back into the blogs I wrote over the past few years, but I didn’t write a blog about Take A Stand and how this album came about. This 5-year anniversary sure is a good reason to do that!

‘Take A Stand’ is an album with an electronic pop sound. Robb had no intention to officially release it. It was all just something he did, because he liked it. It was an experiment for himself to get familiar with the studio programs that he was using. He sent a rough copy to BBC, not expecting to hear back from them. Robb then went on holiday and while he was away a few friends told him that they had heard his songs on radio and that a few DJ’s had been saying really positive things about it. In the next months BBC Introducing played a lot of the tracks and Robb made the decision to officially release the album. Robb was invited to do a live session for BBC Introducing and at that stage he didn’t have a band yet. The opportunity was reason enough to get a band together and do the live session for BBC Introducing, which was recorded and broadcast in the UK.

‘Love in Abundance’ was the first single Robb released. It wasn’t until later when the video for this single was released, filmed and edited by Carl Best, lead roles by Kelly Long (HBO Game of Thrones) & Ignacy Rybarczyk (BCC Ripper Street/Faraway):

The story behind the video is guy meets girl in a coffee shop with a twist. The male lead played by Ignacy Rybarczyk (Ripper Street/Faraway) is dumped by his girlfriend, seeking solace he heads for coffee and encounters Angela, played by Kelly Long (HBO Game of Thrones) who is on a blind date. He is mesmerised by her and when her date doesn’t show he ends up being the one sharing coffee. The concept for the narrative of the video was developed by writer/director and DOP Carl Best. Together Robb and Carl worked out the ideas, keeping the plot line simple to reflect the simplicity of this song.

‘Love In Abundance’ got a lot of attention and great feedback over the years. Recently the song was used for the documentary ‘Love In A Day’ on BBC Northern Ireland.

The next single Robb released from the album was ‘On My Side’, released in March 2012.
For this video Robb teamed up with award winning short film director Patrick Maxwell of Headline Films. He captured Robb and his real life girlfriend (who is now his wife!) over the course of a day in Belfast for the video of the single ‘On My Side’.

The video starts showing a young man shifting his weight, filled with the excited nerves that come before a big date. Will the following hours hold the potential for intimacy, indifference or even rejection? He resolves to rely on his tried and tested formula — ‘We will talk and I will smile’ — after all — he’s ‘got an act to keep up dear’. But what if he just goes with it and sees what the day holds. Could it live up to his expectations? Or even surpass them? Message of this video…Stop imagining. Drop the act. Be yourself. And she might just surprise you.

The last single of the album, ‘What Do I Say?’, was released in February 2013.
Robb teamed up again with Patrick Maxwell for the music video.

‘What Do I Say?’ was filmed over a six month period at various locations in and around Belfast. This music video was created using time lapse footage mixed with a real time performance by Robb Murphy and his band at a show in The Black Box, Belfast.

The artwork of all singles and the album were created by the very talented Ronan Reid.
Ronan Reid is an artist originally from Ireland, who lives in Melbourne, Australia. His work is really amazing. Whatever idea Robb has in mind for an album or single artwork, Ro is always able to translate those ideas into amazing covers. Have a look!

Take A Stand…5 years…a milestone! it’s good to look back and write about how the album came about.
It makes me think how much has happened since and how much has changed as for Robb’s music, but that’s a different story…
Time to end this blog and celebrate this milestone with a glass of wine! Cheers!

Robb Murphy…Q & A

I’ve been writing blogs about everything happening behind the scenes with Robb Murphy for a couple of years now, but while writing the blogs about the band members and introducing them, it came to mind that I never really wrote a blog like that about Robb. It’s about time!

Those of you who’ve been reading my blogs already know a bit about Robb. Next to being a songwriter, creator of music and producer, he’s an outstanding pizza maker, coffee and tea lover, vegan, vinyl collector and he’s always up for silliness….a lot of silliness… Robb likes to challenge himself but, maybe more so, he likes to challenge others…yes I’ve been there 😉 It’s not easy to fool him…but occasionally I manage to do it… Robb always tends to be late and I remember that during one of the tours we had to be at a radio station very early in the morning. I had reasons to believe that we would be late if I told Robb the exact time we had to leave, so I added 30 minutes spare time to that, without Robb knowing… Due to that we arrived at the radio station earlier than expected… That trick never worked again after that btw! And I have to admit…that trick was never needed again, because  we’ve managed to be on time everywhere we had to go ever since.

And…there’s that thing with reading… Robb doesn’t always read everything…of which he recently posted proof…just a few emails to read…

Sometimes I have to be creative when it comes to making sure that Robb reads what I send him…by adding silly things for example. A while ago I made a to do list and I needed to be sure that Robb would read it. I added ‘practice choreography’ to that list and when he asked me what that was about, I knew that he had read the file 😉
And there’s another example of Robb not always reading everything…it sometimes leads to funny situations like this:

All joking aside…I’ve been working with Robb on the music for 4 ½ years now and it’s been a pleasure. We’ve done so much, had ups and downs, but one thing for sure…things are never boring behind the scenes. There’s always a lot of work to do but we’re always having a lot of fun! Robb, the band and me…we’re all very lucky to have the support from partners, wives, husband and family, because without that we would not be able to do this. We have a lot of plans and are working on some exciting projects, so the work continues….onto the next 4 ½ years!

Time for a Q & A with Robb now…Just like all band members Robb was sent a list of questions too… He complained, saying that I sent him 9 million questions to answer – I think math is a problem here 😉 – but he answered the questions, here’s what he said:

What drives you to write?
Something compels me to write, I do not know what but I need to write music. Things that influence what I write about are just everyday situations, nature, and dreams. I also like trying to put myself in other situations, imagining how it would feel.

Can you remember the first time you wrote a song? Describe it to me.
One of the first songs I wrote was called, “Turtle Dove”. Lyrics were; “I’m a turtle dove, I’m a turtle dove”. Half of this song credit goes to Rick from the band.

What’s your favorite piece of music and why?
So many to choose from but for now I will pick Holocene by Bon Iver. I am usually more about the lyrics of a song but the melody, arrangement and textures created are what never fails to get me. I have been listening to it for years and have not once got bored of it.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you while working on a song?
When I was working on Stars from the Sleep Tonight album I heard a few xylophone notes during the instrumental that really worked, but were not recorded in the mix, I thought I was going mad! What actually had happened was we had guests in another room where I had left a small xylophone, one of them by chance played a few notes at that particular time.  So I had to put it in the song !

Have you had any crazy fan encounters?
Not many, but the first time I was asked to sign something I just assumed the person meant one of the other acts that had played so I went to get them. #Awkward

How would you describe your music?
Lyric focused, emotive, my personal therapy! The music is arranged by whatever instruments and gear I have at hand, and whoever of my musical friends want to be involved.

Best advice ever given?
Don’t try to copy current musical genres, trends will change so just be true to the type of music you want to create, and maybe a future trend will sync with one of your songs.

First song ever sung?
The earliest song I have memories of singing is Nelly The Elephant, The Toy Dolls version.  It was a birthday party favourite !

Secret craving?
Sultanas, in anything

Favourite food?
Pizza

What’s the hardest part about producing your own music? And what’s the easiest?
Hardest part is not having other people’s input, meaning I am sometimes unsure if something is working. Easiest part is not having other people’s input so I can do what I want.

Is there someone you’d secretly love to work with?
Not really, I am a loner. I am most comfortable writing among people I know and am close to. Songwriting for me is a very personal thing so it’s hard to switch it on if I am not relaxed. I love bringing songs to the band that are not fully finished, songs I am not even sure I like, hearing their opinions gives them a burst of new energy.

What do you like to do for fun outside of working on music?
I like traveling, going for a drive, gardening.

You’ve toured the Netherlands quite a few times now, what’s your favourite thing about the Netherlands?
I love the feeling of space in the country, the openness and fresh air. Also the people, always very helpful and welcoming.

Favourite Dutch word?
Stroopwafel

Oddest thing that has happened while touring?
It’s all weird, but one that sticks out happened when on tour in The Netherlands.  Returning home late from a gig, my turn to drive, and in front of me was a cyclist riding from side to side on the road. We laughed at this but I just assumed it was someone not realising there was a car behind them. As I slowly approached him he swerved out again to the middle of the road, cycled in a big circle and I will always remember as the car headlights shown on his face his very large grin! He was a happy chappy without a care in the world !

Cats or dogs?
Don’t mind either but cats seem to find me, so I will go with cats

Favourite gig so far?
A gig at Theater ‘t Heerenlogement in Beusichem during last year’s tour. It’s a great old theatre venue, we had a lovely meal with the owners Tineke and Gerard Holst, and a full house! Oh and wine back stage 😉

3 places you’d like to play?
Coachella, Burning Man, Dublin Olympia Theatre

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would love to have a recording studio and work with other artists to record their music.  Other than that just be alive, healthy and happy!

Best software you’ve used for producing so far?
I use Pro Tools for recording as it’s what I learned in university. But actually before that, though it’s not software, I used a tape dictaphone for recording ideas and I would also record sounds I like when I was out. There will be a lot of weird stuff on there!

Best hardware investment for music production?
When recording Sleep Tonight I got a Focusrite ISA 828 pre amp, a set of 8 preamps that can be used on a bunch of things, I think I will always use it even if I get a larger variety of pre amps!

Favourite instrument?
Acoustic guitar, trumpet & wurlitzer close 2nds

How many instruments do you play?
A few, but variety of skill levels! Main instrument is the guitar and this feels most natural to me which is why I usually write with it. I play a bit of keys, harmonica, trumpet / trombone (badly out of practice) and the belly slaps.

Favourite  place in Northern Ireland?
Anywhere near the sea! North coast is great. The Mourne Mountains too. Not in the north but a recent favourite is Kellybegs, a small fishing town near Donegal in the North West of Ireland.

What trivial knowledge may save your life one day?
I know how to open a bottle of wine with a shoe

If you could live anywhere on this planet and take everything that you love with you, where would you choose to live and why?
I like it here, but it does lack some sunshine. So I would go somewhere in Tuscany, Italy, a farmhouse just outside Florence. I would take my new wife (not that I have an old one, but recently married) and my guitar. I could also take my macbook and phone, but I can live without them really. Tuscany has a lot of things I love, mostly reliable weather, scenery, art and culture all around. Oh plus coffee, wine and pizza are pretty good there too.

Top 3 songs on your playlist?
Currently on my phone they are:
Bon Iver – Holocene
Traveling Wilburys – Tweeter And The Monkey Man
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Man On Fire

Favourite song from high school?
A few that always remind me of high school are:
Crash Test Dummies – MMM MMM MMM MMM
Wet Wet Wet  – Love is all around
The Cranberrys – Linger
The Corrs – Runaway
Enigma – Return To Innocence
The Connells – ’74-’75
REM – Daysleeper

Favourite thing about music?
Writing and recording, the buzz when something works.

Least favourite thing about music?
Promoting it, needs to be done but I feel like a broken record.

If you were a vegetable, which one would you be?
A chilli pepper

One perfect day…  what would it include?
Big sleep in, good food, sunshine, sea, maybe a sneaky wine

Thanks very much for this Robb!

You can follow Robb on Twitter and Facebook. Stop by and say hello!

If you’ve missed the blogs about band members Kevin, Dave, Rick and Al, click on their names and you can read all about them!