Paul Creane & The Changing Band are an Irish folk outfit from sunny south east Ireland. This country-style rock and roll band are a modern take on traditional Irish music, combining acoustic guitar, banjos, fiddles and harmonicas in a new and contemporary style. They are reviving the old familiar sound of folk and country music and breathing a breath of new life into it, presenting this treasured genre in a way that is relevant and exciting to new audiences.
Paul Creane & The Changing Band are opening the door for younger and existing Irish country music fans to take a look at trad with an open mind and a new perspective. They are bringing back country music with an attractive arrangement of hearty vocals and string instruments so eloquently pieced together by the group.
Their debut album, The Clock is their first full length release. It is an exhilarating and rousing album which reminds me of Mumford And Sons shaken with a bit of Bruce Springsteen, though the comparison is slight; Paul Creane & The Changing Band are very much a new sound, all of their own who would have to be listened to and understood by the individual.
The opening track Low Ground is a nostalgic, affable listen. Creane’s warm vocals are resonant and spirited as he delivers lyrics like “Just one of these moments where you wonder how life could’ve been, but I chose to swim these waters…”
It also features the signature track In Lieu Of You which has been described by fans as “A beautiful piece of music.”.
The flow of the album is a smooth current of jovial piques and somber reflections, much like the highs and lows of life which Paul and the band muses on. Though the tone fluctuates between these highs and lows, the overall mood of The Clock is a positive and lively one with most of the tracks making you want to jump out of your seat and dance!
My favourite track on The Clock, I Can’t Let Go Of Cigarettes was for me, the most profound and tender track. “You got a pair of brown eyes I wanna look in, I love you but I can’t let go of cigarettes.” A song I understood to be about wanting to move on in love or life, but having your demons or vices of the past holding you by the ankles and not letting go of you.
I wanted to find out more about the guys behind this highly relatable listen so I caught up Paul Creane for a short Q&A.
When and how did you start making music?
I was pretty young myself, although I didn’t play an instrument until I was in my twenties. I started writing songs when I was about twelve years of age, if you could call them that. I was writing absolutely awful lyrics and singing them to myself on the way to school. I kept it to myself for a few years as one friend I showed told me that writing songs was for famous people. That was a good start. Eventually I got the courage to play my stuff in public and I’ve been repeating the same mistake again and again since.
Who are your biggest influences?
There’s a lot. Truthfully, I could give a different answer to this every time it’s asked. Musically, I guess the two mainstays for me are Tom Waits and the great Townes Van Zandt. Both for very different reasons. Mark Kozelek also, from Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon fame. Three writers who can make and break your heart in the same verse. Some of my heroes come from outside the music industry too though. I’m a huge film fan and a couple of filmmakers who have certainly had an influence on how I write my music would be Andrei Tarkovsky and David Lynch. There’s a song on our first album called “Richard Farnsworth” which was directly influenced by a David Lynch film called The Straight Story. Richard Farnsworth was the actor who played the lead role, a character who drives across a few states on a lawnmower to see his brother whom he hasn’t spoken to in years. He made the film whilst dealing with terminal bone cancer and sadly he shot himself soon afterwards. It’s a beautiful film and a stunning performance so the song is kind of an ode or celebration of his life. Big hero of mine.
Where is your favourite place to gig?
We really loved Germany when we toured there. Some amazing venues and fantastic people. They really love their music. In Ireland, I have a soft spot for my home in Wexford and there’s a venue called “The Sky & The Ground” that has a huge music following so it’s always a pleasure to play there. We’ve actually started doing “CB Home Gigs” now where we go an play intimate sets in peoples living rooms or gardens. These shows have been a lot of fun. There’s a certain type of intimacy and freedom that you don’t experience at other types of shows. So these have been our favourite gigs to play recently. It’s really different for us.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring one item and and one person what, and who would they be?
This could get me in trouble. Well the item isn’t too hard a decision. My guitar wins hands down. Unless there was such thing as a bottle of wine that never empties. Then it’s a coin toss. Which person? That’s a tricky one. I can’t really be mean enough to force someone I know and love to be stranded on a desert island with me so I’m gonna have to be considerate and go with a celebrity. I’m gonna go with Sofia Vergara because I’ve been watching Modern Family lately and she could make me laugh when I’m writing depressing songs about being stranded on an island.
You can buy their debut album on iTunes now!