During last weeks post about Musebin, there were no reviews about the two Irish bands – Ham Sandwich and Fred. So it gave me the idea to write about a few of my current favourite homegrown artists. Obviously I’ve already raved about how brilliant Fred are so lets start with Ham Sandwich.
I saw these guys play in Whelan’s way back in November ’08. I’d only heard one song at the time (Broken Glass I believe), but it was good so along I went. I got a great surprise cause these guys are guuuuud! Having a good stage presence helped me to fall in love with this band. Lead male vocalist, Podge McNamee, looks like a cast member of 300, but acts at times like a loony bin escapist, bounding around the stage like a clown at a circus. It’s this behaviour, coupled with a large playful grin, that makes him such a likable character. Combine that with a hot lead female vocalist, such as Niamh Farrell, and you’ve got the makings of a great band.
Is it just me, or is there something really attractive about a band that combines male and female vocals in their songs? In a similar way to Arcade Fire, Ham Sandwich have a certain quality to their music that I think is attributable to this combination. Anyway, following the gig, I went out and bought the band’s debut album, Carry The Meek. I wasn’t disappointed either – its a great indie album that I listen to again and again. Many of the songs have been released as singles, with the first being Sad Songs back in August 2005. Highlights of the album for me would include Never Talk and Sleep.
In doing a bit of research for this post I came across a nice Irish photography blog – Rockin Socks. Its the personal blog of Toni Ireton and has an Irish rock music theme (as well as fashion and art). Plenty of photos of Ham Sandwich from another gig in Whelan’s (they play there a lot!).
If you’re interested in seeing Ham Sandwich, which I highly recommend, they’re playing in Andrew’s Lane Theatre this Friday 1 May as part of Phantom’s First Friday. Ham Sandwich are one of three Irish acts playing on the night, the other two being Hoarsebox and Revolution For Dogs. I’ve given these two bands a listen and they do sound good, so I could easily find myself down in ALT come Friday. If you can’t make that one, Ham Sandwich are playing in The Purty Kitchen, Dun Laoghaire on 6 June and are also returning to Whelan’s on 13 June. Maybe I’ll see you there!