DELORENTOS are taking a new approach, doing things differently from before. This is why they stand, four abreast clutching various instruments, on Oâ€™Connell Street in Limerick on a freezing February morning.
â€œWe are Delorentos, we have opened a pop-up shop on Sarsfield Street for a day to sell our new album, come down and see us,â€ roars Kieran McGuinness at bewildered passers-by.
The four piece play five songs in total and a crowd gathers. Phones are produced, cameras click.
â€œI recognise them - they look like Delorentos,â€ says one callow youth to his friend. â€œThey are Delorentos,â€ comes the sharp reply.
The songs are good, some new, some from In Love With Detail, their 2007 debut, but it is final track, Bullet In Gun, that causes a sharp intake of breath. It is indicative of the new tack the Dublin band have taken with their music after hitting the rocks in 2009 and almost breaking up for good. This song is more mature, confident, pushing the boundaries of their talents, while retaining that distinctive Delorentos sound.
The new approach that saw them tour acoustically last year for the first time ever, work with a producer for the first time ever, relax, take to opening pop-up shops to sell their album and perform for fans, and at the lowest level, take a breath and â€œlook after each otherâ€ as RÃ³nan Yourell explains, is all about creativity and a sense of fun.
â€œOur band kind of nearly broke up, or did break up and got back together over the last album,â€ explains Yourell of the now famous incident during the recording of You Can Make Sound in early 2009.
So disillusioned with the collapse of a record deal, Yourell decided to leave the band, yet would remain to finish the album. In doing so, he rediscovered his love for the process and they decided to stay together.
â€œWe work very hard at what we do and are very focused, but I think sometimes just being in the industry can take it out of you, it is a tough business,â€ explains Yourell.
â€œSo in terms of that period with the second album it was the stresses and strains and tolls of the industry that certainly got to me. When we decided that we wanted to keep this going, we made sure that we were looking after each other and that it was going to be that creative outlet that we set it out to be at the beginning. That was the turning point. If we had a big white board creativity would have been at the top of it,â€ he laughs.
That reunion kicked off a dazzling period of creativity for Delorentos that has fed into their third album, Little Sparks, released last week. Allowing themselves to be freer, they recorded over six months in 2011 in a variety of locations, without so much of a thought as to the substance of the output or what radio station it might grace.
â€œWe started out as a guitar band and that had kind of put restrictions on ourselves,â€ says RÃ³, as he is known. â€œWe decided that when we were recording the new album and were writing new songs that we could try anything and wouldnâ€™t let ourselves be restricted. We have our own home studio now that we use ourselves and that allowed us a lot of freedom to experiment with loads of other instruments.
â€œWe had this great creative experience and it was a revelation for us because we allowed ourselves to relax and enjoy making music and maybe not worry about what was going to happen with it afterwards or where it would be played.â€
This â€œrevelationâ€ fed into the process of releasing the album, first re-honing their skills, starting with an acoustic tour, and releasing an EP with a full colour magazine included and then the pop shops around the country, including in Raggle Taggle Studios on Sarsfield Street last week as the guests of Creative Limerick. Fun is the name of the game now.
â€œThat has fed into (our outlook). When the album was finished, obviously we were absolutely delighted with it and proud of it, but we wanted to take that creativity that we had experienced, that purple patch that we had with the music and bring that creative element to the release and everything we do,â€ he explains.
â€œWe take our music seriously but it doesnâ€™t have to be all totally po-faced, all the time! We set out to do something that we loved and have a life experience that isnâ€™t just sitting in a van going gig to gig - to use our talents.
â€œA new album is hard earned, it only happens every couple of years so we want to get out and celebrate and enjoy it and share it with people.â€
Delorentos play Dolanâ€™s Warehouse on March 2. Little Sparks is out now in record stores.