A Hermitage Green kind of Electric Picnic

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

A Hermitage Picnic: Dermot Sheedy, Dan Murphy, Darragh Griffin, Barry Murphy and Darragh Graham  of Limerick band Hermitage Green, who have bagged a tasty slot for themselves at this years Electric Picnic in Stradbally, playing in the Electric Arena on Sunday, September 1, a sign of their ever-increasing stature on the Irish music scene. Picture: Tara Stanhope
HERMITAGE Green’s Barry Murphy is grinning. After months of speculation, weeks of quiet confirmation and days of maddening silence, he can finally reveal that the band have secured a major slot at Electric Picnic.

HERMITAGE Green’s Barry Murphy is grinning. After months of speculation, weeks of quiet confirmation and days of maddening silence, he can finally reveal that the band have secured a major slot at Electric Picnic.

The harmony driven, folk rock quintet have been booked to appear on the second biggest stage at the Stradbally fest in a Sunday 3.30pm slot. When you consider that last year the Green played on the Salty Dog stage in the middle of the woods, this is quite a jump.

They’ve known about it for a while, but, such is the red tape that surrounds being booked to play at Ireland’s major music festival, were sworn to secrecy until the appropriate moment.

“We got a great slot on the second biggest stage. Ben Howard played there at 4pm last year so it is great for us. We are happy out,” says Barry, who along with brother Dan, Darraghs Griffin and Graham and Dermot Sheedy, fills out the line-up of the most likely commercially successful proposition to emerge from Limerick since, we think, the Cranberries in the mid-90s.

“We are absolutely delighted about it. We have been waiting to get confirmation for a while, and we weren’t expecting that - it is a 7,000 capacity tent, which should be pretty mental. We will wing it! I can’t wait,” laughs Barry. “All of our energy will go into that for the next few weeks, just get the set list nailed down.”

The group have evolved from playing back room gigs in older Murphy Brian’s Curragower pub several years ago to a major touring outfit that have sold out the Warehouse twice and most of the major music venues in Ireland in the past year, also proving a major draw Down Under, where they have played two sold out tours, generating near hysteria in the process.

As a result they feel fluid, in tandem with each other, demonstrating a sub-conscious rhythm that only comes from repeated live performance.

“It has been a brilliant year, we have travelled so much, played so much around the country and it is all we have done since we started,” says Barry. “A lot of our practising has been done on stage in front of people, tightening things up. I don’t know if that is the ideal way to do it, but that is the way we do it, it is very 
natural.”

While they have released an EP and have a huge collection of songs ready to record, they are not rushing into the recording process until everything is right.

“We have got plenty for an album, we have been just trying to arrange a lot of them, that is something we have been spending a lot of time at,” he says.

“They are very different. Darragh (Griffin) has written a majority of songs and a lot of them are older ones that we are going back to now and re-arranging and trying to work out what instrumentation to use.

“We are hoping that we get someone that is interested in working with us and can see what direction they think we should go in. We are pretty open minded in terms of that, we are trying to capture our live sound.

“I know people say you have to strike while the iron is hot, and we have been around for a while now, but we don’t want to force who we want to be, a lot of people remember your first album so you want it to be as good as you can be so, we will hopefully have it for next February, March, that is what we are thinking, but we have been saying that for a while now,” he laughs.