Wicklow’s own Birds of Olympus is set to headline the 1st annual Ireland International Fashion and Food Summit in Sligo this November the 4th. Group leader and front man John ‘Spud’ Murphy and bandmates Donal Colohan (guitar) and Derek Byrne (drums) offer up a beguiling blend of melodic hooks and trance-inducing beats that are sure to play nicely to the catwalk crowd.
“High fashion is a bit removed from my everyday life,” says Spud when asked about the prospect of playing to the foodies and fashionistas, “…though it is a powerful form of expression. But if you asked me who I’m wearing this season, I’d probably say ‘St. Vincent de Paul!’”
Birds of Olympus is the latest project for Murphy, whose previous band Hybrasil gained a dedicated national following in the late 2000’s. Their deftly crafted synth-and-drum driven album The Monkey Pole received high praise from critics and put Wicklow Town on the musical map for a wider Irish and UK audience. It also earned Murphy credibility as a producer and helped him establish Bay Studios, which he operates here in Wicklow Town.
With Birds of Olympus, Murphy has found a new vehicle to show off his skills as a song-smith and producer. But in the current climate defined by a staggering amount of independently released music and the ubiquity of free digital everything, a band needs a break to get noticed.
That break came at their debut playing the Hard Working Class Heroes showcase in Dublin last year, where they immediately caught the ears of SXSW talent scouts. An invitation to play in the States followed, with gigs in Texas and Toronto giving the band international exposure and putting them on the bill with fellow Irish up-and-comers New Portals, the Academic, and Picture This.
With the finishing touches on their forthcoming EP currently in the works, 2018 looks to be a promising year for the Wicklow natives.
“Music is like magic I can’t explain or understand,” says Murphy, sipping a steamy flat white and circling prospects from the Irish Field. “But it amazes me every time.”
If haute couture and gastronomy aren’t your bag (or cup of tea), you can also catch the lads closer to home this Friday, October 27 opening for Jah Wobble at the Grand Social in Dublin, and Thursday, November 2 at the Bernard Shaw, Dublin.