“Four and half beards and a van “ is how Michael D’Arcy frontman describes his band Corner Boy. He’s so modest, this Waterford ambassador for the arts. It’s Friday night and we’re having a chat in between kit load in and soundcheck for a gig at the Clonmel Busking Festival. Their new single “Untie The Noose “ has just dropped. So far they’ve had over eight thousand views of the video in one day. Oh my, what a beauty it is. Directed by highly accomplished writer David O’Brien, he of the “Blood Red Turns Dollar Green” trilogy. The film has a distinct Tim Burton flavour, superb storytelling stylishly framing this stomping tune. Michael reveals the song was written under a bridge in Waterford, adding yet another layer of lyrical intrigue.
Now firmly formed as a five piece, the band have totally self funded all their releases to date. They invest all funds from playing back into the band whilst juggling jobs and weekday routines. Hitting the road on Fridays, they’ve played every county in Ireland. Except Clare for some reason. But there’s a gig planned for that one. Enjoying the freedom to make their own musical decisions, whilst building a massive fan base has ensured Corner Boy maintained their own artistic integrity. Unlike many other aspiring artists it’s not all about a label. Michael preaches the word of the independent music maker. He’s not seeking a magic formula. “We do it because we love it. We love travelling, meeting all kinds of other bands and musicians, artists writers and filmmakers. We’ve met people from all over the world touring Ireland. Yeah I’m sure the day will come when a label will be there but for us it’s not just about that.”
In a bizarre twist, the band found themselves with a top five in charts in Holland. They had taken part in a reality show about two Dutch guys made learning Irish folk music. They played with The Young Folk and other remaining members of The Dubliners as part of the show. It was aired in The Netherlands on primetime tv as the two fellas were part of the panel for The Voice. So, Michael comes in from the farm at 4 am, (it was calving season) only to find their facebook page had gone mad with new Dutch fans and top five hit in the charts. Hence the reason Corner Boy are hitting the road to Europe in September.
I’ve been lucky enough to witness their True North and “Morning Morning” EPs live several times. From the energetic, uplifting, rousing “Morning Morning” to the romantic, ambling melody of “Move To Paris”. These guys are no one trick pony. There’s a big range of influences apparent, whether is blue-grass or alt-rock. We were lucky enough to have them for the finale of the youbloom Dublin 2015 festival in June. If they show up in your part of the world go see them. They will rise you like no other. In the mean time you can watch “Untie The Noose” here.