The best thing since sliced bread

Hamsandwich return to Galway for the University Ball  


Published in SIN News, 26 November 2012.

Johnny Moore and Podge McNamee first announced the formation of the band that would become Hamsandwich nearly nine years ago. However, in an exclusive interview after the University Ball on Tuesday, November 13, Hamsandwich told SIN that the band didn’t really kick start until 2007, when they hit the Irish music scene with a string of appearances at festivals, and featured on a number of radio and television shows across the country.

Although the original line-up has changed over the years, including founding member Moore’s resignation in 2010, vocalist Niamh Farrell believes that ‘the band as it is now is the real band’. The others agree that there is something special about the way they click together musically. No one person takes the credit for anything; they see writing as a combined effort, individuals add their own instrumentals and ideas along a song’s development. The band have ‘immense respect’ for the song writing process, which builds the blocks for live shows that act as a release gauge for all their hard work.

Podge, guitar and vocals, went into detail about the influence that the album ‘Alligator’ by The National had on his appreciation of music, while Niamh cited Kate Bush as one of her huge musical influences. She is a particular fan of Kate’s early work, which she says displayed an amazing song writing ability that only grew and flourished with time. The band spoke enthusiastically about new techniques being developed by modern artists, but they all agreed that it is the music you have always loved that really inspires your own.

Since the release of their critically-acclaimed second album, ‘White Fox’, Hamsandwich have reached new levels of popularity nationwide. In February 2012, they sold out their first headline show at the Academy Dublin two weeks in advance, and they are on the way to packing out the venue for the second time on 15 December.

However, the success has far from gone to their heads. ‘I know it might sound cliché, but you’re only as big as your last gig,’ says Podge. Within the space of two nights, the band can go from playing to a huge crowd shouting their names to an uninterested few locals at a pub in the country side. ‘You need a few kicks every so often,’ Podge continued. When himself and Ollie Murphy, drummer, heavily commended tracks that Niamh has been working on for the new album, she seemed humbled and honoured by their praise. But the songs sound like they will be worth waiting for, without a doubt.

In any case, the band can’t imagine themselves doing anything other than making music. With their third studio album in production and plans to break into England, we can expect great things from them in the coming years. And after their killer performance at the University Ball, everyone at NUIG is hoping Hamsandwich remember to return to Galway when they make it big.


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