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A brighter shade of Pale
Well, skip a light fandango if it isn’t The Pale, back with a new EP after the long absence that followed their massive contribution to the Irish rock scene of the early nineties. The Final Garden sees them re-emerge as a sturdier yet looser musical unit than of yore.
Jackie Hayden, 25 Apr 2006
All hail the return of The Pale. Matthew Devereux and Shane Wearen, two founder members of the band, have recently been joined by Q, (guitarist Colm Quearney on the census form) and are all set for a comeback, with a new EP The Final Garden already released and another single and album to be unleashed before the summer.
According to Devereux, he and Wearen have been a musical partnership for 16 years. As he told hotpress last week, “There’s a chemistry there. It reminds me a little of the Morrissey-Marr situation. I tend towards writing darker lyrics, and the literature I read is usually dark too, while Shane has the knack of matching my lyrics with a lighter, more optimistic musical approach.”
Pale songs are nothing if not eclectic, often featuring influences from five continents in the confines of one song. Devereux agrees, but dismisses any notion of contrivance.
“It has to be totally natural for it to work for me,” he maintains. “Shane’s dad plays Russian music and a lot of Irish trad, and I suppose what comes out in the music is really only a reflection of the variety of stuff we listen to. At the moment that includes Devendra Banhart, whose album sounds to me like something that came out in 1968, and the new Flaming Lips album is brilliant, so you get all those influences as well as the slightly quirky stuff that attracts me too.”
As to why The Pale seemed to stall first time round when they seemed on the brink of cracking the big time internationally, Devereux has his own theories.
“I was much younger then and tended to blame everybody,” he admits. “These days I tend to blame myself more than others. But back then, we just preceded Britpop, so when it hit, all the record labels wanted Britpop bands. We were under pressure to change what we were, but I wasn’t going to change my hairstyle just to get an album a few extra places up the charts. Because we were all young we were not quite aware at the time that we had opportunities that were more important than we thought. But that was then.”