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Sound Men Altogether
They were the great new hopes of Irish rock. Until, with their second album in the can, they decided to, er, call it a day. Thankfully, Delorentos have changed their mind and are about to step back into the fray with new LP You Can Make Sound. Hot Press joins them for a contemplative walk by the sea.
Peter Murphy, 20 Oct 2009
You never know in whose footsteps you walk. Dubliners trod a map of Ulysses every day of the week. 20 kilometres up the county on a late September afternoon, the four boys from Delorentos are taking breaks from having their picture taken on the cliffs overlooking the Irish Sea to point out local historical and psychogeographical landmarks. Just over that rise of hill George Harrison holidayed as a kid. Out yonder lies an island purported to be marked by St Patrick’s gargantuan footprint. The composer Frederick May spent his last days in a nursing home close to here. Bono and Edge were baptised into the Shalom prayer group on this very beach.
As kids these four musicians – Rónan Yourell (vocals, guitar, piano), Kieran McGuinness (vocals, guitar), Níal Conlan (bass, backing vocals) and Ross McCormick (drums, backing vocals) – used to kick football on the pitch beside St Ita’s, which is less a psychiatric institution than an estate or village unto itself. There’s a peculiar atmosphere here, the sort of remote, sea-lapped end of the world vibe one might get in Cornwall or Findhorn.
Not quite Wicker Man territory, but still, a film location waiting to happen.
Delorentos’ practice space is close by, and they’re only just starting to realise how lucky they are to be able to forge their songs far from the cramped, smelly, noisy rehearsal rooms of the fleshpots. The sea is a constant, sighing presence. There’s an expansiveness about the area, a sense of infinite sky and sea, that puts the band’s sound entirely in context.
Delorentos’ second album You Can Make Sound is a strident and supremely confident record, all the more surprising because it was recorded while the band had effectively split. Following a run of bad luck in business compounded by a period of live inactivity, Rónan Yourell grew listless and confused and announced that he was leaving the group.
“We got confused, sidetracked,” recalls Kieran McGuinness, sat beside his bandmates in a Portrane bar. “We toured and toured the first album and then we went back in and started writing songs, and all of a sudden we weren’t playing gigs. And it’s apparent to us now how important it was to go out and play. You feel like you’re alive, a functioning band, you’re real, and you can see the whites of people’s eyes and gauge a reaction straight away.