Irish indie-folk four-piece Raglans have undergone a meteoric rise in popularity since their inception in 2010, going from a crowd pleasing, gig-opening favourite at Dublin's Whelan's hotspot to garnering widespread recognition across the UK.
Multi-instrumentalist and lead vocalist Stephen Kelly jokes about the band's conception, pinching Rhos Horan (bass, backing vocals) from his old band and setting off to the capital to meet Conn O' Ruanaidh (drums, backing vocals) and most recent addition Sean O'Brien (lead guitar, backing vocals) to begin rehearsing, touring Ireland and putting the name out there. We recorded a demo of our first song 'Down,' and that was that, we were Raglans.
The name? It came from a famous Patrick Kavanagh poem 'On Raglan Road'. Any school student from Ireland would be able to tell you about that poem, so I guess it stems from being Irish, remembering our roots and how we started out.
Fast forward a year on the Dublin circuit and the band were invited to spend a week producing and recording with the legendary Morrissey collaborator Boz Boorer. That was amazing, out in the mountains of Portugal, an hour's drive from the nearest shop, says 24 year-old Stephen. That was our first real exposure, and certainly helped us focus on the musical direction we wanted to take.
With a host of new material under their belt, the four lads set to work on their debut EP 'Long Live,' drawing influence from contemporary folk/indie bands as well as heavier rock artists. As Stephen explains With Rhos and Conn coming from heavier bands, Sean writing his own Clash-style music, and myself being into the folkier side, we all collaborated to make songs in a unique Raglans style.