Ahead of their performance at Longford’s NewC Fest this Saturday 7 June at Newcastle House, Ballymahon, Co Longford, I had a quick chat with Keywest‘s Jimi Lock.
RobMoro: Known for their impromptu busking sessions on some of Ireland’s famous streets, how did it all start?
Jimi: “It started with Kav and Glove in a shed in Artane at first, Sam came in bringing me (Jimi) and Harry from England. We jelled really easily which was great as we had to live together in the early days.”
RobMoro: Everyone has a prominent role in band, but what was your earliest memory of wanting to write songs/record as a band?
Jimi: “Kav and Glove grew up writing songs so I guess it was a natural progression to add members and become a band.”
RobMoro: What about your style of songwriting, is there any particular artists that Keywest get influence from?
Jimi: “We (Keywest) love anything with that big stadium sound, U2, Kings of Leon come to mind, but we all have very personal tastes which makes things interesting to the song cauldron.”
RobMoro: With festival season having just kicked off with Vantastival, Forbidden Fruit to name a few, are you looking forward to playing more tents/stages this summer, in particular NewC Fest?
Jimi: “Of course, festivals are always in the sunny months! I like to think that any Keywest show should be treated like a party…. So festivals are perfect forthat.”
RobMoro: You gather quite a fanbase from playing on Grafton St, what does it feel like to have a large following based on your stripped back style?
Jimi: “I don’t feel that it is stripped back, we rock hard even on chairs! But the reaction we have had on our social media because of it is fantastic, and it’s always cool once they see the full show under a roof somewhere.”
RobMoro: What sort of gigs are your favourite to play? Theatres, Music Clubs, Festivals, Busking?
Jimi: “We’re getting used to busking and we really like the idea of playing together everyday, but our favourite has to be the big shows, shows like Vicar St will always stick out, there’s a real buzz around them at the time.”
RobMoro: Would Vicar St be your favourite venue then? since you’ve played there twice to a full house on both occasions?
Jimi: “Yes … only so far tho!”
RobMoro: Do you have a gig rider/requests? or If you had one, what would you have?
Jimi: “Nothing crazy, food and beer keeps us and the crew happy, although Glove has been known to request a tequila on occasion.”
RobMoro: So if any new fans catch you this weekend, Where can they get their hands on your music? At your shows / busking only or on digital and in record stores?
Jimi: “www.keywestofficial.com is always a safe bet for the latest tunes, but if you catch us busking we’ll probably have something on us too.”
RobMoro: So what is next for Keywest? A tour? more recording? A second album perhaps?
Jimi: “Yes, yes and yes!”
The one day, two stages music festival with camping are aiming to promote some of the best of Irish music.
You can catch Keywest at NewC Fest this Saturday with Ryan Sheridan, Ham Sandwich, Big September, Tupelo, White Chalk, Children of the Son and Red Empire.
Tickets are €34.95 for students and €39.95 for adults on sale now from www.tickets.ie