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Explosives, firearms, disused office blocks and Stephen Street. Craig Fitzpatrick meets Funeral Suits.
Craig Fitzpatrick, 01 Aug 2012
Funeral Suits gotta get out of this place, if it’s the last thing they ever do. But the logistics of moving the four-piece to London mean it’s taking a while. Singer-guitarist Brian James, he of the messy hair and puppy dog enthusiasm, tells it like it is.
“We were gonna go in January but I broke my arm,” he shrugs. “I fell off a statue in Brighton at a friend’s birthday. It was Chinese New Year. I was trying to catch fireworks.
“We’re all living at home just to save money,” he continues. “But... we haven’t saved any money. I don’t know about you?”
The spotlight turns to his more considered, less animated bandmate, drummer Greg McCarthy. He grins.
“I have 20 quid in a credit union account somewhere...”
Well, it’s a start. As is debut album Lily Of The Valley, a dark, witty and inventive work that recalls The Knife’s electronics aligned to some spiky art pop. Gleefully ill-mannered, otherworldly and assured.
It all came together over 24 months in a disused office space on Dublin’s northside.
“There was a brewery beside us!” smiles Greg. Ah, so they spent most of those two years organising piss-ups?
“Well it didn’t work out like that!” Brian insists. “It’s quite remote and we had the whole building to ourselves, not just one office. We were all staying there, having sleepovers and pizza parties!”
Realising in between margheritas that they had something special on their hands, they stuck their neck out and set about getting renowned producer Stephen Street behind the desk.
“He has this website, you know like, stephenstreet.com, so I emailed him,” Brian explains. “Two weeks later to our amazement his manager got back to us. Originally we asked him to mix an EP, ease our way in softly-softly. But then he became the album’s driving force. We couldn’t afford it, but we did a deal with him whereby we didn’t have to give him any money!”
They mightn’t be hitting their targets dead on time (poverty and playing with pyrotechnics will do that) but they are making great strides. The attention-grabbing first Funeral Suits record is in the bag, and they’ve got to support one of their indie heroes.