OSKI BRAVO – From RI79


Dublin 5 piece Oski Bravo came together in late 2015 and are Keith Cooke, Fiachra Robinson, John Crowther and Shane Fitzgerald, fronted by long time (and long suffering!) Red and our very own Donnchadh Mac Aogáin. Oski Bravo launch their self-titled debut album on 25 June with a live performance at Whelans, and we sat down with Dunny in early June to talk about the band, the forthcoming album, and of course the Reds.

Reds Independent: Dunny- what a 12 months you’ve had! The Reds promoted, Tolka Park saved, you did the double with Shels AFC and now you’re releasing Oski Bravo’s debut album – you’ve been very busy! How are you feeling?!

Tired and emotional! Ah it’s been incredible, it really has. In all of the above there were times; between Covid restrictions, a slow start to the season and things not always going our way with STP where it looked like things could fail on all three fronts. So to look at where things are now is incredibly rewarding.

RI: The two singles you’ve released this year have been great – We Want the World and Brand New Start – but a bit distinct from each other musically. Can you tell us a little bit about the album? What can we expect? Influences?

Yeah “We Want the World” is probably a bit more representative of the album overall, in that it’s quite up tempo and guitar driven. “Brand New Start” is a bit closer to our earlier stuff maybe, but I felt with the subject matter in that song it needed to be presented the way that we did it. The album itself is a mix of some former singles and new tracks we recorded over a few sessions with Dan Doherty (who did Fontaines DC’s early stuff) and I think it’s a good blend of indie-pop with hopefully some memorable tunes in there! Influence-wise I’ve always loved any guitar music with an emphasis on melody; The Smiths, Lemonheads, Sebadoh, REM…that type of stuff. But if it’s good, it’s good. Actually Irish acts like Cathy Davey and Delorentos have influenced me more and more over the past few years.

RI: How would you describe the music Oski Bravo typically create?

At first we leaned quite heavily on the acoustic elements, with cello and acoustic guitar doing a lot of the heavy-lifting. That meant that our early stuff on average was a bit slower and more ballad-like maybe. But once we got our first EP released and I had to start cranking out new songs again, our emphasis sort of changed. First John’s electric guitar came more to the fore and bit by bit the acoustic elements took a back seat. We have plenty of songs to choose from now and I find our live sets bounce along nicely these days and I’ve found myself smiling a great deal more than I used to onstage!

RI: What is the creative process like in Oski Bravo?

Well, I write all the songs and the lyrics and then pitch my ideas to the band usually. Before Covid I would usually just send over fresh acoustic versions I recorded on my phone and let the others hear it stripped down like that. When we’d get into the rehearsal room then and when the others added their parts you would really see the song taking shape. By the time a song gets recorded it can sound quite different to how they started out. But during Covid I ended up buying a bunch of electric guitars and using the Garageband app to effectively make demos of songs myself; I’d play all the guitar parts, the bass etc and then add the synthetic drums on top. I think I wrote over 15 new songs that way in the time where we couldn’t rehearse. “We Want the World” and “The Anarchist’s Wedding” came from that bunch. But as ever, the cool riffs always come from John! He’s on another level when it comes to electric guitar, the chap is outrageous!

RI: How long did this album take to make from start to finish, writing and recording-wise?

Well that’s a difficult one to answer ‘cause we started it before Covid and then had to do another session as soon as things reopened to finish it! Longer than it should have and hopefully a fraction of the time our next one will take!

RI: What kind of “sound”, production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?

It’s probably a dangerous thing to go into any recording session having too many expectations on production, as every experience tends to be unique. Ultimately you go in with a collection of songs that you want to portray in the best possible light. In every session we’ve ever done there have been dark horses that surprise me they turn out so well (“All I Know” and “The Anarchist’s Wedding” would be in that category for me) and then sometimes the one you assume is going to be a home run can fall flat. But we’ve worked with a few producers now and out best experiences have been with Dan Doherty in Darklands; his attitude and way of working seems to suit us and work for the songs we have. If you’re nodding along by the time the last chorus rolls around that’s usually a good sign for me!

RI: It was very difficult being a football fan during the pandemic, but I’d say it was even worse being a musician. Was it difficult maintaining the spirit of the band during that time and did it have an impact on the recording process?

Yeah it was a fairly dispiriting time for everyone. Playing in rooms, be that gigs, rehearsals or recordings – that’s what being in a band is all about. So when that’s indefinitely taken away you do lose a sense of purpose. Lucky for us though, we had started the album and we were sure we wanted to see that process through. And as I said before, it gave me time to do a lot of writing. We did get knocked back a bit though when in only our second rehearsal after we came back, our bassist Ken told us he was leaving the band! His tinnitus had become too severe, and he had to stop playing altogether. So that put me on my arse for a bit! But we were blessed to get Shane Fitzgerald in after a little search and we’ve never been better now! He’s been a real shot in the arm for us all.

RI: Oski Bravo were one of the stars of the Save Tolka Park night in the Button Factory. What was it like to play that night in front of a packed room of Reds?

Ah man that was a night I’ll never forget! It was very emotional for me to see where we had managed to take the STP campaign to and the incredible support that rowed in behind us. That night would have been special for me on that level alone! But to couple that with our first live performance since before lockdown…it really was magic. A room brimming with togetherness and positivity and I’m very proud to have played my own small part in the whole thing. I’ll never get tired of belting out a bit of Monaco to a room full of Reds!

RI: You’re launching the album in Whelan’s on 25th June, a night we’re all looking forward to. I know you played Bloom last week, any other gigs on the horizon?

That’s right yeah, Saturday the 25th, the night after Mauro Picotto rocks the bar! Bloom was a bit of fun yeah, it was nice getting to play for a full hour up on stage again. We’re in Galway the Friday after Whelan’s (at Livestock), then the following Saturday we’re opening for Mundy and The Stunning in Kilkenny which should be cool. And we wrap the summer up on Friday, August 26th in Clane, Co. Kildare at The Playing Fields. That’s a great festival actually; we played its opening year, and it was one of the best run events we’ve ever been at. So a great way to close things out.

RI: What’s next for Oski Bravo?

Well we’ll be firing out this album at the end of the month and then we’re going to enjoy these gigs that are in front of us as much as we can. Doing overnighters at festivals is definitely one of my favourite parts of being in a band. Bopping about places you’d never normally be, mixing with strangers and listening to all manner of mad stuff. A bit like an away day in the First Division I suppose! After that we’ll regroup in the winter and get our teeth into this batch of new songs and decide which ones will be next to get recorded. We like to prepare in the winter, record around Easter and then have new music to release and gig for the summer. So we’ll hopefully get back on track with that again.

RI: Can I ask you; how detrimental is Spotify or other streaming services to up and coming bands?

That’s a tricky enough situation. The streaming platforms, and YouTube as well, have decentralised music away from the record labels and have put the onus on the bands to create, ahem, “content” and essentially become your own promoter and record label. That has its advantages and pitfalls of course. Some say that it makes everything very democratic and if the music is good enough people will eventually find it and you will reap the rewards. But then again, the great thing that indie record labels had to offer was that the people behind those labels were prepared to take punts on acts that otherwise never would have gotten any oxygen. Now when you’re talking to festivals and venues they will ask you questions, not about the music; but about any videos or clips you’ve had that might have “gone viral” or how many followers you have on a certain social media platform. So unfortunately, I think we’ve gone too far the other way now. Putting your music “out there” has never been easier. But getting heard amongst the din is probably harder than ever.

RI: Finally, the Reds! Are you happy with how the season has gone and what are your expectations or predictions for the second half of the season?

The fucking Reds ey?! Never dull! Ah look the first half of the season started slowly enough but it definitely feels like some things have begun clicking for us now and sitting 6th at the midseason break was fantastic. Sean Boyd has hit his stride now and the same can be said for Moylan, which has seen us scoring a few more goals that were definitely needed. Clarkey coming in was obviously an important turning point for us and we’ve looked much more solid since then. My ambitions before the season started were: 1) Save Tolka Park – 2) Stay up and 3) win a couple of Dublin derbies. Anything above that would be gravy. We’ve already beaten Pats, saved Tolka and gone a long way towards staying up by opening the gap we have over the bottom two. From here on in I’d like us to maintain that gap, turn Bohs over at least once and get some revenge for those two dreadful losses against Harps! Oh, and a European away for the Shels WNL team por favor!

For more information check out www.OskiBravo.com, https://twitter.com/OskiBravo, https://www.instagram.com/oski.bravo.band/ , https://www.facebook.com/OskiBravoBand

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1) Contributors should refrain from personal attacks. Criticism (preferably constructive) of the actions of those involved may be legitimate, but attacks on a person’s character, insofar as it is not relevant or distinct from their official capacity, is not.

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Please send all submissions to: redsindependent@gmail.com

RI Quiz 2- May 8- answers!

Nice one to everyone who took part in the quiz this week, here are the answers!

Round 1:

  1. 2008
  2. California (3).
  3. Belfast Celtic.
  4. Qatar
  5. Juventus, formed in 1897, Barça 1899, Bayern 1900.
  6. Brazil (men’s), Germany (women’s).
  7. Brazil (7:0 in 1982).
  8. 1985/86.
  9. Germany, Spain, France, USSR, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Netherlands, Denmark, Greece, and Portugal.
  10. Benfica (37).

Round 2:

  1. Lily Allen.
  2. From Home To Home.
  3. 3 (Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal).
  4. 1963-64.
  5. Fiorentina
  6. Spain, England, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Romania, Yugoslavia, France.
  7. Thirteen
  8. (Both v Wales).
  9. Two
  10. They’re related. Keane’s grandfather and Morrissey’s father are cousins.

See you next week!

RI Quiz 2- 8 May 2020

2 rounds in this week’s quiz- good luck all!

Round 1

  1. What year was the UEFA Intertoto Cup last played for?
  2. Which US state has the most MLS franchises?
  3. Who did Shelbourne beat to become the first Dublin club to win the Irish Cup in 1906?
  4. Which nation won the last Asian Cup in 2019?
  5. Which is the oldest football club, Barcelona, Juventus, or Bayern München?
  6. Which nations took the gold medals for football at the 2016 Olympics?
  7. Against which nation did the Republic of Ireland men’s senior team suffer their heaviest defeat?
  8. What was the inaugural season of the League of Ireland First Division?
  9. How many nations have won the European Championship (including European Nations Cup)?
  10. Which club has been crowned champions of Portugal on the most occasions?

Round 2

 

 

  1. The father of which well-known female singer-songwriter co-wrote the England Italia90 song World in Motion?
  2. What was the name of the first Shels fanzine, first published in the 1980s?
  3. How many Canadian sides play in the MLS?
  4. What was the first season of the German Bundesliga?
  5. Which Italian side plays at the Stadio Artemio Franchi?
  6. The European Cup/Champions League has been won by clubs from the leagues of how many different nations?
  7. How many sides took part in the first FIFA World Cup in Uruguay in 1930?
  8. How many men’s full internationals has Tolka Park staged?
  9. How many All-Irelands did Kevin Moran win?
  10. What connection is there between Robbie Keane and the artist Morrissey?

Email your answers into redsindependent@gmail.com or DM them to the Twitter account. No googling or conferring!

RI69 July 2020

Hollywood, organised crime and Red Inc… the only things untouchable by economic forces. RI69 is in production but will not be out in late May. Our intention was to then release an issue for July at the end of June when the League marked this as a provisional return date.

LOI football won’t resume at the end of June, but we are working towards that as a deadline nonetheless. Although we sell 90-95% of our fanzines outside the ground, if football has not returned at that point, we will look to release a limited edition RI69 by post.

It will be a limited edition run of 125 (years of the Reds). Cost will be €5 TYD Ireland, €6 overseas. This is all of course dependent on our printer operating business as usual. We’ll keep you updated.

In meantime, we are seeking your articles, opinions, letters, ideas, pictures, cartoons, piss-takes and anything else that is relevant to football but particularly the Reds and the LOI.

If you have an article or piece you would like to submit please send it to: redsindependent@gmail.com

 

RI Quiz 1 – answers!

Nice one to everyone who took part! We’ll get around to messaging you all over the next few hours or so! Here’s the answers:

  1. Israel
  2. FC Nordsjælland.
  3. Shelbourne and Derry City.
  4. Kilkenny City.
  5. They won the German championship.
  6. Mardyke, Flower Lodge, and Turners Cross.
  7. Sunderland with 6. Newcastle have 4, Leeds 3.
  8. Germany.
  9. Franz Beckenbauer.
  10. Kaká.

RI Quiz 1 – 1 May 2020

1 May 2020

10 questions- we don’t know if there will be prizes yet!

1. Which national side has competed in World Cup qualifiers in three different continents?

2. Which Danish Superliga side plays in the town of Farum?

3. Which sides played in the first League of Ireland match broadcast live on tv?

4. Which former League of Ireland club once had a fanzine entitled Every Man a Football Artist?

5. What was unusual about Rapid Vienna’s national championship win in 1941?

6. Which three Cork grounds have staged Irish senior men’s full internationals?

7. Which club has the most English titles? Leeds United, Sunderland, or Newcastle United?

8. Which country is scheduled to host Euro2024?

9. Which former West German international played for Bayern München, Hamburger SV, and New York Cosmos?

10. The Ballon d’Or was won by either Ronaldo or Messi from 2008-2017. Who won it in in 2007?

Email your answers into redsindependent@gmail.com or DM them to the Twitter account. No googling or conferring!

RI 63

RI63 is now completely sold out. Many thanks to everyone who purchased a copy.

Red Inc. 63 On Sale Friday June 1st

RI63 will be on sale Friday night at the Wexford game, outside the ground, from 7 pm til 8pm, and again outside Tolka at full time.

This month’s issue contains a look at last month’s fans forum, pyro on the pitch, podcasts, Prenton Park 20 years on and all your usual favourites as well as a whole lot more.

It is a 32 page edition, all for a mere €2.