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The Coronas have been one of Ireland’s independent music industry’s biggest success stories in recent years having 3 albums on their on own label 3ú Records, one of which, ‘Tony Was an Ex-Con’ received Best Irish Album at the 2010 Meteor Awards.
Ahead of their return to Live At The Marquee after a great reaction to their concert there last year, their frontman Danny O’Reilly reflected on the time it has taken to get to that level and how important Cork has been in that success, “we’ve been recording for 7 years but we’ve been playing for 11, and we’ve been playing Cork since the very start. I remember us playing gigs in the afternoon in UCC, everyone would be just having their sandwiches and their pints and weren’t there to pay attention but we always had great craic. I don’t know what it was about Cork but they always welcomed us, we were just a UCD band with no critical hype or anything like that. Maybe it’s from all the gigging in UCC but in relation to the population Cork is always our busiest gig, I think it’s from people coming to our early gigs then the bigger venues and now the biggest venue there is, we’re bigger in Cork than Dublin! That includes album sales per capita too.”
Danny thinks that The Coronas have grown up with that crowd, “when we were students in a student band it wasn’t like we playing those gigs to cynically get that audience, we were that audience ourselves. When our first album came out we’d just finished college three months before. Thankfully that original audience had stuck and grown with us, we haven’t consciously changed our songwriting or anything, we’ve just all developed or matured together. We let the songs lead us, and people feel a part of that and maybe there is a sense of loyalty to us too, and that feels amazing. Without a doubt we spot faces in the crowd that have come again and again, we’d chat away with them. We’ve always been surprised by people supporting us. Like when we played the Marquee last year we felt incredible, the biggest venue we’d played in Dublin at that stage was the Olympia, which is about a third the size of The Marquee. We’ve been looking forward to it all year, there’s something about the atmosphere in there and a buzz around the town.”
Danny explained how The Coronas are still playing small as well as large scale gigs, “we’re just back from a tour in Australia and it was great, just the 6 of us on the road in the van and we had a great time. But we really enjoy the big gigs like The Marquee and The Big Top in Galway too, I love that about the position we’ve got to where we get to still enjoy both sides of it, the intimate touring and the larger scale where you have 6000 fans singing our songs back at you, which is mindblowing. Our songs still come across, we’re able to tailor our sound to the size of the audience.”
For Danny, those songs are what The Coronas are all about, “the songs reflect who we are; we want to see people singing them back. That’s what we love and was the kind of music I grew up listening to, tunes you could sing along to like The Beatles. When we supported Paul McCartney in RDS in 2010, I was able to sing every word of his whole gig… not that I’m comparing myself to Paul McCartney or anything!
The Coronas play Live At The Marquee on Friday 13 June, tickets available via www.ticketmaster.ie