Let’s Get Lost

As The Lost Brothers hit The Whale on January 28th, we find out what makes them kick.

Hailing from Meath and Tyrone respectively, Oisín Leech and Mark McCausland have been making music together since 2007.

And as The Lost Brothers, they’ve built up a reputation as one of Ireland’s more interesting duos.

Even poet Paul Muldoon is impressed, stating that “their songs often seem quite placid on the surface – then one realises just how depth-charged they truly are”.

When you’ve got fans such as the Muldoon lad in your audience, you know you must be doing something right, Leech and McCausland poetically listing their influences as Patrick Kavanagh, Billie Holiday and Jack B Yeats. To name just three much-loved rockers.

More recently, their latest album, After The Fire After The Rain, made Album Of The Day on BBC 6 Music, getting the thumbs up from Iggy Pop and Steve Lamacq.

So, where did this gift come from? We tracked down Oisín to find out…

I was lucky enough to grow up around music.

On both sides of the family there’s a huge appreciation of music of all genres, from Irish traditional to jazz. My grandmother in Buncranna Co. Donegal ran the Plaza dancehall in the 1950s and ’60s, and saw all the bands of the time pass through. I’ve memories of her sitting at the piano playing and singing at night for hours. I’d sit by the fire, enthralled.

I’ve another Buncranna memory of playing Beck on a small dictaphone walking around the coast in the rain.

My mum and dad are both great singers too and my dad plays fiddle. And my sister is an ace piano player and singer also! She’s got a superb band with her husband Cormac called Perlee. So in essence, I’ve been surrounded by music since childhood.

From my dad’s side I’ve also inherited a healthy collection of very fine vinyl records from the likes of Sean O’Riada to Paul Robeson, from Planxty to Bob Dylan and Nina Simone, from The Chieftains to Joni Mitchell and Clannad.

When I hit the age of 14, a school pal Allen Quinn in Navan played me a cassette of Bob Dylan’s Freewheelin album and that changed my life forever. That led me to Woody Guthrie, The Clash, Gil Scott Heron and beyond.

The Lost Brothers play The Whale on Saturday, January 28th.

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