Irish Artist – The Frames

The Frames, Irish rock band

For such a small country, Ireland has a ridiculously disproportionate number of internationally famous musicians and bands. What is it about this small, rain-soaked island that breeds such excellent music?

We’ve been exploring that vein of thought in this, a series of profiles I’ve been doing on prominent Irish musical artists and groups. Ireland is a great place to be for anyone interested in music and this is the fourth in this series.

This week’s artist is The Frames.

The Frames is an immensely appealing Dublin band that has been making stirring modern rock music since 1991.

You know the front man, Glen Hansard from his role in the movie, The Commitments. I heard a fascinating interview with Hansard on RTE last year about the genesis and gradual success of his group. It turns out that his dedication to The Frames almost got him kicked off The Commitments movie, as he put his new band’s performances above the film’s shooting schedule on his priority list. At one particular point in the interview, Hansard commented that he remembers looking around and seeing Bette Midler’s birthday party around him (The Commitments were playing her party) and realising the film crew was gone and he was no longer on a movie set. He high-tailed it back to Dublin to get back to the music he wanted to be playing.

The Frames were not doing well for a long time, dropped by more than one record label and having all sorts of problems until they produced their own album and recorded a video in a local post office in 1995, using the security cameras to film their performance. The underground, gritty nature of the video really struck a chord with Ireland and the song, Revelate became a huge hit here.

Since then they have gone on to release a total of eight albums, the latest one, The Cost released in September 2006. Their ubiquitous sing-along Star, Star from their album, Dance the Devil . . . is played nightly in pubs by amateur guitarists across Ireland.

In 2005 The Frames were voted best band at Ireland’s Meteor Awards, a title U2 had held for 12 years running.

This is definately one group worth checking out.

The Frames’s official website.
The Frames’ MySpace page.