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A Plastic Rose
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Always the awkward, sensitive type, Ian McHugh started writing at 14, and has been frontman to an array of Sligo bands like punk rock outfit Big Jim Evans, angsty post hardcore band Inebriate, and the Haiku Thiefs, most including Mitchell on Bass. He made his first appearance at ;egendary Sligo venue McGarrigleÆs at 15. "We supported the Hooks (punk act from Co.Sligo now making a splash in the states). I reckon the staff in McGarrigleÆs hadnÆt a clue we were coming so we arrived and went straight on, thrashed away, and high tailed it home to bed". After heading North to Belfast in 2003 to study Architecture, he moved towards a minimal folk singer songwriter sound, inspired by the alt. country of Bright Eyes and the writing of heroes like Leonard Cohen, an influenced he picked up from his father, and tagging along to folk sessions as a child. He gigged sporadically around the country and in Belfast, in between bouts of collage work, all the time home-recording and selling demos at gigs. "I spent the last few years searching for the right noise for the feeling" He met drummer Murray, an ethnomusicology student and b?dhran player for northern trad act Beoga, at college and self released æthe sunrise demosÆ in Summer 2005.
A Cartron native, Gerry Norman cut his musical teeth in the songwriter scene centred around the open mic sessions in Bar Eile at the Garavogue Bar in Sligo (where Ian was also a regular performer) and wrote his own music right from the start, inspired by Kurt Kobain, Jeff Buckley and Ben Kweller. After gigging occasionally while studying Industrial Design at Sligo I.T. He formed the Haiku Thiefs in 2005, with beefed up arrangements of his own songs, winning a treasure island battle of the bands in Ballyshannon before splitting in September of that year. Gerry then moved to Edinburgh where he played solo acoustic gigs and band sets and built up a regular following over the course of a year.
He released his "Escape, Sex and Alcohol" E.P. in Edinburgh that year before joining his former band mates in Belfast this year. "I was itching to get back to the intensity of a full band and the chance to play with my best mates is a bonus. The Nordies are slightly easier to understand than the Scots, but theres still a lot of nodding and smiling going on"
After a triumphant appearance on the 2fm 2moro 2our, and a sell out Christmas homecoming gig at McGarrigleÆs in Sligo, their debut E.P., æFive Second StareÆ was released in January 2007 to critical acclaim, recorded at Homestead Studios with Mudd Wallace who has produced CDs for bands such as Therapy?, The Divine Comedy and The Four of Us to name a few. The four track c.d. includes band recordings of favourites 'Indian Sheets', æScream If You Need It', and 'Hold on Tight' along with a new song written by the band, 'My AvalancheÆ. Expect to see A Plastic Rose play live soon as a nationwide launch is planned for early '07.