Interview with ‘Mano’

3 Apr

For my final post before I hand my blog in for marking on Friday I decided to write a piece on Irish/Scottish band ‘Mano’ (based in Glasgow). They describe themselves as a contemporary folk band and have only been together for six months, however are already well established in the music world of Glasgow. The band consists of four guys: Ciaran Clifford on whistle, Danny Hunter on fiddle, Mark Bruce on guitar and Eamonn Nugent on Bodhran. I managed to ask a few questions to Eamonn and Mark about the band…

MANO

So tell me a little bit about the name of the band?

The name started as ‘Out of Hand’ – a name we feel we earned after four nights of carnage in Amsterdam! We then changed it to ‘Mano’ as we felt it was more appealing.

When did your interest in music start and when did you know that you wanted to take your interest into a forming a band?

Mark: I think it’s always been instilled in me that I wanted to do music as my career. I started out on the pipes when I was eight and then moved onto the fiddle. I started playing the guitar in my mid-teens and decided that’s what I wanted to put my focus on. I gained a place on a couple of local traditional music tours for 16-20 year olds and that’s when I decided I wanted to make it a career.

Eamonn: I also started playing traditional music at a young age. I used to dabble on many different instruments but would never stay on any longer to be good at them! I started on the bodhran when I was around thirteen, attending some lessons and have never looked back! I used to play in a few other projects before, and more recently toured around Ireland for nine weeks playing in a band for an Irish dancing show. It was after our trip to Amsterdam with the other band members that encouraged us to take things further.

How long have you been in ‘Mano’ and how did you guys meet each other?

Mark: ‘Mano’ have only been a band for six months – we were cobbled together by our infamous ring leader Mr Ciaran Clifford (whistle). He needed a guitarist and was given my name by a mutual friend, ‘Take Me Out’s’ very own Jack Rutter! It was a surreal feeling knowing I was flying to Holland having not met the other three lads I was about to do a gig with! Luckily we hit it  off and here we are, five months on, having played at Celtic Connections and are about to do some recording pretty soon too.

What kind of music do you guys play? Who are you influenced by?

We are a traditional Irish/Scottish band with a contemporary twist when arranging the tunes. Overall I’d say artists such as: KAN, Lunasa, Flook, Session A9, Beoga, Liz Carroll and Lau would all hold heavy influences on the band.

So you played at Celtic Connections! How was it?

It was a blast yeah – we played on the Danny Kyle Open Stage on the Sunday and then got a phone call that night asking to play at the festival club. That was quite an honour as it’s almost unheard of for a band to play at the Danny Kyle and then get asked to do the festival club, so we were all really pleased with that!

What kind of other places have you played at? Do you have any upcoming gigs?

We are set for a busy summer with festivals in Scotland and England and an appearance at a distillery. We are also hoping to go back over to Holland.

What kind of things do you do outside the band with your music? Do you perform alone?

Mark: Doing a music course means I play in several bands – mostly traditional ones. I rarely perform solo as I play predominantly as an accompaniment for tunes. I know Mr Hunter (Danny, fiddle) has a cracking singing voice and plans to go solo though…

Eamonn: I’m currently doing something totally unrelated and studying Ophthalmic Dispensing at Glasgow Caledonian University. But at the weekends when I’m off, music is a big thing for me and I do gigs whenever I can!

Is playing in a band a purely recreational thing or do you plan to take it further in the future?

Mark: I hopefully will make it my career after University.

Eamonn: I would say the band is a bit of both for me: I enjoy it for the fun of it, but wouldn’t mind if it went further in the future.

It was great being able to get a bit of inside knowledge on the band and the members and I wish you all the best in the future guys! J Congratulations with your successes so far.

And to all my readers, thank you so much for reading my blog so far, as my last posted stated, I’ll be carrying on with occasional posts as and when I find things of interest to share, but if you’re interested please check out my new blog here – let’s hope all this hard work has paid off!

Mano will be playing at the 'Edale Folk Festival' in the Peak District from the 18th-20th of May!

Click to like the band on Facebook and follow them on Twitter:

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