Day 5 @ Other Voices 10: The IMRO Other Room

While the artists that played St. James' Church and the majority of the people who watched them have all made the trek back around the Dingle peninsula or gone back to work in their respective cities and towns, seven Irish bands and the crew of Other Voices spend the entire Monday in McCarthy's Bar on the Main Street.

There's no drinking to be had here (at least not til later that night when the crew can put their feet up) as each band are here to perform one song in the venue of McCarthy's which is a small room out back with a corrugated roof that pings with rain when it pours down (and it has been regularly).

We Cut Corners sooth us into the 11am start with 'A Pirate's Life' and the performances continue all day with The Ambience Affair echoing how everyone else feels with 'Fragile Things', Cork band Fred played the building 'Stereoscope' from recent album Leaving My Empire, upcoming alt-pop Dubin band Gypsies On The Autobahn performed 'Five Words' while Lisburn man Peter McCauley who goes by the name of Rams Pocket Radio and Dingle resident Eithne O'Cathain aka Inni-K impressed with '1+2' and 'Gentle Star' respectively.

Sandwiched (sorry, couldn't resist) between all of the acts, Ham Sandwich performed their breakthrough hit 'Ants'. In Benners bar, after their performance in the IMRO room, Niamh and Podge of the band are enjoying the relaxed atmosphere and tell of happenings on the main street in Dingle just minutes before.

"Did you see that?, " Podge asks. "There was a tractor going up the road and it had one single sheep standing in the back on the loader thing and it was only just off the ground so it looked mental. A single sheep getting a lift up the town. So funny."

"It was bizarre... brilliant," adds Niamh.

Ham Sandwich are not a new band but this is their long overdue first time at Other Voices. The band's second album White Fox has been doing well for them and the song they performed in Dingle for the cameras has really helped.

"'Ants' reeled in lots of new fans, " says Podge. It's different to everything else on the album but people seem to hear that and want to go and listen to the rest."

While the band had played in Dingle before, this visit was also their first time in McCarthy's bar where the recordings take place. The owner of the bar, Tom who was clearly impressed by them had his own way of asking them to play the pub venue...

Tom: "Have you played Dingle before? "
Podge: "A couple of times."
Tom: "Why haven't you played here?"
Podge: "We were never asked..."
Tom: "Well you're being asked now."

Ah, the Dingle charm.

Photos by James Goulden: