By David Hennessy
They record and drink with Shane MacGowan from The Pogues, count Niall Horan from One Direction and Bressie as celebrity fans and friends, have recorded with film star, Patrick Bergin, performed at the recent Cycle Against Suicide and guested with Joe Rooney on Celebrity Come Dine with Me Ireland, playing for Rosanna Davison.
The Aftermath, the musical unit of Leeds-Irish brothers Johnny and Mick Cronin, will present a history of Irish music at a very special gig at The Claddagh Ring, Hendon this Saturday May 25.
“I’m really looking to it,” guitarist and vocalist Johnny tells The Irish World. “It should be a great gig and I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends, it (London) seems to be a hopping place for a lot of young Irish. It will be the best of Celtic rock. We’ll do a few of our own but we’ll do Van Morrison, The Pogues, The Waterboys, U2, Thin Lizzy, The Frames, Mundy, Damien Rice, Declan O’Rourke, The Dubliners, The Cranberries, The Saw Doctors, Planxty, The Undertones, Christy Moore, The Divine Comedy. We’re doing the best of Irish. We’re really looking forward to it.
“We love playing in London and The Claddagh Ring seems to be the place. When Niall Horan is in London, he says he goes drinking there and Bressie has drank there with him too so we’re looking forward to it. It’s great to see a lot of Irish bands going back over again now.
“It’s gone full circle, it’s gone back to the days when we emigrated so maybe songs like Ordinary Man by Christy Moore or The Saw Doctors’ N17: Them songs are back in fashion again now. I felt when I was singing them in Ireland to the Celtic Tiger generation, it lost its meaning and now they’re back.”
Born in Drumlish, Co. Longford, Johnny and his brother moved to Leeds when Johnny was 14, remaining there for ten years. The lads are now based in Mullingar. The Aftermath have had 3 top 20 singles in Ireland and their debut album Friendlier up Here made it into the top 20 in 2008. Later this year, they will be playing The Marquee and Drumlish and Electric Picnic.
Could some of their famous fans be seen at their Claddagh gig? “You never know,” Johnny laughs. “We’ll be texting everyone. The last time we played The Boogaloo, it was great to see a few heads, Mark E Nevin (Fairground Attraction guitarist) came down and we had Shanne (Bradley) from The Nips, he hopped up and played bass with us. You never know.
“I know Bressie 11 years. We supported The Blizzards with The Script. The Script went onstage before us. We supported them all around Ireland.
“Niall (Horan) we know well from the town, we played his brother’s wedding two months ago and Niall hopped up for half an hour with us onstage. He did Teenage Kicks with us so it was a great night. It was great for us, it was like a botox injection for the band.”
Johnny’ s brother Mick Cronin has been moonlighting with Shane MacGowan’s original band The Nips recording and playing live with them, and The Aftermath joined Shane on last year’s The Rocky Road to Poland: “And Bressie did a version too. It was like Only Fools and Horses. We didn’t know they were doing a version and they both came out but our version was more of a Lisdoonvarna/ Joxer Goes to Stuttgart. It was more about friendship and a big drinking session.”
When asked for a highlight of his musical career, Johnny understandably finds it hard to pick just one: “ I think working with Steve Wickham from The Waterboys or playing The Marquee in Drumlish or the Shane MacGowan song, that is the biggest highlight actually because Shane MacGowan would be our hero.”
For the full interview, see the May 25 print edition of The Irish World.
The Aftermath will be joined by Leeds-Irish fiddle player Kieran O’Malley to perform the best of Celtic rock at The Claddagh Ring on Saturday May 25. For more information, go to: https://www.facebook.com/theaftermathband.