Keeping it Reel

The Reels

By David Hennessy

Well known London-based band The Reels are ready to launch their second album Keepin’ it Reel in four different pubs over St Patrick’s weekend.  The 14 track album that includes covers of Wagon Wheel, Galway Girl, Wake Me Up and Don’t Look Back in Anger will get its first airing at O’Neills in Ealing Broadway, Jamesons in Kingsbury, The Swan in Sudbury and then the Swan in Stockwell on consecutive days from March 14-17.

Lead singer and guitarist Gavin Hayes told The Irish World: “We’ve got a relatively healthy fan base and it’s just for people who come to our gigs and support us: To give them back something really. It’s a mixture of Irish old and new as was our first album.

“We did one a couple of years ago and as the couple of years passed, we decided to get another one out so we started recording it in early January.

“The big weekend’s launch is gonna be a bit hectic but we’re used to that kind of schedule anyway. We’re very busy anyway, it’s a bit busier than usual that weekend but it’s gonna be good. I’m really looking forward to it.”

The band’s first album, released around St Patrick’s day two years ago, was entitled The Melting Pot: “Our fiddle player (Antonia Murray) has Greek influences, our bass player (Frankie Visone)’s family are all Italian and the drummer and myself are of Kerry and Mayo descent so it’s a big melting pot of sound so that’s why we decided on that album name.”

The Reels in action

Keepin’ it Reel will also include numbers like Leaving of Liverpool, Folsom Prison Blues, Hey Ho by The Lumineers and The Green and Red of Mayo: “I obviously had to get a Mayo song on there.”

Gavin recently lent his support to the release of the single Something Inside So Strong in aid of The Lymphoma Association  which is not his first involvement with The Ginger Melodeon Experience, a collective of London-Irish musicians who get together regularly to record charity singles: “It was good to be a part of that. The first one we did the cover of the Band Aid song a few years ago for St Luke’s Hospice. There’s always something. It’s kind of predominantly built up by the lads from the Biblecodes, they just send out a text and we all get together and do whatever we can. I’m sure there’ll be more of those coming up in the future as well.”

Gavin also has an album of solo ballads ready to be released at the same time as The Reels’ album. He describes this as a “small project I wanted to do for myself as much as anything.”

The Reels launch Keepin’ it Reel at O’Neills, Ealing Broadway on March 14, Jamesons on March 15, The Swan in Sudbury on March 16 and The Swan in Stockwell on March 17. For more information, go to the launch’s Facebook page:


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