The Lost Brothers
By David Hennessy
The Lost Brothers’ folky and melodic sound has been earning them wide recognition recently due to their high profile support slot, travelling across America last year warming up the crowd for Glen Hansard. Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland, from Navan and Omagh respectively, will be sharing the stage with The Frames frontman once again on his UK tour that kicks off on January 30 at The Barbican in London and also takes in Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival, as well as doing some shows of their own.
Oisin Leech told The Irish World how much he is looking forward to it all: “I can’t wait for it. Celtic Connections is a really great festival. The Glen dates should be great. I think most of them are sold out or close to it, they should be great fun. Then we’re doing a couple of dates by ourselves in Sheffield and Liverpool.”
So how exactly did the now quite renowned line-up of The Lost Brothers and Glen Hansard come about? “We’ve known Glen on and off for years and I think he got a copy of our first album Trails of the Lonely. I remember bumping into him on Grafton Street one day and he just said: ‘Do you wanna go for a coffee?’ And we did and we just talked about Bob Dylan and Van Morrison and music for an hour and a half and then I didn’t see Glen for a long time. Then we found out that he had invited us to do the American tour with him so we went out to the states and toured with him across from Boston to San Fran for three weeks. Glen is very generous to us and we’re very lucky to have him as someone who likes our music. He kind of took us under his wing in America and put us in front of 16 sold-out shows in the states. That was our first tour in the US. That was such an honour and an opportunity and we had a ball. He’s a great guy, great energy and for someone who has worked so hard for so long, it’s amazing to see him doing so well. When he said we were going to do the UK tour as well, we were delighted. The odd time Glen gets up for a tune at the end of his set, we might try a Dylan song.”
As he chats to The Irish World, Oisin is working on The Lost Brothers’ fourth album with Mark. Could he ever see Glen joining them on a record or vice versa? “I’ve no idea. The best things are the things that never get planned, they just happen. That’s the way we like to keep things in The Lost Brothers too.”
Last year saw the release of the duo’s third album, The Passing of the Night which was very positively received. Recorded with Brendan Benson of The Raconteurs, it proved to a worthy follow up to So Long John Fante which took the lads onto The Late Late Show and BBC’s The Culture Show. Before Christmas, they released their Christmas single St Christopher to raise funds for the Peter McVerry Trust, a charity which supports young homeless people in Dublin: “We were delighted with it. We wrote the song on- I remember vividly actually, we were on a winter’s night train back from London to Liverpool. The whole train was empty so we just took out the guitars and wrote it in about a half an hour.
“Obviously, St Christopher is the patron saint of travelling and we just thought at Christmas, it would be a good or apt idea to raise some money for the homeless in Dublin.
The record also features Bill Ryder-Jones (former lead guitarist of The Coral) as producer and Drew McConnell of Babyshambles on bass guitar. Oisin explains both these musicians have been friends of the band for a long time: “We do go back a long way. Mark’s old band The Basement were on Deltasonic which was The Coral’s label and The Basement toured with The Coral. Bill is an old friend of hers. We’ve been good pals with Bill for years. It was great working with him. Bill produced it and I think he did a great job.
For the full interview see the print edition of the Irish World