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Believing in Miracles

Richie and Eoghan from Hawke the Band told David Hennessy about their new single, the importance of hope and moving to London just ahead of the pandemic.

London-based Irish band Hawke The Band have released their new single, Miracles.

Formed in 2019 by two friends Richie Power and Eoghan MacMahon, it was not long before Aslan frontman Christy Dignam proclaimed Hawke the Band “the next big thing”.

It was still early days for the band when Hawke the Band won a competition to play as special guests of local heroes Aslan at Dublin’s 5,000 capacity Iveagh Gardens.

The lads would waste no time in moving to London to further the band and have played UK festival slots, playing alongside other young breakout acts such as Jake Bugg and Tom Grennan.

But Covid-19 would halt them in their tracks.

However, rather than standing still they would remain busy over much of that time releasing music although live gigging was off the agenda.

Miracles is their latest offering. Described as a song about the conflict between doubt and hope, it seems hope wins due to the song’s upbeat sound.

Richie told The Irish World: “That’s the kind of overall message that we’re trying to send.

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“It’s easy to get caught in that mindset of doubt: Are things going to work out?

“And it’s a common emotion that a lot of people in their mid 20s would feel, ‘Are they doing what they were born to do?’

“I suppose it’s just trying to remind you that even though it’s easy for those emotions to creep in, it’s important to understand that hope is really everything.

“And that’s what you need to hold on to and listen to.

“And that’s what we tried to do with that song, start off quite melancholic and then just kick in with the big drums and anthemic chorus just to be kinda like, ‘Yeah, hope is the way to go’.”

Eoghan adds: “It fits in really well with what I think a lot of people are facing nowadays.

“I feel like we’re in such an uncertain time, everything’s so chaotic that people are feeling doubt about where they’re going, what they’re doing.

“I feel a lot of people feel doubt and that’s a normal thing to feel.

“You’re always gonna have that doubt.

“If you don’t have the two sides, you’d be insane.

“If you didn’t doubt yourself sometimes, people would think you were on cocaine all the time.

“That’s what I like about the song.

“In times of doubt, remember to have the faith.”

It is funny that Eoghan mentions drugs there because a previous song, Molly, sometimes gets mistaken for being about illegal substances.

Do people really still think Molly is about drugs?

“No, but they should,” laughs Eoghan.

“No, I’m joking.

“People ask about Molly and drug references but it’s not about that.”

Richie says: “Sometimes when we’re writing stuff, we can see that sometimes it will have two meanings, but sometimes that’s the beauty of music.

“It’s just making something that means something to you, but it doesn’t have to be so specific.

“It’s about leaving it up to the listener to relate to it and whatever they want to take from the song, it’s up to them.

“And we kind of like that about music.

“Some of my favourite songs, I have no clue what it’s about.

“You know Fairy tale of New York?

“When he says, ‘It was Christmas Eve, babe in the drunk tank..’

“I always thought that meant in the pub.

“On Christmas Eve, I’d go down to the pub with my friends and stuff.

“And I just loved that, ‘Christmas Eve, babe in the drunk tank’.

“Eoghan was like, ‘You know, that’s a holding cell?’

“I was like, ‘I didn’t want to know that. The song’s just lost all meaning’.

“I’m there imagining me and all my friends in the pub.”

Eoghan adds: “Don McLean didn’t like to say to people what American Pie was about.”

Richie goes on: “Noel Gallagher: Most of his songs are, ‘What is that about?’

“And he would just say, ‘There’s 80,000 people out there last night who know exactly what it’s about’.

“The whole point of music and writing songs for us is to give people something to relate to and give people something to feel.

“Like with Miracles, it’s just knowing in the face of doubt that there’s an even more overwhelming feeling of hope on the other side that you just need to tap into.

“I think doubt is important, but it’s not as important as the hope that will make you keep doing what you want to do.”

Eoghan uses a surprising example then.

“It’s like Kanye West,” he says.

“At a certain point somebody should have probably said to him, ‘I don’t know if running for President is going to be the best thing for you right now’.”

Richie answers: “Totally disagree, Kanye 2024.”

It has been tough for the lads to not be able to play live the last few years but they now find themselves getting back on track.

Richie remembers: “We started just a couple of months before the pandemic started.

“We won a competition with Aslan, supported them a couple of times in Dublin and we were delighted with how the band was starting and then we were like, ‘Let’s move to London. There’s good opportunity there’.

“And then as soon as we got here, obviously the pandemic happened.

“So we only really feel like in the last six months or so we’re proper giving it a bash.

“Obviously, throughout the pandemic, it was quite tiring in a big sense but also a good chance to sit down and think, ‘What is it exactly we’re trying to do here?’

“And get ready for when things opened like they have now.

“We’ve done a fair few gigs.

“We’ve been playing with a lot of different promotions companies that we wanted to get working with like Live Nation.

“There’s a couple of well known and very decent promotions companies that we kind of wanted to get on board with and we’ve been gigging with them over the last couple of months.”

Eoghan adds: “When we played with Aslan at the Ivegah Gardens gig, I remember one thing Christy said was, ‘This business is 23 hours crap and one hour getting on stage and just the best thing in the planet’.

“I’m not saying I don’t enjoy the other stuff. It is fun.

“Trying to create something is great fun.

“I would never choose anything else.

“But that one hour onstage, it’s interdimensional. It’s brilliant.”

The lads recently played the This is Kilburn festival.

Speaking ahead of it, Richie says: “It’s with the London Irish Centre.

“It’s a family event.

“Be a bit of craic, they have Guinness on draught so looking forward to that.”

How have they settled into London if the majority of their time here has been in pandemic?

Eoghan says: “I feel like if I’m saying I love London then people will take it that I don’t love Dublin.

“Dublin is a city that I’ll die in and I love it.

“I love Dublin and that’s what it is but London just for this period in our lives and my life anyway is absolutely the right place to be.

“I suppose it’s kind of take what you can from it and move back to Dublin because I always want to be in Dublin.”

Any regrets about the timing of it though, being locked down here as opposed to at home?

“No regrets at all,” Richie says.

“I felt like for me Dublin was always more locked down than London was.

“I did not want that so I just enjoyed the freedom of being here.

“And while there were struggles of not being able to see the family and times I would have wanted to be there, that’s kind of always going to be the case.

“There’s always going to be struggles but from a selfish point of view of where I would have rather be, I feel like there’s no regrets of being in London.

“I did enjoy it and I felt like while it was still locked down there was a little bit more freedom than there was in Dublin.”

So what are the plans going forward? Is it to produce an album at some point?

Eoghan says: “Yeah, that’s the ideal thing to do.

“I do love the idea of just a coherent thing that you can listen to from top to bottom. I love that idea.

“That will be certainly a great thing to do an album, but we’ll see.”

Richie adds: “I feel like we’d probably need a little bit more time to develop a project that works live and then something that we also believe in.

“There’s a lot of material that we haven’t fully gotten to test and see how people relate to it and see what works.

“I think not right now, but it’s definitely something that we’d want to do.

“I definitely think albums are still very important.”

Eoghan adds: “It tells a story. That side of it, I love.

“We’d love to do an album. That’d be amazing.”

The band do have more music to come.

Richie says: “We’re in the middle of recording a few others.

“We’re just kind of getting back on board from where we left off as the pandemic hit.

“We just want gig and gig and grow and take over the world.”

Eoghan adds: “Obviously, we want to take over the world of course.”

The lads aren’t taking themselves too seriously when they talk about world domination but since it comes up, who of them would be a better Kanye? Who could run for President? Eoghan says it’s Richie that he has a bit of Barack Obama about him.

“I can’t even get an argument by him, because he just ends up knowing all the points.

“I think you’d be good for President.

“The two people I would vote for is Michael O’Leary from Ryanair or Richie.”

An exasperated Richie answers: “I prefer the Barack Obama association, not Michael O’Leary.”

Eoghan explains: “He’d be like, ‘You’re not getting on with your bag. You’re not getting whatever you want,’ to the other TDs.”

Richie concludes: “I am not running for President, I can barely turn the cooker on.”

Since moving to London, Richie has started playing GAA with Éire Óg club in central London and his clubmates have been supporting the band and their music.

Richie says: “We had a gig booked before the pandemic.

“And then when the pandemic happened, we had to keep postponing and postponing so by the time it actually happened, I was already playing for Éire Óg.

“A good 12 or 14 of them came down. It’s great craic.

“They’re definitely very supportive and good lads.”

Eoghan doesn’t play but has joined some of the social activities.

“If we’re having a bit of a session and playing few songs, just having the craic on a Saturday night.

“Once the Holloway Gaels come in, it’s like it turns from Gertie Browns into Copperface Jacks.

“They’re up dancing on tables and all. It’s great.”

Miracles is out now.

For more information, click here.

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