Amber Jean appeals for hometown support at battle of the bands regional final

Carrick-on-Suir band Amber Jean is hoping to emulate the Tipperary hurling team and play in an All-Ireland final this month.

Carrick-on-Suir band Amber Jean is hoping to emulate the Tipperary hurling team and play in an All-Ireland final this month.

The band have made it through to the South regional final of the “Guinness Arthur’s Day - Play On The Day” battle of the bands contest in Cork next Thursday, September 8.

They are urging their fans to turnout in force to support them at the play off against three other bands from Munster in the Cyprus Avenue music venue at Caroline St., Cork.

The victorious band on the night will perform a week later at the Guinness Arthur’s Day Play on the Day national final at the Róisín Dubh in Galway where the judging panel will comprise well known 2fm presenters and Hot Press journalists ranging from DJ Jenny Huston to Hot Press Editor Niall Stokes.

The competition for unsigned bands performing in any musical style or genres is being run by Guinness, in association with Hot Press and RTÉ 2fm.

Prizes for the overall winning band will include a three-day recording session with a senior record producer in RTE, a record label to release their single, E11,000 worth of music equipment, a spread in Hot Press, a place for a band member or manager on the Hot Press MIX course and the opportunity to perform on the main stage at the Guinness Hop Store at the Arthur’s Day Festival on September.

But even making it to the regional final is major profile boost for the band that comprises Aidan O’Callahan from Town Park, Carrick-on-Suir David O’Dwyer and Graham Clancy both from Collins Park, Carrick-on-Suir and Fred Mullins from Waterford City, who has just officially joined the group as drummer.

The three Carrick musicians formed Amber Jean earlier this year and in July released their debut single, “Morning Snow”, the CD of which will be available for purchase in the next week or so. Fred Mullins is a new member for the group

The group submitted “Morning Snow” as their entry to the competition and the judges were impressed enough to include them on a shortlist of 100 bands from around the country to compete in the on-line public vote round, which they sailed through as one of the top four bands in the South region.

Graham Clancy, the band’s lead guitarist, said they were delighted to reach the regional final and he hopes fans of their music from Carrick-on-Suir and elsewhere will make the trip to Cork next week to hear them perform.

“We are absolutely thrilled. It’s amazing. To be honest, we decided to enter the competition not expecting to be picked because we are a new enough band. We are now trying to get as many people as possible down to Cork to support us on the night.”

He pointed out that the band were arranging mini-buses to transport fans to the regional final gig and anyone interested in attending should contact them by e-mail or through their Facebook site (see contact addresses at end of article).

The winning band will be decided by a combination of the judging panel and audience reaction to the performance.

The competition comes at a busy time for the members of Amber Jean. They are currently in the middle of recording their first EP “Shadows and Tall Trees”, which is expected to be released in the next two months and are also making a video of their single “Morning Snow”.

Graham, who is studying for a music degree at WIT, said doing so well in the battle of the bands competition was great exposure and they hope it will lead to more gigs and more opportunities for the band.

Amber Jean’s other Carrick-on-Suir members lead singer and acoustic guitarist Aidan O’Callahan and bass guitar player and singer David O’Dwyer both work at Abbott Vascular in Clonmel when not playing music.

The band’s first big gig was at the open air Rock On The Suir concert at the Clancy Brothers Music & Arts Festival in June where they played support to Mundy and Paddy Casey.

Amber Jean can be contacted at amberjn011@gmail.com or through their Facebook site, which you can access by logging onto the band’s website: www.amberjean.ie.