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HAM SANDWICH
www.eathamsandwich.com
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According to legend, Ham Sandwich's birth was positively biblical given the fact that Johnny Moore approached, Podge McNamee and, Niamh Farrell about the idea of forming their own group, while the trio were at a Good Friday party, in 2003. With Moore as the main songwriter and the other two as vocalists, they then set their sights on combing through the musicians they knew in hometown, Kells, County Meath, in an effort to shore up the lineup with likeminded individuals. Guitarist, Darcy, was recruited from the school he attended with Moore in the nearby town of Navan, which, curiously, is the same school that gave Ireland three of its most esteemed comedic talents, in the shape of Dylan Moran, Tommy Tiernan and Hector O'hEochag·in. With the addition of Ollie Murphy on drums, the band was complete and rehearsals began in earnest. After almost one year of intense jamming and absorbing a multitude of tastes, the band finally took its first steps into the public spotlight, becoming something of a local phenomenon, on the strength of their charged live performances and colorful personalities.

In early autumn of 2005, the national underground music scene got its first taste of the band with the release of their first single, the superb, Sad Songs, which called to mind acts such as Jesus & Mary Chain, Pavement and the Smiths. With McNamee and Farrell's vocals projecting a perfect balance of light and shade, the single served as an early signal that Ham Sandwich had potential to be a band of consequence. The next two years would only confirm this notion as the five-piece set about touring the highways and byways of Ireland, drumming up support wherever they went, with a show that is as energetic as it is unpredictable. In Farrell, the band has the ultra-cool female singer, who is unafraid to mix it up with her fellow band members, yet is not beyond projecting an air of cool detachment when the mood demands it, while in McNamee, the band has a bona fide space cadet (sometimes quite literally when he wears his astronaut costume). Bounding around the stage, exuding fun and mischief, and alternating between ringmaster and clown, his energy alone could probably power all their amps. Together, the pair are almost sound somewhat like The Sunday's Harriet Wheeler and Crash Test Dummies, Brad Roberts, might sound like if they ever played in a high-octane indie band, although it's doubtful then that they would retain a scintilla of the natural chemistry evident between Farrell and McNamee. Such a live show soon had the band selling out venues throughout the country, despite little or no promotion and winning them the title as Ireland's greatest cult band.

Two more singles followed, St Christopher and Click... Click... Boom!, the latter of which exploded the band onto the national consciousness, with it's Pixies-like collision of energy and substance. Suddenly Ham Sandwich found themselves opening for names such as Electric Six, Buzzcocks and My Morning Jacket, as their public profile grew and their singles began to receive airplay in prime time shows. They also made their first appearances on TV and as the year drew to a close, the band retired to a cottage in Cavan, to begin work on their debut album with producer, Karl Odlum. In fact, the view from the cottage was the same view that Irish writer, Jonathon Swift, was looking at when he was struck with the idea for his novel, Gulliver's Travels, adding just the right amount of solitude and mystique to proceedings.

On February 15, the band's labors attained a physical form, when their debut album, Carry The Meek, hit stores and promptly debuted at 23 in the Irish album charts, an extremely creditable result considering they released it on their own label, Route 109 Records, which is named after the bus route from Dublin to Kells. In case the band needed any more affirmation that they were on their way to the next level, they were also presented with the Meteor Music Hope For 2008 Award, on the same day as their album release. The interest is such that the band is already in talks with several labels with a view to getting the album out overseas and it will undoubtedly only be a matter of months before the band start gigging outside of Ireland on a regular basis. The years of dedication appear to be paying out, proving the adage that hard work always pays off in the end. McNamee recently alluded to this fact saying: "It's always been a slow rise. We've never forced our music on anyone." Now the people are coming to the music in their droves, leaving only one slightly downbeat note for the rest of us; we're going to have to find another band to call Ireland's greatest cult band, because Ham Sandwich has gone above ground and if they keep producing albums like that, they are there to stay.

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