THE SECOND YEAR (2015.)
In the beginning of the next year, on the 7th of January 2015 we celebrated the band’s first birthday. The biggest present for our birthday was Viktor Herman (the brother of Ivan-Goran Herman) who came into the band as the final member of the crew. With mutual resources we managed to obtain a used cajon, handed over our miniature Irish bodhran and gave him space and time to tackle the new challenge. During the following few months he quickly conquered the songs from our repertoire and transferred his guitar playing talent (6 years of elementary school of music) to these unusual instruments. With his spontaneus personality (including bickering with his brother in the band) he fitted in very quickly into our small musical family and so the band could finally begin to function as a whole made up of interesting and enthusiastic musical individuals.
In the meantime, as all these events took place, the relationships within the band developed all the more, and, in the midst of other things, love happened to Ivan-Goran (accordion, vocals) and Sanja (tin whistle, vocals). Considering the developments, we decided to record the song ”Molly Malone” where the two of them sing the main vocals. However, a few weeks sooner, our first public appearance took place. In an internal agreement through a pile of our member’s obligations we’ve managed to set a date for our first live performance. We decided to take a trip through Zagreb’s streets on the 9th May, 2015.
This is what the report on that Saturday looked like: Zagreb
After Zagreb we went on to record the song ”Molly Malone”. The production and audio recording processes were managed by our violin player Filip Horvat, and the main vocal roles were taken over by Sanja Siladi and Ivan-Goran Herman. The song saw the light of day on 13th June 2015, on the day when Molly Malone Day is celebrated in Ireland. The recording passed in a somewhat calmer and more relaxed tempo than was the case with the previous two.
In June we received an invitation of the Tourist Bord of Koprivnica for a performance on their cultural-artistic event called ”Podravski motivi” (”Motifs from Podravina”). We accepted the invitation, so on the first day of summer 2015 we occupied the steps of the city’s musical pavilion and held a half-hour performance before a suite that curiously gathered round us. We played a combination of Irish songs and songs from the region of Međimurje and repeated the same in the park in the centre of Koprivnica. After that we headed for the ”Jazbina” studio in Mala Subotica where Costa, Lajtman and other friends held a traditional recording session/party. We were pleasantly received and hosted there, and in return we held a mini concert, repeating our repertoire from Koprivnica. Thus we marked the World’s Music Day in the best possible way: performing.
In the meantime, Filip completed a chapter in his life by getting a degree on FER (Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing), which was celebrated by the inner circle of family and friends. As a band, we continued cultivating mutual friendly relations, therefore we organize barbecues and occasionally visit different events together, we support each other by going to concerts of our members which are active in other bands and, somehow, seem to be spending all the more time together. Antun Tilošanec, an instrument repairer from Koprivnica, restored Ivan’s old ramshackle bass, thus finally solving that problem for a longer period of time.
July brought us the first appearance on a ”real” stage. We performed at the Idemo Otok! Festival in Ludbreg, for which we filmed a short announcement in Belica on a hot summer afternoon. The day before (31st July 2015) we were supposed to perform at Čakovec’s event of Porcijunkulovo as the opening act for Gibonni and Vlatko Stefanovski, but this was cancelled shortly before because of technical oversights of the organizer. Thus, all our positive creative energy was ”vented” at the afore mentioned festival in Ludbreg, where we headed a major party, much to the general satisfaction of the organizers with whom we’ve maintained a phenomenal friendly relationship even after the festival ended. The name that definitely needs to make our annals is ”Tomica Blažic”, an absolute legend of a man and one of the most positive people we’d had an opportunity to meet so far. On the 11th of August 2015 we did a gig at a private celebration where a mostly elderly (50+) population enjoyed the playful bars of Flogging Molly (among other stuff), which was a rather interesting sight.
August turned out to be the most productive month until now. Except for spreading the word about our band in festivals we visited privately and making new friends, an opportunity was given to us to play in Špancirfest. On that Monday (24th August 2015) an open stage waited for us at the main square of the city of Varaždin, in front of the city hall. An incredible positive feeling overwhelmed us already as we came into town, and curious bystanders surrounded us at the time of the sound check. At 9 o’ clock when we started the ‘’real’’ performance, the square already gathered an envious number of people, and by the end we’d filled the space. Everything went by in a very joyful atmosphere. Merry people danced to our sprightly tunes and cheered at us with beer. We carried on with the night in common company and parted ways, for the workweek had no concern with our .
In September we started a donations campaign. We presented our logoed t-shirt to anyone willing to part with some funds for our work. We also decided to start a positive action and opened a gallery with pictures of donators and the band’s friends wearing our t-shirts. Our goal is to spread good vibrations, joy and happiness through our music, friendly approach and unbounded teasing.
We’ve marched through October preparing for the event of ”Beerfest Sjever” (”Beerfest North”) where we took part as hosts. On the Saturday in question, 7th November 2015 we invited two other friendly bands, ”The Eggs” of Virovitica and ”The Blarney Stones” from Zagreb who were for the first time handed an opportunity to present themselves to an audience from Čakovec and Međimurje in general. Despite all the difficulties and the chaos preceding the organizational endeavours, all ended well, and we’ve come to see the need for our own audio engineer. We’ve found him rather quickly, considering he was in the vicinity all the time. He fit it with our growing company real fast, helped us a lot with ideas and suggestions; it was therefore not difficult to offer Daniel Herman (not related to the other two Hermans in the band :D ) the eighth spot in the band which he accepted enthusiastically. Under the mentorship of our violin player who is himself a graduated audio engineer, Filip Horvat, M.Sc., Daniel is sure to become a quality sound engineer; besides this important task, he’ll be tending to other duties as well, including administration, paperwork, taking photos and similar tasks. Our universal and indispensable member.
On Christmas of 2015 we’ve treated ourselves to a sound mixer which was made possible by numerous donations of dear friends and followers of the band. Another great thank you to everyone! During the final couple of months in 2015 we’ve celebrated birthdays of three of our members and the first anniversary of our first single/video, the cover of The Pogues’ ”Fairytale of New York”. We also ended up in the newspaper and on the front page of the ”Media” section in ”Međimurske novine” (‘The Newspaper of Međimurje”). We finally started recording songs for our first album and are slowly completing our setlist for solo concerts which are going to start around St. Patrick’s Day.