The US-Ireland Alliance has announced that the Irish band, The Strypes, will perform at their “Oscar Wilde: Honouring the Irish in Film” event on 27 February at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company in Santa Monica. YouTube founder Chad Hurley and writer/producer Conan O’Brien will be honuored on the night.
Hailing from Cavan, Ireland, The Strypes are Ross Farrelly (lead vocals/harmonica), Josh McClorey (lead guitar/vocals), Pete O’Hanlon (bass guitar/harmonica) and Evan Walsh (drums). They’ve spent the past 18 months launching their explosive R&B assault on the clubs and festivals of Ireland, the UK and Europe, viciously hammering out a no-nonsense blues repertoire drawing from the songbooks of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, and Slim Harpo with the passion and venom of British blues groups such as Dr. Feelgood, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones and The Animals.
Just under a year after they emerged with their first release - ‘Young, Gifted & Blue’, a set of vintage R’n’B covers - The Strypes continued their phenomenal rise with the April release of their debut single, ‘Blue Collar Jane’ and the September release of their debut album, ‘Snapshot’. They’ve been touring extensively, including a set on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury. In October/November, they embarked on a European stadium tour with the Arctic Monkeys.
Trina Vargo, founder and president of the non-profit organization that hosts the event, said it was legendary Irish film director, and US-Ireland Alliance board member Jim Sheridan, who brought the band to her attention: “I was in Dublin in September and Jim had invited me along to one of their gigs. I, unfortunately, couldn’t go but was intrigued by Jim’s enthusiasm for the band. So I surfed YouTube for a video -- thank you Chad Hurley -- and immediately reached out to see if they could join us.” The band caught the eye of Elton John, whose Rocket Music Management now manages them, and their label is Virgin/EMI, part of the Universal Music group. Sir Elton said of the Strypes, “They have a knowledge of R&B and blues at 16 years of age that I’ve only amassed in my 65 years. They’re playing music like the Rolling Stones used to, or the Yardbirds, or The Beatles. And it’s astonishing ....” Dave Grohl called them “unbelievable” and their fans include Jeff Beck, Paul Weller and Niall Gallagher. NME tipped them as the No. 1 new band to watch so the guests at the intimate Oscar Wilde event will be in for a treat.
Accenture and Delta Air Lines are sponsors of the annual event, which is well known for its jeans casual, relaxed party atmosphere, a break for many from the black-tie week. The event also has as much of a rep for introducing Irish musical talent as for it’s ‘green’ carpet that has seen the likes of Colin Farrell, Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan, Van Morrison, Paul Rudd, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Jon Hamm, Michelle Williams, Kate Winslet, Jim Brooks, John Logan, Fiona Shaw, Ken Branagh and J.J. Abrams.