John and David have been in several bands together since they were knee high to grass hopper. They failed miserably. Then one day, on a beach like the one in The Beach they both rescued Karen, a complete stranger, from a shark, crocodile and pigeon attack. After many months of recuperation in hospital (and with a few plastic surgery operations thrown in for good measure) Karen was back on her feet and tracked down John and David to thank them for saving her life. They suggested many ways in which she could repay them...none of which I will mention at this time. Then they realised she could sing and her voice would work well on the music they had been writing. From then on, they were collectively known as Cowboy X and their music rang throughout the land.
Karen McCartney Vocals
John Hanley Drums
David Grealy Guitar
Wayne Gibson Bass
'Gabbi' 1st single (2006)
'Between the Hit and the Miss' 2nd single (2006)
'Who are These People' album (2006)
'Shot Down' single (2007)
'Smaller Faster Cheaper Better' single (2007)
'Japanese Toy' single (2008)
'Break Me' single (2009)
'Analogue Droids' EP (2009)
'Meant To Be Machines' album (TBA)
One To Watch
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Sultry synth-rock isn’t the sort of thing usually associated with Irish music hopefuls.Cowboy X aim ...Sultry synth-rock isn’t the sort of thing usually associated with Irish music hopefuls.Cowboy X aim to change that with a sassy beat driven sound pitched somewhere between Ladytron and Moloko.
Cloud-hugging tempos and a cinematic ambience suggest this band are not ones to take joys in the small things in life.Tellingly, guitarist David Grealy and drummer John Hanley initially collaborated on soundtrack compositions.
It was on meeting Karen McCartney, who sings and gives the group its devilish allure, that they set their sights on a pop career.They’ve since hit the ground running, with support slots and sell-out headline shows of their own. Incidentally, ‘Cowboy X’ isn’t some anti-art signifier – it’s the name of a Sesame Street character. Eamon Miller Metro May 2006
Between The And The Miss Single Review
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Cowboy X's follow up to debut 'Gabbi' continues their marriage of Kim Deal vocals and Goldfrapp melo...Cowboy X's follow up to debut 'Gabbi' continues their marriage of Kim Deal vocals and Goldfrapp melodies, amid wafts of guitar-induced electronica. Peppered with hooks, 'Between The Hit and THe Miss' references punk and radio-friendly pop before erupting into a mass of sunshine electronica. Constantly shifting styles and consistently engaging, this is pop music for the thinking man.Good stuff.
Cowboy X Who are These People?
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Who are these People? Cowboy X Album Review To misquote Jimmy Greaves, Music - its a funny o...Who are these People?
Cowboy X Album Review
To misquote Jimmy Greaves, Music - its a funny old game. It can instantly transport you back in time, and with a chorus or riff, can remind you of your first kiss, that horrendous break-up, that bit in Friends when Ross and Rachel pine away to the strains of U2, or your first time walking down Rue St Catherine in Montreal. Yeah, sorry, maybe that last ones just me. (And the song in question is Deeper Underground by Jamiroquai, in case youre curious.) Its made funnier still when an album can transport you 10 years into your past, despite only being released last week. Cowboy Xs recent offering Who are these people? does exactly that, sounding remarkably like that great album that Dubstar should have made. With the just-naff-enough sounding drums and spacey synths, Cowboy X recapture that dance-flecked pop-rock sound of the mid 90s perfectly. And its far from merely a nostalgia trip, as it just so happens the album is cracking to boot.
On their press release, Cowboy X cite their main influences as Kraftwerk, Tori Amos and The Pixies, none of whom they resemble even slightly. What they do have though, is a keen ear for melody, and Who are these people? is one of the catchiest Irish records Ive ever heard. Yes, it is that good. They marry just enough studio wizardry and cute musical tricks to their obvious knack for a good tune, to win over even the most fervent pop-music hater. Every track will have you humming along by the end, and there are some really gorgeous nuggets scattered throughout the album. (Eg. The lovely rhythmic confusion of Live and Learn, (okay, the end of that is a bit Pixies-ish) the dropped beats bit in the middle of recent single Between a Hit and a Miss the Garbage-like layered vocals on 2nd second.) Vocalist Karen McCartney suits their style perfectly, possessing a beautifully pure voice which she can twist from ingenue to vamp in a second. This is particularly evident on the winning, yet slightly sinister pop sound of breakthrough hit Gabbi, and on title track Who are these People? (The latter I love in particular, as it just screams of self-deprecation, with a kitsch-as-hell intro and 15-year-old Casio keyboard drum break. Honestly, youd swear it was Republicas follow-up to Ready to Go). They also appear to have borrowed The Go! Teams shouty singers for Do Not Pass Go. (Yup, its all go, go go.) Its all over in a flash, as at under 35 minutes, the album is careful not to outstay its welcome, leaving you wanting more, as all truly good bands should.
In our current musical climate there are very few rising pop acts that manage to be both credible and have genuine mass appeal. Cowboy X appear to have accomplished this with no small amount of style, and making it sound like a lot of fun while theyre at it. If theres any justice, these guys will be on Oxegens main stage for 2007. I, for one, look forward to catching them.
Cowboy X Album Review ****
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Who are these people making this very interesting, infectious, electro-rock sound that’s as ripped a...Who are these people making this very interesting, infectious, electro-rock sound that’s as ripped as Garbage, as sinisterly seductive as Black Box Recorder and as supercool as St. Etienne? They are Irish musicians John Hanley and David Grealy who, in between soundtrack recording projects, got together with singer Karen McCartney, who can switch from waif to vamp to diva and back again in a flash. They took their name not from a si-fi western but from a character in Sesame Street. The album opens with the driving electro-grunge debut single, Gabbi, and tears through the accelerated pop sound of Live and Learn, Shot Down, 2nd Second and Smaller Faster Cheaper Better. There are no cheap casios in evidence here; the band cleverly avoid sounding too sleek and shiny, instead putting McCartney’s sensualy purr upfront and making sure to line the route with lots of fine riffery and enough chourses to keep you robot maid singing along.
Cowboy X Album Review ****
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I am going to kill Cowboy X. 'Gabbi', the first track on their debut album has been skipping through...I am going to kill Cowboy X. 'Gabbi', the first track on their debut album has been skipping through my brain every time I have a spare second to process a thought. "Nobody does it better than me," purrs singer/guitarist karen McCartney. If it's dirty pop she's talking about, it's hard to disagree. And although a little more invention and fun would eradicate the sameness that occasionally creeps in, the loping synths, choppy structures and perfect vocals contribute to a ballsy, catchy record. Damn them.
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The Vocal talent of Karen McCartney coupled with the production experience fo David Grealy and John ...The Vocal talent of Karen McCartney coupled with the production experience fo David Grealy and John Hanley make Cowboy X potent contenders to make a splash this year. They have reminded more than one person of Garbage and you can see why, with that blend of experienced musicians and fresh female vocal. Great hooks, a great voice and already a very promising audience reaction.
Cowboy X Album Review****
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Cowboy X Who Are These People? Actual Size Records Article written by Lauren M Aug 10, 2006....Cowboy X Who Are These People?
Actual Size Records
Article written by Lauren M
Aug 10, 2006.
It comes as no surprise, once you've absorbed Cowboy X's debut in its entirety, to hear that two of its members, John Hanley (drums) and David Grealy (guitar) have both been involved in writing and producing soundtrack music. There's a dactylic refinement coating Who Are These People? that ensures much of its content would provide a suitable accompaniment to an epic mobster gun battle or kooky arthouse chase scene. Add in that special ingredient, aka Karen McCartney - femme fatale, enigmatic frontwoman and assured vocalist all rolled into one - and you've got a band that are definite contenders, never mind coulda-beens.
From the opening swampy grunge of Gabbi, a driving, sophisticated Garbage-esque implosion, to the slick 80s electro-riffage of the title track, Who Are These People? is both eerily apocalyptic and comfortingly sensual, not least because of McCartney's nasal thrum. Having built an huge and globally expansive fanbase through the wonder that is MySpace, Cowboy X have seen their twisted, dark indie-pop compared to the likes of chic Canadians Metric, an equation best observed on the opaque Smaller Faster Cheaper Better; yet to cheapen their sound by drawing lazy parallels is ultimately a disservice to them. The point is, Cowboy X is one of those delightful discoveries - an Irish band that sounds too sophisticated to be Irish.
Second single Between the Hit and the Miss is a swirling, bass-heavy number that starts off in monochrome before bursting into a technicolour chorus; Shot Down has something of the classic late-80s British indie sound about it, while 2nd Second's airtight construction and Do Not Pass Go's soaring accelaration are both surely aspirants for a Match of the Day montage soundtrack. Cowboy X may be named after a Sesame Street character, but there's a maturity and certitude about this exciting debut that's anything but flippant. If you don't know who these people are yet, it's about time you learned.
HOT PRESS SINGLE OF THE WEEK
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Japanese Toy' is an infectiously catchy and bracingly confident female-fronted electro-rock tune, dr...Japanese Toy' is an infectiously catchy and bracingly confident female-fronted electro-rock tune, drinking deep from Cowboy X's intoxicating Garry Numan-meets-Ladytron cocktail. While the band have already made a decent reputation for themselves on the back of their 2006 long-player 'Who are these People?', if this track is anything to go by, the follow-up should be something quite special.
GIG - COWBOY X - CRAWDADDY
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With previous dates this year played at Electric Picnic and Hard Working Class Heroes, Cowboy X have...With previous dates this year played at Electric Picnic and Hard Working Class Heroes, Cowboy X have been kept busy promoting their well received debut album “Who Are These People?” along with the current single “Japanese Toy”. Made up of members John Hanley, David Grealy and front woman Karen McCartney – Cowboy X is an amalgamation of musical talent, with sound track writing, sound engineering and production credits under their belt. A quick peek at their myspace page also shows a rather impressive 200,924 hits and 45,820 friends since joining in January 2006.
What struck me immediately upon arrival at the venue was the age of the crowd. Was this Crawdaddy, or grandaddy? All became clear when a nervous Epoch Rising took to the stage, sans banter – hurling themselves into an instrumental opening track, which sounded like it was lifted straight from a guitar magazine exercise. Tales of angry broken heartedness tumbled forth and proclamations of “It’s Over” filled the room. After having to restart one track 3 times, they came to the end of their set, thanking the crowd for travelling the long distance to see them, desperate, I imagine to get back to the comforting surroundings of where ever it is they read said guitar magazines. Oh, I know I’m being very mean - the lads did loosen up, cracking a few jokes and played with a lot of enthusiasm, making use of some good visuals to accompany their music.
So with the friends and family of Epoch Rising emptying out of the room, Cowboy X had a smaller, albeit slightly younger audience to entertain. Sporting a basque and sparkly red hot pants singer Karen McCartney took over the stage like a naughty, sexy, cyber-space Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Songs like “Shot Down” and “Gabbi” worked well, and the sound was good in the room (especially vocals) given the fact that the balcony often cuts out a lot of high end. From a performance point of view Cowboy X cannot be faulted – as they maintained an engaging, professional, upbeat approach throughout and have all the elements of a good live act. Mid set started to flag a little as the tracks melted into one another, with only a couple of new offerings standing out. The highlight of the night was getting to hear new single “Japanese Toy” reproduced live, which would have worked well as an en cour - although what with the frankly pitiful demand from the audience for one I don’t blame Cowboy X for not coming back out. In fairness it was getting late, and I’m sure there were mugs of hot chocolate getting cold at home. I imagine in a bigger setting and with more of a crowd vibe to feed off Cowboy X would be great, in this instance however and despite their best efforts it’s a shame didn’t really work out for them. - THE HECLKLER
SECRET AGENT MEN
DO NOT PASS GO
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE
Sets vary from 30 mins to 60 mins. We sometimes cover 'Dress' by PJ Harvey, and 'kids In America' by Kim Wilde
PDF RiderCOWBOY X RIDER
There are no upcoming dates at this time.