Ebo
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’EBO’ - Debut EP Launch - Crawdaddy - 28th March 2008

’A diamond in the rough!’ This was my first impression of ’EBO’ listening to them on-line and to the demo they sent me. They have an almost reverential devotion to the music they perform and can all sing, play and create an unforgettable sound with a sense of togetherness created by close harmony, sweet solo’s and a refreshingly gutsy feel to each number, tinged with ’Beatles’, ’Pearl Jam’ and ’Radiohead’ sympathies.

Having said that, they have certain magic all their own with the clear, passionate and mournful voice of ’Dan Forde’; also the amazing vocal range of ’John Singleton’ and of course the utterly sensational harmonies always present in each number throughout their set!
They started off with ’Paper Planes’ to shouts of approval which went up from the audience. Fast moving, with lots of distortion used on lead guitar, this wonderfully sweet number has a catchy melody, excellent lyrics and has gorgeously placed changes of tempo and close harmony. I moved closer to the stage with my guest and glancing behind us, we discovered that the place had filled to the brim with people in a remarkably short space of time. This debut launch-gig was looking like it was going to be a huge success and it was heartening to see that the lads were getting such great support, which they definitely deserved.
Crazy, number two had a guitar intro and begins with a heartfelt lament. Lots of cymbals and dramatic drum rolls create a powerful effect and along with plucking-style guitar riffs and wonderfully melancholic lyrics has a much bigger impact live than on c.d. Dan’s ability to go into falsetto here was also noticeable and I can hear a tiny similarity in his phrasing, to Chris Martin of ’Cold Play’.

The atmosphere was electric at this point, with lots of screeches of joy coming from a couple of overexcited ladies, who almost drowned out the band. Things were indeed hotting up!

View from a Bridge has a choppy upbeat style. It’s sung by John Singleton with lots of dramatic stops and starts and includes a really memorable lead solo.
Then there was a number called Smokescreen, which involves all members of the band singing really close harmony. The lads are so perfectly synchronised here, with a thumping beat and changes of pace to add interest! One minute it’s a screaming Rock anthem, the next it’s like a delicate Ballad! It has a very ’Radiohead’ feel to it.

John’s song was next, a song I hadn’t heard. This included a wonderful performance on piano by Dan Forde. Mikey O’Conner did some seriously notable bass riffs and the riveting blend of vocal talent and musicianship among this unique quartet was at its best here!
Twice is quite a slow number, but is extremely powerful with lots of lead guitar and a very original and sweet melody. Both guitarists played in synch at one stage of this song which gave it a distinct sound. Once again Mikey on bass performed some really special solo bits. These guys just ooze talent!
Powder, number seven of the set involves harmony that is simply OUT OF THIS WORLD! The bass takes a solo and plenty of lead guitar riffs vie for attention. Cathal does some dramatic drum rolls, to bring this song up to Rock anthem level and as things build up, the two guitars let rip doing some snazzy lead using that synchronised, harmonic style. It is so beautiful you can’t tear your gaze away in case you miss something! There seemed to be quite a bit of swooning from the ladies, when Cathal took a drum solo. He is extremely handsome, but also an extremely competent musician as are all the lads in this very special band!
Dust on my shoulders was a completely new development of style with a heavier feel to it. This number got the crowd going and it was almost like listening to a completely different band. Lead guitar was amazing here. I thought I could hear a line from a Christmas hymn in there somewhere (weird)! Mind you this whole gig was like being on some rollercoaster ride of musical styles and whatever was happening, it was working. It seemed like no one wanted this wonderful night to end and EBO using all that outstanding harmony and addictive atmosphere had the audience in the palm of their hands!
Although it was great to see the positive reaction they were getting, I wished I could turn down the audience and turn up the band when they launched into their next number, the Beatles cover BLACKBIRD.
It was so perfect that I felt a lump in my throat as I listened to the familiar and beautiful melody, with that close harmony that I just can’t get enough of when it’s done well! Dan plucked on his guitar, playing those magical chords as all members of the band stood at the front of the stage, side by side. Lads, you did this timeless piece of musical genius justice!
With a big crescendo which actually reminded me a little of ’Keane’ meets ’Cold play’, the tenth song Morning Dew begun. It has a somnolent beat, very catchy lead guitar a - Angela Macari-O’Looney - www.irishunsigned.com


"I don't know why you're asking me…I'm just the drummer, so I don't know anything" was the reticently diffident response from Ebo percussionist Macker, to only the most casual queries of the band's influences. Since meeting as musically zealous adolescents, Ebo have aggregated a humble yet persistent gathering over the past two years. Frequenting the Dublin music circuit enough to demand some beer-soaked corner of residency somewhere between Whelan's and the Temple Bar Music Centre, it is there that they have accompanied a myriad of Irish bands of the similar "up-and-coming" status - The Sub-Plots and more recently Pilotlight, to name but a few.

As inimically averse to genre-fitting, vocalist John Singleton offers his two cents on classifying his band's sound. "If David Kitt, Crosby Stills & Nash and Radiohead had a love-child together, it would probably sound like us." And what a venerably sublime interfusion that would be, within the smug, pietistic quarters of musical credentials. With a push, they concede Ebo's sonority to echo the post-rock melodia of Pearl Jam, Rory Gallagher or Thin Lizzy. Their music offers a gritty concoction of edgy, distorted guitars, pounding yet intricately precise drum beats, and the fervent vocals of John Singleton and Dan Forde.
"People say one thing about the sound of the music, and hold opinions, and other people say something else, something completely different. So we just try not to take that in, and not to sound or imitate any other band."

The hackneyed, cliché-ridden truism of any musicians hedonistic existence, the "sex, drugs, rock and roll" lifestyle can hardly ever apply to a band hampered within college boundaries and commitments. As every gig-goer can surely attest, the "college band's" progression towards success and acknowledgement is hindered and delayed until the eventual (and often hypothetical as many an art student can verify) promise of graduation, when a band can truly commit to such a demanding occupation. One can only experience so much before reaching adulthood, and with an average age of twenty, inspiration for song-writing must prove onerous for this Dublin quartet.
"Anything that we listen to, you can always take something from it. Whether you're looking for inspiration to write a song or whatever, you can find that from just picking up a newspaper or a conversation with your mates. Everything you read or experience each day has a bearing on what you write in your songs and how you write it." Singleton affirms.

After a six-month hiatus including a lengthy escape to Canada, and days spent ensnared within a recording studio, Ebo are set to release their first EP in the new year (the title of which is yet to be decided,) followed by countless gigs across the country in promotion. - Sophie O'Higgins (UCD College Tribune)


" Ebo are the most promising musical circus i've heard in a long time.
Eclectic would be an understatement." - Alan Weldon


Discography

2008 - Ebo EP

3 tracks 'Morning Dew', 'Crazy', 'Paper Planes' played from EP on several radio stations in Dublin: Phantom FM, Near Fm, 2fm and Belfield FM.

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Bio

Formed in 2006, Ebo stand out from the current Irish scene.
Musically they embrace a wide range of influences and their original distinct style cannot be confined to one genre.

In the short time the band have been together they have gained a wealth of experience, playing support slots to many of Ireland’s high profile acts, such as Pilotlight, The Coronas, Mainline and Subplots (formerly Envelope) in addition to headlining numerous shows in top Dublin venues like Whelan’s and The Temple Bar Music Centre.

This year has already seen the band reach the finals of TG4’s Battle of the Bands, “Deis Roc”, (to be held in late March) and received glowing praise from the 3 judges, with Ebo being singled out by the entire panel as their vote to go forward to the Semi-Final.

Last year saw the group concentrate much of their efforts towards the completion of their eponymously titled debut EP, which is to be launched in Crawdaddy, Dublin, on Friday 28th March 2008.

The four members; Dan Forde, Cathal Mac an Bheatha, Mikey O’Connor and John Singleton, are currently studying at university. Juggling college and band life has proven to be a challenging yet rewarding task.

Ebo create intelligent, diverse music. Their melodic subtlety, explosive dynamic contrast and powerful live performances capture an audience’s attention; while lush three-part harmonies provide lasting respite from the cinematic ‘soundscape’ of their music.