Words: ROBIN MUMFORD
If there’s a song you should listen to this week, it must be the recently released ‘Limo’ - a firecracker of a tune from start to finish which unravels a comedic story of two Dublin friends and Ray Winstone, a trio you’d never expect in the same sentence.
Those two Dublin friends, who seem to deliver smiles wherever they go, are better known as HAWKE THE BAND. Their new single ‘Limo’ follows in the footsteps of previous 2021 releases, ‘Gonna Be Alright’, ‘Pinch Me (Am I Dreaming?) and ‘Molly.’
Formed in the shadow of the world-famous Guinness Brewery, the duo of Richie Power and Eoghan Mac Mahon show dynamism that is palpably off the rails in their latest release. Although written in the back of a banged-up taxi, these two now reflect on their loftier aspirations, not in the gutter but looking at the stars.
‘Limo’ is the first track issued by the band to plant their flag firmly in Alt-J territory, also drawing sonically on Richie & Eoghan’s love of rousing 90s indie-rock, which saw the likes of Oasis and The Verve boast an embarrassment of riches after a rocky road to the top. Also taking notes from fellow countrymen U2, the song is inspired by a true tale of car trouble following an evening partying in London with legendary British actor Ray Winstone.
Photo: Grace Phillips
As Eoghan explains: “The first time we met Ray Winstone was also the first time we ever got near a limo - Ray was a true gent, a top lad. We had all attended an event at the London Hilton and, after a great night of partying we eventually left. Or at least we thought we were leaving, because we got stuck at the Hilton underground car park’s sole exit barrier in our €400 battered Irish Ford Focus.
“Six limos & their drivers stuck behind us were apoplectic and, after ten more minutes passed without us moving, they were going totally nuclear. STRESS. We didn’t have the money between us to pay the outrageous £50 parking fee as we were skint - it was a charity event, so we hadn’t even charged a performance fee for our live set at the event.
“Next thing, some sheikh whose limo was right behind us jammed his head in our car window and screamed blue murder at us to pay up so he could leave. We told him we hadn’t a pot to pi*s in for the tenth time, so he fired a £50 note at us and roared all the way back to his car. Thankfully our engine didn’t give out and we got on the A5 back to our ex-Travelodge in Dunstable for another night with five sleeping in a one-bedded room. A night to remember for sure, and I’ll never forget my first up-close limo experience. We hope this song was worth it - perhaps if this single blows up big we might even be able to afford our very own limo (or even just some parking change).”
But although the two party going Dubliners would have considered their night with Ray as a one-off happening, their ever-growing success may suggest otherwise. What started as a project that was born in Richie’s makeshift bedroom studio, quickly saw an influx of fortune.
HAWKE THE BAND hit upon the idea of sending their demo-tapes to a hit-list of top producers. And within just days, the cunning plan gave the band the opportunity to record their newly written content in London’s legendary Abbey Road and Metropolis studios.
They then went on to find that success was happening all around them on a regular basis. They subsequently won a competition to play as special guests of local heroes Aslan at Dublin’s 5,000 capacity Iveagh Gardens. The pair have since been subjects of a raft of UK Summer Slots, including Our Sound Music’s Indie All Dayer.
Ultimately, ‘Limo’ is a microcosm of the band’s successes so far. They’re fun, they’re passionate, and they create one heck of a noise when you give them the licence to create - HAWKE THE BAND are going on to bigger and better things by the second, so always watch this space.
'Limo' is out now on all major streaming platforms.