The band has confirmed that it will make its long-awaited return to the live stage with two headline gigs at The Black Box in Belfast on Saturday April 22 and Sandino’s in Derry on Saturday May 13.
Aside from an acoustic performance at The Ulster Hall in 2016, The Minnows’ last live gig as a full band was a sold-out show at The Belfast Barge in November 2011.
In the decade that followed, the band hinted that they may never take to the live stage again, but that thought process started to slowly change as a result of Covid-19 and the release during that time of their critically acclaimed third album ‘Californian Poppy’.
Singer-songwriter Michael Rafferty (aka ‘Mickey Raff’) explains: “To be honest, we had no intention of playing live again, preferring to use our time to write and record instead – but then we released our Californian Poppy album during lockdown and it all started to change after that.
“The incredible reaction to the album took us by surprise and we were inundated with social media requests to play live – all of which we initially dismissed without even a second thought. But eventually, the requests started to wear us down and we were thinking ‘what if…’ which gradually turned into ‘maybe we could… or should’.
“So now we’ve decided to give people what they want with a couple of live dates, and the response so far has been fantastic,” he added.
Although only announced to date on The Minnows’ social media channels, the first ‘comeback’ gig in The Black Box is unsurprisingly almost sold out, with well over two thirds of tickets already gone. The Sandino’s gig in Derry a month later is also reported to be selling very well.
“It’s been a long time coming but we’re sure it will be worth the wait,” said Raff, “but we would urge people to get their tickets as soon as possible as we’ll likely be putting up the SOLD OUT sign soon, and there’s nothing we can do after that.
“It’s funny how it’s all gone full circle and from feeling pretty nonchalant about the whole thing, we’re now really excited by it. I think we’ve all realised that life is short so we’re thrilled to be back doing what we love most – playing music – and we can’t wait to take the stage again.”
Opening the show at The Black Box will be special guest Kieran Sherry, an eclectic singer songwriter and artist from Rostrevor in County Down. Rooted in folk acoustic guitar with a touch of the unpredictable, Kieran writes from the heart and has developed his own unique sound with his music crossing many genres.
Describing his music, Kieran said: “I try to capture two worlds simultaneously, like having my head in the clouds with both of my feet planted firmly on the ground at the same time, a mix of standard and mysterious elements.”
Special guests at the Sandino’s gig in Derry are alt-folk songwriting duo Polar Bolero.
The Minnows are Michael Rafferty, Paul Maynes, Kevin Carson and Stephen O’Sullivan. Formerly known as Tiberius’ Minnows, they first came to prominence with the release of their debut single ‘Time Flies’ on the famous Good Vibrations record label.
A string of singles and prominent live gigs followed, with the release of three albums Holyland, Leonard Cohen’s Happy Compared To Me and, most recently, ‘Californian Poppy’ which is available to stream or download on all digital platforms, including iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Bandcamp.
For more Minnows news and music, check out www.minnowsband.com or the band’s Facebook page.Tags: