The Kaje talks past, present and future to The Plea

The Plea are the product of growing up in the rustic splendour of Ballyliffin, Co Donegal and according to singer/guitarist Denny Doherty, ‘Ballyliffin is the kind of place where… “If someone’s born, there’s music. If someone dies, there’s music.” which might go some way to explaining their extraordinary ability to be able to craft the best anthemic songs, this side of The Verve. Songs that defy every cliché in the rock ‘n’ roll rulebook with their undeniable vast sheer artistry and total devotion to duty as they ride henceforth into battle.
After years spent of chasing the dream by relocating to London playing the pub scene, They moved to Boston, where they worked as labourers by day and played the city’s bustling Irish pubs by night. They spent a year in Minnesota after an American major label funded an album recorded in a big budget studio, but it never came out. So in 2009 disillusioned but far from defeated Denny and Dermot return to Ireland and the brothers Doherty soon set about recruiting childhood friend Paul Toland on bass and nicked drummer Gerry Strawbridge from another local band, setting about to make music with as much ambition and as little fuss as possible.
With The Plea all set to release their fab single “Oh Ah Yay”, The Kaje were lucky enough to have a few moments with Dermot to talk past, present and future…

Music is very much a part of your heritage-can you tell us more…

A lot of people in our family play music and some of our friends growing up played it too. Our older brother was first to get a guitar in the house – an electric cream fender copy with a small practice amp. It always had about 4 strings on it and you’d be surprised how many songs can be played on one string with the volume up! He’s a carpenter now and we’re musicians, but he still can play a mean one string ballad. I suppose it just interested me more than him so I sort of taught myself on a dodgy gut string acoustic and Denny just started playing also. I’m sure I taught him but he denies it. I was in a school band and Den sang with us in a rehearsal one night – he was always hanging around and somehow got hold of the mic and it was pretty obvious that he was the best singer of the bunch. We’ve been playing music together since then.

Do you think it was inevitable that you would pursue music as a career?

Well, at some stage in your life you pick up a guitar and wonder… It was more about the love of playing music and then playing in local bars and getting paid and then your recording your own music. I don’t think either of us ever thought about it as a career when we started playing, but it becomes natural. Ask any musician busking or playing in bars, they will probably say the same thing – it just becomes something natural in your life.

It has been a bit of a troubled road to success-can you tell us a bit more about the journey…

One day you’re hitch-hiking, the next you’re driving and the next you’re flying. It sort of repeated itself like that, but not in that order. You get used to all the different ways you get from A to B. All good bands who keep it together have the rough with the smooth in equal measures.

What have the highs and lows taught you?

Try to take off from the ground first.

You are finally a finished product with a single set for release… Tell us about The Plea?

Well you’re the first to call us a ‘product’, I’m pretty sure we didn’t come from a factory, although we have worked in them! There’s not much I can tell you about The Plea but hopefully the music will speak for itself, like every good product should.

And “Oh Ah Yay”…

That’s the name of our single, out on the 23rd of April. It’s a good tune, it got a first class ranking from our product manager . It’s funny because that song sort of echoes things that become monotonous. If I was working in a factory I’d like that song, it has despair and hope in it.

With a wealth of material to your name, how do you decide which tracks warrant release?

All these songs have been written for this album from scratch, it will be the same on the next album. We have since done some demos of new tunes and it’s exciting. We may have a lot of songs written, but the next song is the one everybody is chasing, the new sounds. I don’t think we will record an album where we don’t write from scratch, we just wouldn’t want to.

With a mainstream release and comparisons to The Verve – have your ambitions already been fulfilled? If not, what boxes do you most dream of ticking?

Well not ticking the box that says ‘unemployed’ is a good place to start these days. The Verve, ticking boxes and ambitions fulfilled, we don’t see it like that at all. We’re lucky to be able to do what we are doing at the minute and that’s what we don’t forget – it really is unknown. It’s all about playing gigs and playing these tunes live and that’s what we are interested in and where we get the best from it. If the venues get bigger that’s quality and we’d be just as happy playing in a stadium as we would in a club. We didn’t call the album ‘The Dreamers Kitchen’, we called it ‘The Dreamers Stadium’.


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