The Riptide Movement in Dubai

Former support group for Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi and Bob Dylan ready to shine

Ireland has bred a number of world-class acts including U2, The Script, Snow Patrol and Van Morrison.

Adding to the mix is Ireland’s newest musical export, The Riptide Movement, with their blend of easy-going rock ’n’ roll – a sound similar to The Gaslight Anthem, Augustines and Frank Turner.

Having had an epic 2014 in their home country producing bold, sing-along anthems on their number one, gold-selling album Getting Through, as well as a string of top ten singles and sold-out tours, the four-piece, comprising Mal Tuohy (vocals and guitar), Jay Dalton (guitar), Gerry McGarry (bass and harmonica) and Gar Byrne (drums and piano) – are now setting their sights on global success, but not before making a pit stop in Dubai to perform at the Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards and McGettigan’s.

The Irish band will put on a special performance for the Nightlife Awards on Tuesday March 24 at JW Marriott Marquis, followed by three free gigs across the Dubai McGettigan’s venues and in Abu Dhabi on Thursday March 26 to Saturday 28.

The band’s live set has built them a loyal following both at home and abroad, with their first single from the album, ‘All Works Out’ being the most played song on Irish radio last year.

Despite being friends since they were kids, The Riptide Movement only formed after each of their previous musical groups disbanded in 2006. ‘We have similar tastes in music and a lot of it would be American or English blues – bands like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Rory Gallagher. We had an idea of what we wanted the sound to be like. It has taken us a few albums to do it, but we always felt that this band was different to the others we’ve been in,’ says Mal.

After a few years gigging, and feeling they weren’t getting the airplay they needed, the band signed to Universal Music in Ireland in 2014 and released the album Getting Through. ‘We felt that to make a break internationally we would have to go with an international label. It’s really opened us up to the UK and Europe,’ Mal adds. With an upbeat, lively and energetic sound, the album has elements of folk and blues, and has a distinctly soulful vibe.

‘We released an album in 2009, What About The Tip Jars? but we didn’t get any sort of radio coverage. No-one knew who we were. Then one day we saw these guys busking on Grafton Street in Dublin, hooked up to car batteries with electric guitars and we thought that it would be a great way to move albums. So we did that and it brought us all around the world. Everyone who comes through Ireland usually comes through Grafton Street, and it spread to Germany and Russia and India,’ says Mal. Now, the band are finally getting the international promotion they’ve been striving for, with Getting Through due for release in the UK
in June.

‘Timing is everything,’ says Mal. “All Works Out’ is an upbeat song with a positive message. We also have a really great video of it with Amy Huberman [Irish actress and wife of former Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll] and Paul Ronan [Irish actor and father of actress Saoirse Ronan]. It really just took off.’

The band have gigged their way from Dublin to Delhi, proved they can entertain the masses at Glastonbury and even supported The Rolling Stones at their Hyde Park gig in London. ‘It was amazing, we were lucky to even get to play with them because they aren’t on tour that often. Plus we’re all massive fans of them, and it’s definitely one of our highlights of being in the band,’ says Mal.

For now the group is back in the studio, working on their fourth album and preparing for the release of their next single ‘Animals’, a fist-pumping anthem of a track (‘we get a reaction no matter where we go because our shows are so energetic and lively’), Although breaking America is perhaps their ultimate goal. ‘Our music is so heavily influenced by it. We’d be right at home there,’ says Mal.

Having already played with musical icons Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Bon Jovi and with gigs lined up in Germany, Australia and the UK, this year could be the year for The Riptide Movement.
Free. McGettigan’s Abu Dhabi on March 26 at 9pm; The Baggot @McGettigan’s JLT on March 27 at 9pm and McGettigan’s DWTC on March 28 at 2pm. www.mcgettigans.com.

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