Fresh from supporting The Strypes on tour, Dublin’s Raglans have recently released their self-titled debut album and are hitting gig venues across the country in the first headline tour.

We spoke exclusively to frontman, Stephen Kelly about petty criticism, illegal downloading and taking inspiration from Shane McGowan . . .

For those who don’t know, who ARE Raglans?

Raglans are a a band from Dublin, Ireland who play songs that (we hope) make you want to come to our gigs and have the best time. I play guitar. Sean plays guitar and mandolin, Rhos plays bass and Conn is on drums. We all sing.

How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard it?

Loud, positive and direct. It’s a bit indie, it’s a bit poppy, it’s a bit folky, it’s a bit fun.

Your debut album has hit the shelves, how do you feel about the response to it?

Pretty amazing! We went straight to #5 in the album charts back home! One of the reviews criticised us for having too many singles. SORRY!

You’re fresh from supporting The Strypes on tour, what did you take from that experience?

We learned what we already knew, put us in front of a crowd and everyone will have a good time. We also learned how well The Strypes look after their suits. Love those guys.

What would we find our your iPod? What type of music do you listen to?

My first Creative Zen was purchased about the time Limewire illegal downloading was all the rage so I had a lot of poorly named songs on that. “So Sally Can Wait” come on! I’ve always attached myself to songs rather than repertoires but I’m trying to listen to albums as a whole more now. It’s more satisfying. “AM” is a great album and I love a Canadian band called Said The Whale

Dubliners are certainly no strangers to the music scene, do you take inspiration from any Irish bands who have come before you?

The only Irish band I’ve ever really been passionate about is The Pogues, but half of them are English! I’ve just finished reading James Fearnleys (accordion player) autobiography “Here Comes Everybody” and I think it’s OK to consider them Irish, as they do! Shane McGowan is lightning in a bottle, a once in a generation talent. Committed to his way of life from the very start so he’s almost beyond reproach, people knew what they were dealing with. That commitment to being yourself is inspirational but maybe not the pissing yourself on stage. 

You’re currently on your debut headline tour, how has that been for you?

So good, the whole complexion of the band has changed now we have an album released. People are hearing about us and and coming to check us out, it’s a nice time. Exciting. Long may it last.

What can we expect from Raglans this year? How is the second half of 2014 shaping up?

It’s shaping up very nicely, we are booked all summer at festivals in the UK and IrelandGreat Escape and Camden Rocks in May kicking things off. It’s going to be a great summer. Come join us.

Debut album, “Raglans” is out now.