#onenightonly #musiclimerick – Limerick’s Parliament Square launch album .. Walter Mitty and The Realists play support

About to launch their debut on Thursday 6, Parliament Square talk about the long hours in their hit factory studio, rocking Indiependence, and err .. a man in a red suit!


Parliament Square Pic. Jody Neville
Parliament Square
Pic. Jody Neville

LIMERICK band Parliament Square will launch their debut album on Thursday 6. The band formed in 2012 and have consistently impressed live on stage, bringing together lead singer Brendan Markham (founder member of The Driven) with Colin Bartley (bass), Karol Drea (drums) and Ross Brennan (keys/ guitar).

As a taster the quartet released the catchy earworm ‘As I Have’, a bona fide ready made radio hit with its rock/pop/electronica flavours.

The debut album is a real treat. The hours of work have paid dividends. From the Bowie influenced ‘Casualties’ to the steel guitar led swing of ‘Silver Sun’, the album is crammed with hook filled quality subversive pop.

Band members  Brendan Markham and Ross Brennan talked to Limerick Post Newspaper about working in their small studio to compact their influences and experience into Parliament Square’s  “groovy tales of life.”

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Since his former band The Driven imploded in the late ’90s, Brendan Markham has continued to write and record solo. In 2012 he was looking for a new direction for his music.

Brendan: “I had done everything I could possibly do on acoustic guitar and I was mad to try new sounds. I bumped into Ross through friends who mentioned he had a studio.”

From there they began recording together. Brendan looks after the lyrics and Ross handles the production. The early sessions produced the debut single ‘Forest Fire’.

Ross: “I am much more into electronic music so I would bring synthesizers into the songs.”

Brendan: “Months and months of work was put into creating these tracks from basic ideas to full blown production. Sometimes you would come out with nothing. But if only a snippet of an idea came out of hundreds – we would go with that.”

“It progressed from me coming in with something written to myself and Ross writing in the studio, which took me to a completely different place.”

A lot of Parliament Square’s music originate from acoustic ideas and some came from beats. ‘Gravity’ features Ross’s lyrical and melodic chorus with Brendan’s melody. The final track ‘In My House’ was produced by The Cranberries Noel Hogan for the Pigtown Fling Project.

The band’s debut album could have dropped two years earlier but a big change in Ross Brennan’s world delayed the release which turned out to be a major influence on the quality of the record we have today.

Ross: “We had recorded the album and I became a dad, which meant I was gone from the scene for almost a year where nothing happened.

“After a year we listened to the mixes with fresh ears so we stripped it down and got a much better mix. It was a blessing in disguise. Brendan: “We wouldn’t be the band we are getting to be now. We are enjoying being around each other because everyone has lives going on too.”

The quartet has always impressed live and brought things up to a new level when Parliament Square were invited to play Indiependence Festival in August.

Brendan: “The gig was fantastic and so enjoyable. We had 800 people jumping up and down and screaming for more. We had done plenty preproduction leading up to it and loads of rehearsals with Ciaran Culhane [live sound engineer].”

Brendan’s lyrics bring social commentary into what are on the surface, melodic pop tunes.

Brendan: “I’m aware constantly of what’s happening in the world and I am just influenced by that. It can be something humorous, or completely random. None of the songs are written in anger.”

But we are left guessing what current single ‘As I Have’ is all about…maybe the video gives us a hint?

Brendan: “I’ll explain that another day – ‘the man in the red suit’ is all I can say!!”

He laughs, leaving us none the wiser but determined to listen to the funky earworm another dozen times.

Support for the launch comes from very special guests Walter Mitty and the Realists who will reform for just one night to celebrate Parliament Square’s new album. Also on the bill is LSAD based band gAIA. Parliament Square play Dolan’s on Thursday October 6.