Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

Hal: Irish Nostalgists Crossing The Harmonic Pop Divide

Chris Roberts, Uncut, April 2005

Who are they and what do they sound like?

Hal were formed by brothers Dave (vocals/guitar) and Paul Allen (bass/vocals), whose parents were a double act on Ireland's folk circuit. Dave, he of the heartbreaking falsetto, was in bands by the age of 14: "My skater mates were into psychobilly like King Kurt. I got dirty looks when I told them I'd bought Revolver at the weekend. So I started playing guitar for guys 10 years older than me who were into Mudhoney and Ride." Digging deeper into mum and dad's record collection, Dave discovered Tim Buckley (as we speak, they're recording a cover of his 'Wings'), Van Morrison, Phil Spector, the Beach Boys, Fred Neil and Harry Nilsson. Hitting their mid-twenties, the brothers formed Hal two years ago with Dave's co-writer Stephen O'Brien (keyboards) and Steve Hogan (drums).

Total word count of piece: 484

Subscribe

Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.