A series of gigs to raise cash for recording isn’t a new thing, but there hasn’t been a rake of tickets bought in Ireland recently with as much goodwill as the ones snapped up for these Redneck Manifesto shows.
The Rednecks are basically a part-time band who’ve become one of Ireland’s greatest cult acts of the last 20 years.
The band haven’t released an album since Friendship in 2010, and fans have had to make do with sporadic (at best) gigs every year or so at Electric Picnic, or most recently last September at the Clonakilty International Guitar Festival.
The band’s back catalogue has only recently emerged on streaming services and the vinyl version of their Three LPs comp is going for over 200 on Discogs, after they sold all 500 on tour in Europe.
the Redneck Manifesto are many degrees of separation away from other instrumental acts filed under post-rock or math-rock, with overly portentous build-ups, algorithmically complex time signatures and unwavering straight faces.
The Rednecks have a fluidity and lighter touch among their intense passages, with pitter-pattering percussion, dubby bass and high-fret guitar lines a hangover from their earlier obsession with Fugazi as well as early hardore and jumping feet first into the DIY punk scene when they were starting out.
This independent DIY aesthetic means they’re absolved from any pressure to record – either from a label or indeed each other, with their various other musical projects.
The Rednecks are hardly prolific – four albums since 2001 – but as soon as they announce a gig it’s a big deal, especially when there’s a promise of new material.
In an interview with The Star last year, Richie Egan aka Jape discussed the main differences between his solo records that “put food on the table” and secure him festival gigs and tours through the year. He says working with the Rednecks is more intuitive, a group of friends who’ve known each other for 20 years.
Egan and guitarist matthew Bolger live in Sweden and they were both back in Dublin in the summer and hit the band up for jamming session and wrote around six songs, that he said were “genuinely happy… really upbeat”.
They’ll be playing new songs to test them along with live favourites like Break Your Fingers Laughing and Another Day of Hunting, collect the gig receipts and lock themselves away to record the LP.
Back in September when pushed for a release date, Egan conceded that they’re “really, really slow, but at least there’s a bit of a plan”.
He joked: “It shouldn’t be long, it should be out in the next… 10 years… No, really, after Christmas we’ll play those shows, we’ll work it out so we’ll have enough money for the studio, then hopefully we’ll have it by the end of next year.”