Happy Hour with Fallen Lights

Together since 2014, Cody, Graham, Jay and Joe make up Irish indie-pop outfit Fallen Lights who were kind enough to join me in studio ahead of their gig in Buskers, full interview is available here. On a side-note, I did ask where the name came from, hoping they would say an indie band name generator on Facebook but instead I got a garbled story about an altercation with a light after a gig. Mmmhmm.. drink taken I’d say!

Hailing from Mullingar and Waterford, the lads count Gavin James and Hudson Taylor among their fans and maintain that everyone in the music industry in Ireland is up for pints and fairly sound. They should know, having supported everyone from Paddy Casey to Ham Sandwich to The Academic and most recently the Blizzards on their comback tour in the Olympia Theatre in Dublin. Comparisons with the likes of Picture This and Walking on Cars are inevitable but Graham maintains Fallen Lights have a more ballsy, in-your-face sound. “it’s like indie-pop with a punch, electric-indie-pop-rock”.

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2017 has been a busy one thus far. The new single Pricetag is out now and available for  download on itunes. There is also a 5 single EP in the pipeline for later in the year and the lads have just announced details of a headline show in Whelans in Dublin, tickets here. And, as recently as last night have thrown their hat in the ring for Eurovision 2018.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FFallenLightsOfficial%2Fvideos%2F1850640688522103%2F&show_text=0&width=560“>Eurovision 2018?

As if that wasn’t enough, they’ve embarked on a 32-county 32-day Mind your Mind tour, with one gig per county per day, in aid of mental health charity Inspire. Inspire are a 32-county mental health service providing a range of supports in the areas of disability and mental health; day support, supported housing, floating support and advocacy services as well as training programmes in third-level colleges and universities across the island of Ireland. This idea of a 32-county service is the main reason behind the epic roadtrip the boyos now find themselves in the middle of.

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It’s no secret that mental health is a huge issue in Ireland, especially among young men who, according to the National Suicide Research Foundation are 5 times more likely than their female counterparts to die by suicide. It’s this demographic that Fallen Lights are hoping to tap into and help to break the stigma of mental health. As Graham said, if they can reach out to 1 person at each gig, that’s 32 lives saved over the course of 32 days. Not all superheroes wear capes.

In terms of minding their own mental health, the lads admitted that they are all in a fortunate position of working with their best friends and that others might not be so lukcy. In the close confines of the tour bus it’s hard to keep secrets and if someone is having a bad day, they all step in to lift the mood again. “since we’re practically living in a van for most of the year, we’re kind of forced to talk about our feelings and we act as our own mental health guidance.”

Looking ahead to the future, Fallen Lights have just announced details of a headline gig in Dublin but they won’t be stopping there and are delighted to be featuring in this year’s Electric Picnic line-up. No strangers to the festival circuit, the lads are really looking forward to returning to the stage in Stradbally. “electric is such a great place for everybody to get togehrt. We got a good crowd, not just friends and family people hearing the music from afar and and just walking towards us. We got a good reaction on social media then, we were buzzing so we’re just mad to get back there”

For anyone affected by issues raised, the Samaritans are available 24/7 at 116 123 free of charge.

Check out the full interview here with full tracklisting below. Special thanks to Station Manager Paula Healy who produced.

xo Malley

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Happy Hour with Fallen Lights

Tracklist

  1. James Vincent McMorrow – True Care
  2. Ailbhe Reilly – Loose
  3. Fallen Lights – Price Tag
  4. Fallen Lights – You and I (live)
  5. Loah – This Heart
  6. Rory Gallagher – Bad Penny
  7. Peter Doherty – Last of the English Roses
  8. The National – The Last Time
  9. Alt-J – Left Hand Free
  10. Bloc Party – Flux

 

#IAmAReason

Last week acting Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, announced that €12m in funding which had been ring fenced for mental health services would now be diverted to other areas. His justification was that the Fine Gael led government had increased funding by 16% to €827 million and that they had secured a number of achievements in the area since coming to power in 2011.

550 people died by suicide last year. I wouldn’t call that an achievement.

Today, during Dáil debates on mental health, Dublin North-West TD Noel Rock took to Twitter to share a picture of the handful of elected representatives who were present.

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I counted 10 TDs, that’s one for every person who will die by suicide in Ireland this week.

Varadkar himself was not present for the whole debate. His excuse for leaving early was that he was part of the negotiating team who are still in government formation talks with Fianna Fáil. The same talks that have been going on since after the General Election. . . 9 weeks ago. While I agree that the country does need a Government, these talks should have and could have concluded weeks ago if there was the political will to form a new coalition.

Meanwhile, the backlash has continued online with many, including Limerick rap duo The Rubberbandits taking to social media to vent their frustration.

Mental Health demonstrations are due to take place in Dublin, Cork and Galway this Thursday, April 28th.

You can also find a full list of those TDs who contributed to today’s debates here:

https://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2016-04-26a.54

If your local elected representative was not among those who did speak, all TDs contact details are listed here. Make your voice heard.

http://www.oireachtas.ie/members/mobile/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=32&disp=const

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You can also text PIETA to 50300 to donate €2 or check out http://www.dil.pieta.ie for details of the Darkness into Light events going on around the country on May 7th.

 

 

Depression and ‘Double Life’.

Since Doug Leddin posted an emotional short film about his battle with depression on Facebook yesterday evening, it been viewed over half a million times and has gone super viral, and deservedly so. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out at the link below.

 

Leddin has lent his voice to the growing national conversation about mental health joining well known faces like Bressie and the Rubberbandits, both of whom have been particularly vocal in terms of criticizing the Government’s response to what is undoubtably a mental health epidemic in this country and working hard to raise awareness and end the stigma surrounding mental health.

Leddin touches on these issues in his tearful address. He explains that those suffering with mental illness often fear being misunderstood whether by co-workers, employers, friends or family and often suffer in silence, hiding their struggle; ‘The Double Life’.

‘If you asked my family or friends what they thought about me they’d probably tell you that I’m a happy-go-lucky, positive, hard-working and confident guy. But all that’s a bit of a lie. You see, I’m living a completely different life inside. I’m living the life of someone who suffers immensely with depression. And this is so hard for me to talk about, but it’s not just me’.

In taking this brave step, Leddin challenges others to do the same. This is particularly poignant as it is precisely his demographic who are most affected by depression and mental illness. Men are four times more likely to commit suicide than their female counterparts. Last year 550 people took their own lives in this country. I’ll leave you to do the maths.

‘The first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one. How can we expect to find an answer when we’re still afraid of the question?’ he asks.

With 1 in 10 Irish people currently suffering from mental health issues, everyone has a role to play in the fight against depression and mental illness and its high time we all stepped up. We need to shine a light into the darkest corners and we need to do it together.

‘We need to speak up if we’re suffering in silence it’s the only way we’re going to beat the stigma it’s the only way we’re gonna help ourselves and help each other’.

Fairplay Doug!

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