The Vincent(s) Marcus Charles Allen talks to Maria Tracey about new directions, old influences and how their radio friendly debut was once a 10-minute prog rock epic.
When a Cork band came up with a new name, a silly costume and a handful of songs to fill a support slot at their own gig, they didn't expect to be taken seriously. The crowd, however, had different ideas.
Now, having ditched the name Daphne In The Attic in favour of The Vincent(s), the group has secured the nation's attention with their debut single Asked Her To The Dance, which has received both national and international airplay, including an airing on RTÉ 2fm’s The Alternative by Dan Hegarty, while music magazine Hot Press touted it as a “fiendishly addictive track”.
However, despite The Vincent(s) hit debut, it’s not been an easy road for the boys, who cut their teeth in a variety of now defunct Cork bands, including Mersk, Hark and Circus Cat. Bassist and vocalist Marcus Charles Allen explains that, ironically, it was only when Daphne In The Attic stopped taking themselves too seriously that their music began to gain some recognition.
“It kind of started as a joke,” he says. “We (Daphne In The Attic) were stuck for a support slot for a gig in An Brog last year and we decided to make a new group with the same members, by just changing into dresses and going on afterwards.
“We spent two days down the country making up seven songs... in a jam room covered in Vincent van Gogh art prints. That’s how the name came about. We were in a different mindset. We were wearing dresses when we came up with the songs and it was all very random. My landlord called around at one stage, which was quite awkward.
“It was a real last minute thing, but those seven songs seemed to go down better than the ones from the other band so we dropped Daphne! The right people were in the crowd that night and we got offered loads of gigs. Daphne In The Attic wasn’t getting offered any.”
While Allen’s former band blended folk and grunge, The Vincent(s) is much more about raw recordings, noise and psych. Or as the rockers jokingly describe it themselves; “death pop”, “bleak drag”, “kitchen beat” and “howtopleaseyourhusband-core”.