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Energy Orchard

From Academic Kids

Energy Orchard were a Irish guitar-based rock band of the late 1980s and early 1990s, from Belfast. Fronted by Bap Kennedy, their style drew heavily on the influence of Van Morrison and other classic RnB, but incorporated traditional elements of Irish folk music to create a unique sound.

The band were:

  • Bap Kennedy (lead vocal)
  • Paul Toner (lead guitar)
  • David Toner (percussion)
  • Spade McQuaid (rhythm guitar)
  • Joby Fox (bass)
  • Kevin Breslin (keyboards)

The first single, Belfast, was released in 1990 on MCA records, followed up with Sailortown. The first album, Energy Orchard, was released to critical appreciation, but with some reservations about it being overproduced (producer was Mick Glossop), somewhat diluting the band's raw live sound. Subsequent albums compensated for this, the 1992 release Stop the Machine, 1993's Shinola, Painkiller (1995) and a 1996 live album. Unfortunately the record company gave the band very lacklustre support and despite extensive touring, the breakthrough to mainstream success eluded them. The constant comparisons with U2 didn't help either, even though musically the bands were not especially similar. The band was dropped in 1996 and subsequently disbanded, though Bap went on to have some success with a solo career.

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