"We're political, we're punky... but we like to have fun all the same"
In Ireland, punk rock emerged in the late 1970s, at a time of great social and political upheaval. The Troubles in Northern Ireland had led to a deep sense of disillusionment and anger among young people, and punk rock provided an outlet for their frustrations.
Today, punk rock continues to be a popular music genre in Ireland and around the world. It has inspired countless bands and musicians to challenge social and political issues through their music, and it remains an important cultural force for many young people. Three of these young people call themselves “Touch Excellent”.
“Touch Excellent” is a punk rock trio from Dublin, Ireland, We’ve got Lenny Hennessy on bass guitar and vocals, Ló Boyle on guitar and vocals, and Amber Excellent on drums. The band is known for their fast-paced, energetic sound, and their politically charged lyrics that tackle social issues, such as the housing crisis in Ireland.
Houses - Touch Excellent
“The lyrics for this song came first. The refrain of ‘The Houses are falling down all around me…Who will be left when all we have is dust?’ came to me all at once as I was walking around the city centre looking at more empty buildings. I wanted the scope of the song to grow with each verse. The first verse describes a real derelict building that was next to my secondary school. We were told to avoid walking past this building in case a loose tile fell and hit somebody. The second verse zooms out, and looks at a city street with empty houses and homeless people side by side. Finally, the third verse reflects on what this means for young people: few places for art or creative expression, and being forced into emigration due to of a lack of housing.
The melody for the lyrics came to me first, then I put together the bass line. It’s a punk song, so musically it’s pretty simple. I brought what I had to the band, and they decided what to play on guitar and drums to make the song work. The bridge has this dirge-like vocal, repeating “falling down, coming down”, before I launch into some keening and Ló plays his guitar solo. Amber’s drumming here is inspired by Ringo Starr on ‘Come Together’. Ló uses lots of overdrive on this track, to evoke the feeling of hurrying through a ghost town.
Our friend Tate recorded us playing the song in our rehearsal space. The video has this great DIY feel, and the energy is crackling even though this came at the end of a long rehearsal session. We just wanted to get this song with this message into the world, and we hope people listen to it and think we express some of their feelings on housing in Ireland.”
Words from Lenny for Voidmagazines
Catch Touch Excellent Live on March 14th in Workmans.
Need tickets? We got you!
Void's final thoughts
Together, “Touch Excellent” creates a sound that is both raw and aggressive with a passionate voice behind the noise. The band was particularly inspired to start writing original music by the recent explosion in female fronted and queer bands on the island of Ireland, including Sprints, Problem Patterns and Pillow Queens. With their political messages and energetic performances, “Touch Excellent” is a band that is sure to leave a lasting impression on their audiences.
Review written by Robert Byrne
Produced by Voidmagazines