Galway-based writer/musician Jimi McDonnell is involved in two amazing tribute bands, with a twist: Tradiohead are a Radiohead covers band (but with trad music, obviously) and the Strolling Homes are a Rolling Stones tribute who had their debut gig in Galway last weekend as part of Culture Night 2015.
What’s the Name? “Jimi (after my Dad’s dad) Patrick (after my Mam’s dad) McDonnell.”
Where’s He From? “Where it’s at. Also, Tuam, County Galway”
Who Does He Sound Like? “The wind, the rustling of autumn leaves underfoot and a Galway buck who likes to talk. I’m in two bands that involve singing songs that Mick Jagger and Thom Yorke had a hand in writing. I’d be charmed to sound like either of them, or even get close.”
“So, where did it all start?”
“In a conservatory on the Weir Rd. I was 13 and my big brother Noelie knew the chords to Like A Rolling Stone. I belted that out, along with four or five more Dylan songs that I learned from a Greatest Hits cassette I’d given Noelie as a Christmas present. I had been a shy kid until then, thanks Bob!…The Strolling Homes came to be when I had a coffee in Jamaica Joe’s with Aidan Curran, a savage guitar player and a gent to boot. Then Conal Byrne, Dave Clancy, Michael Coen and Dessie Harrington got on board. We play the music of The Rolling Stones, and we’re mad for gigging!”
“Who do you cite as your musical idols?”
“The Rolling Stones, Radiohead, Bob Dylan, Bjork, LCD Soundsystem, Wilco, King Creosote, The National,The Waterboys, Merry Clayton, Kate Bush…..it’s a long auld list, can I keep going? Strange Boats, Noelie McDonnell, The Boss, Billie Holiday. And oh yeah, everyone should hear My Fellow Sponges!