• The Hot Touches

Groundhog Blog!

After a two-month hiatus we catch up with Colm towards the end of January, 2021. Hope is probably the adjective best used to describe our collective wishes for the year with vaccines and vaccination programs dominating the headlines. There is, however, a sense of stasis and uncertainty still prevailing with lockdowns, new strains and political and economic tensions also the propping up the news cycles. So, no change there unfortunately. Amidst all the hope and expectation these are the frustrating practicalities we are faced with on a daily basis as we forge ahead into the New Year. Unsurprisingly our conversation is tainted by the new reality, but it also contains some of that aforementioned ever present and enduring of human qualities. Hope!

We’re talking about Christmas and New Year and how it was all so strange this year. Colm explains that, “[I] missed the buzz around definitely. Christmas gigs are always nice. You always see someone you haven’t seen in years and everybody’s in a good mood. But on the other hand I enjoyed soaking it all in and not having to rush in and out of crowds, nightly. It was very laid back.” As we get around to mentioning the blog he smiles and says, “Groundhog blog, haha. I wish I had something exciting to add, but it’s as we were unfortunately. I still can’t play, either with the band or for a living and as I listen to the recommendations for the vaccines to be effective I’m not too confident of the hospitality sector opening. Even if it does there won’t be any music allowed initially, so that’s where we’re still at at the moment.” This is the predicament for most in the arts and entertainment sectors at present. We ask Colm for his take on the Irish government’s handling of the situation. “I wouldn’t like to have to be making those decisions but I’m not entirely impressed with the leadership to be honest. Towards the end of last year, we saw tensions arise between the cabinet and their scientific advisors in a very public fashion undermining, in my opinion, both sides. It seems that relaxing restrictions at Christmas has led to this lockdown. They were advised of this and still opened. To me that seems like putting politics ahead of what was the right thing to do. Also, the government appear to be very reticent to introduce mandatory quarantining for passengers entering the country. That’s just baffling! Especially when you consider the advent of the new strains. Probably best not to get into it, haha.

We park the politics and get to the Hot Touches. “It’s very frustrating that we can’t play so I’ll keep trying to promote on-line. The experience last year was very positive so we’ll try and pick up where we left off.” Last year the band released their eponymous debut album on June 5, were reviewed and featured on some websites and publications and made it onto Distrokid’s weekly Spotify playlist twice with their song, ‘Young Love.’ They also built a website, established a presence on social media and appeared on some live sessions from the Tatler Jack Bar in Killarney, via the pubs Facebook page. “We learned a lot last year so now we just want to create more opportunities and hopefully push on from there. “Fortunately, we made some good contacts so that may help when we release our next single.” The band will be releasing the song ‘Damage’ as a single soon. “Last year we were a little clueless as to promotion in terms of campaigns and advertising etc., but hopefully some of the lessons learned as well as some of our contacts will help us with that. We have a video shot and now must research how best to get the song the most exposure. Hopefully we get it right.” There’s also some news regarding YouTube. “I’m hoping to start putting covers up twice monthly, beginning in March. Myself and hopefully some others from the band. If successful it might gain some exposure for our original material and also dust off the cobwebs, haha. I’ve been getting complacent lately and I think the reason is that there’s nothing to aim for. Producing some videos will solve that and also, I just really miss playing. It’s spring now and the nights are getting longer so that’ll give me a bit more of a pep in the step. I love it when the evenings stretch out. I’m feeling better just thinking about it.”

After that we spoke a little more about the band, the single and social media. Eventually we concluded that, indeed it is all the same, only different. Different approach, new ideas and opportunities and hopefully a better outcome. Yes, the days may drag and the routine and uncertainty may frustrate but we’ll continue forward because things, as they always do, will change. As Colm said before we parted, “let’s make ‘em change for the better!”

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