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Meet Really Good Time, the Irish band who are hellbent on living up to their name

Self-described as a unique concoction of "U2 in their Vertigo era covering Viagra Boys", this Dublin band offer the most unique of propositions...

By Nick Reilly

Really Good Time (Picture: Ronan Nissenbaum)

Sensitive eyes look away now! The video for Really Good Time’s ‘Retreat To The Cubicle’ sees the group – vocalist Diolmhain Ingram Roche, bassist Jack Hitchcock, guitarist Alex Conway, and drummer Adrian Garvey – donning the tightest of undergarments as they launch their own suburban hand carwash.

The video – a throwback to the nudge/wink smut and silliness of 90s MTV – is a reflection of what Really Good Time are all about.

There’s an inherent silliness that runs through the DNA of this Dublin band, but it just so happens that they have the tunes to match too. That aforementioned song sounds like a throwback to Weezer’s 90s highs, while “U2 in their Vertigo era covering Viagra Boys” is the mantra the band choose themselves.

Formed in the Irish capital to “get drunk and play late shows”, the group soon realised they were too good for small-time knockabout fun and set out on a mission to live up to the bold claim on their Facebook page: “the greatest band on Earth”.

Only time will tell if that’s the case, but from what we’ve heard so far – you wouldn’t necessarily bet against them.

You can read our Q&A with Really Good Time below.

The first thing I noticed on your Facebook page was the bold statement in your bio which proclaimed you as “the greatest band on Earth”. Explain…

Diolmhain: Well, I guess we believe that we are! I think getting other people to believe that we are is obviously should be the end goal of any bands. We have to stridently believe it first and proclaim it.

Adrian: Facebook is the social media we pay attention to the least, so that might be a slightly olfer bio! But we do feel that way, we understand that not everyone is convinced yet, but we’re working on that. The name of this band is Really Good Time and if we didn’t believe that it could be a really good time all the time, we wouldn’t be in this game.

This is obviously our PlayNext series, where the point is to introduce new artists like yourselves. Give our readers your best elevator pitch.

Adrian: We have two of these! The first one is Pixies meets LCD Soundsystem and a bag of cheap speed in a blender. And the blender is turned on. Or U2 in their Vertigo era covering Viagra Boys. That’s pretty much it in the bag.

So there’s a sense of chaos through it all?

Diolmhain: Yeah and chaos is fun. You can have a really good time in the midst of some chaos.It wouldn’t be a really good time if, you know, it was all completely straight laced and buttoned up. I like having the element of chaos and I liked the idea of putting Viagra Boys with U2 because they’re obviously not said in the same sentence too much.

But I think when we started writing tunes, like very early on, one of the first ones that we were really happy with was a tune called ‘Best Medicine’ and we weren’t sure if it was too much of a rock anthem to start with, because when you’re a teenager that’s not necessarily the thing. But we leant into it and we’ve taken a sense of brute force and ignorance and leant into it. If something is striking us as being a little bit *too much* we just think OK, well now we have to do it twice as much!

You mentioned Viagra Boys, who are one of the best live bands on the planet right now. Are you guys putting on a similarly impressive show?

Diolmhain: Yeah! For sure. We couldn’t be calling ourselves a really good time if we weren’t delivering in the show, right? That’s what it was about at the start, the initial goal was to have a band where we could just get drunk and play late shows and festivals. And then we started writing songs that were too hard to play, so we couldn’t do that.

But that was always the goal and the energy from the start, to have a really shit hot show. I guess when when we realised that we couldn’t get drunk with it is when we started wanting to become a machine. A machine that could fall apart at any moment, but doesn’t!

Adrian: I think the essence of the live show comes from the fact that everyone on stage has their own thing that they do. You sometimes watch a band on stage and there’s like one guy over in the corner who’s doing the shoe gaze thing, like looking at his pedals, but no one in this band does that. Our bass player I’d describe as being like Triple H!

That’s quite the description!

Adrian: Yeah, he’s a huge guy who just really commands the stage. It’s hard to know who the lead person of the band is.

Diolmhain: He may or may not be spitting water on the next tour. You’ll have to come and find out!

How did you get together in the first place?

Adrian: Myself, Jack and Alex were in a scene-adjacent band for years called Fat Pablo. It was kind of more introspective psychedelic music and then Diolmhain had been doing electronic music under the name Wastefellow and we had gigged together. Our lead singer left and the rest of us stayed together and then Diolmhain came down for one jam session. He kept showing up every week and that’s kind of it! was under his electronic moniker was fellow.

Diolmhain: Once we started playing gigs after lockdown, the energy we were getting back was such a rush and we couldn’t focus on everything else. That’s been the buzz for the last three years now.

Adrian: We even booked a UK tour without having a booking agent. We had no high aspirations, but we were doing it to do it. Gears shifted pretty seriously the following year and everyone has their side hustle. We’re intent on it becoming the full time job and no longer self proclaiming the greatest band on earth, I guess, living up to it instead.

You mentioned wanting it to become your full-time job. How hard has it been to balance work with the band?

Adrian: Well, I’m currently on my lunch in work to do this. That pretty much sums it up. But yeah, to be real, it’s tough.Everybody’s pretty much on a full time squeeze and then we’re showing up week to week to get bits done as we can and doing all the admin stuff in the background.

Dublin is expensive. It is not very favourable towards the arts in terms of a living, like making a living out of that over here. It’s hard to exist in the city if you don’t work in tech basically or have some sort of .high ranking civil service job.

There’s an inherent silliness to the band to. Your recent video for ‘Retreat To The Cubicle’ which sees you in tight gold pants, Diolmhain, is quite something.

Diolmhain: We’re quite proud of that one! It’s just who we all are, I think like we’re all goofballs or whatever however you want to say it. I think it would be disingenuous if we were not, you know, we’re having so much fun doing every other aspect of the band. I don’t know if it would feel natural to not just have fun with kind of the presentation of the visual side in the world of the band and whatever, it just feels natural to do it that way.

Adrian: I think maybe this is a controversial thing to say, but I think the era of bands being cool is kind of on its way out. People taking themselves a little too seriously with it. That’s why we wear matching jumpsuits with our name on them.

Diolmhain: No that’s serious!

Adrian: Yes, having a really good time is serious work. We take it very seriously. But there is a serious message behind a lot of our music and the levity of our visuals just offsets that.

Diolmhain: It’s not all fun and games.

And just finally, what’s your key ingredient to having a really good time?

Diolmhain: That’s a hell of a question Nick. Being in this band!

Adrian: Can I tag onto that too? I think continuing to create the things that we’re doing at the moment I think we’re all just very driven to just keep this thing going. As tiring as it is at times, I think living the dream somewhat is just to turn this into a full time thing.

Diolmhain: Maybe it’s catharsis too. The catharsis that you can find in other people, whether it’s at a show or whether it’s with your buds, writing some tunes, in a damp rehearsal room, you know, whatever it is. Even if your life is tough, even if you’re on your lunch break from your job, whatever it is at that moment where you could come together with other people or some strangers in a venue, whatever the fuck it is. That’s maybe where the really good time is. In a way, that’s the modus operandi of this band.