This is part 2 of an interview series with Galway Street Club. If you came straight to this page, maybe go back and meet the band in part 1 first.
Camila: So, what attracted you to Galway (to the point of making you want to stay and busk)?
Johnny: For a very long time, probably since I started playing music, I was amazed by busking. I have very early memories for growing up in Edinburgh and seeing buskers flock to the city every summer for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. My decision to come to Galway was half-wanting to be a full-time busker and the other half getting drunk one night with some friends back in Leitrim. I had flunked college, was living back at home on the dole, in the one of the worst winters in Ireland with no chance of getting a decent job and living in isolation from people my own age. So I saved all the money I could and 7 weeks later I had moved to Galway, but I spent two years working as a chef and it wasn’t until last March that I gave all that up and started playing in the street. I felt like I didn’t have control over my life anymore so I stopped making excuses and started busking. It only took four years but I finally did it!
Adnaan: Galway is easily my favorite place in the world. So far. I was told to visit the city by a beautiful girl from Clare. I always obey Clarish colleens on principle. Think I was hypnotized at the time. Anyway, as I began my first busk, I was approached by two rough characters in leather jackets and aviators. I finished my tune and they sauntered up, cutting off any escape. I prepared to defend my new turf. One of the louts stuck his unshaven face in mine: “Wanna join a band?” he growled. The other chimed in: “Wanna go to France?” I was trapped.
Paul: Funny story that. Back in August of 2016 I had bought tickets to see a friend of mine (one of the founding members of the Galway Street Club) who had come out to Ireland the year before. Prior to my coming out however, he ended up having a passport issue and got stuck in the States for a while. Not wanting to ditch my ticket, I decided to come anyway and see what happened – and what did happen ended up changing my paradigm completely. I was not only overwhelmed by Irish hospitality, but also saw great potential in the music community here. Having brought out my trumpet I showed up on the street when the Galway Street Club was playing and strolled up on the last song. I held up my horn and they invited me on. I had a ball. They invited me back.
Laura: I came here to study in NUIG but I’ve always had a love for Galway, visiting the city since I was young, so I thought it’d be a good place to experience college life. I only started busking after I finished second year, fell in love with the people, the community and that helped me realise music is what I want to pursue and hopefully do for the rest of my life.
Merle: I went to Galway the first time about six years ago to work for a local charity and I had no idea what the town would be like, but I knew pretty soon that the place would never really let me go again. I stumbled into the Galway Street Club more or less by accident and I’m constantly worried about not being good enough compared to the other guys who have tons more of experience; it’s been a huge learning curve for me!
Spud: I was traveling through the west of Ireland, busking along the way and just happened to busk in Galway on my way though. I loved it and met quite a few people that made me feel welcome and at home very quickly and I could not leave.
James: I came here for college at first, and fell in love with the place. Eventually I dropped out of college to play music, and Galway seemed like the perfect starting point.