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In Tua Nua – 40 Years And Still Rolling – This Saturday @ Suttonians

In his own words with In Tua Nua’s Paul Byrne:

Suttonians has a particular place in our story. In Tua Nua formed in 1983 and signed our first record deal in July 1984 shortly after playing with Bob Dylan in Slane Castle. We had released a single in May called Coming Thru, the first ever release on U2s Mother Records and it had attracted a lot of attention amongst the big labels in the UK, after getting a huge amount of radio and TV here at home.

At the time we were getting some advice from U2’s manager Paul McGuinness and he recommended we talk to Island Records as they were better for alternative rock bands like ourselves. We were asked by Island Records talent scout Nick Stewart to put on a gig so he could see us live so we ran our own gig in Suttonians, knowing we could fill it with our pals from Sutton and Howth.

The gig was packed, we went down really well but Nick didn’t make it….So he asked us if we could keep the gear set up and perform the next day for him, just him!! Anyway we played a few songs and he took us out to dinner and he told us he was signing us. Happy days!! Check out our website for the rest of that story (http://www.intuanua.com/timeline/)

We had 7 great years of touring and recording, opening for acts such as U2, Simple Minds, Eurythmics, Fleetwood Mac and more. We had a hit in The Netherlands with 7 Into The Sea, Italy with Heaven Can Wait and the UK with All I Wanted. Our album, The Long Acre was a college hit all across the USA and paved the way for our 30 date tour of the US which I will never forget. In that time we had 3 different violin players, two different pipers and two different bass players.

The band broke up in September 1989 just after we had just finished our 3rd album for Virgin Records. It was a very bad break up, a split right down the middle over the firing of our manager which ended up in 10 months of litigation. It of course killed the Label’s enthusiasm for the album and it was buried. We kept it all quiet at the time.

In 2004 I called everyone (the original core of 5) to meet for a pint. We had a great laugh, buried the hatchet and decided to give it a try again. I had a studio in Abbey Street at the time and invited everyone in for a jam. Unfortunately Martin and Ivan (who formed the band) decided that their playing days were over so Jack, Leslie and I set about putting together a new lineup which included Andrew Bass, the late Derek Cronin, Leo Rickard and Mairead Nesbitt.

Our  resurrection was on Easter Sunday 2004 in The Bailey Court Hotel and the band sounded better than ever. We were all bringing a maturity to the playing now that made all the difference. I know I was playing the songs at much better tempos. When I watch the old gigs I can’t believe how fast we played all the songs live, I’ve learned to control the adrenalin now, kind of….We did a bit of a tour that year but just weren’t able to reach our audience and put everything on ice for a few years.

All of that changed with Facebook and Youtube. I was an early adopter and having worked in multimedia since 1998 I was able to create content and build up an online following. In 2012 I bumped into John Reynolds and asked him if he was interested in booking Shane McGowan for EP (Jack and I were now his rhythm section). He said no but he would love In Tua Nua to play. He said he still had a framed contract from our gig in Longford that was his first ever job as a promoter. We had just re-recorded All I Wanted (because we didn’t own any of our own masters) and decided to release it in the lead up the EP. It worked a treat and we were officially back and in high demand by radio and press as a result. Releasing on Spotify etc is so easy now. The only draw back is that Virgin records control the ITN profile on these platforms and when we release something it’s on a separate ITN profile. Search All I Wanted on Spotify and you’ll see what I mean.

Having a solid fanbase on Facebook allows us to put on gigs and let people know in an instant, share clips and pics from gigs, old and new. We recently played with Lionel Ritchie and The Human League in St Annes Park. We had everyone singing along and it felt just like Croke Park with U2 in 1985. We put out a video clip on Facebook and suddenly our number of followers jumped. I’m not giving away any secrets here, it’s just how it is now compared to before.

What to expect:

For this tour we’re trying to look forward as well as back. We’re still doing lots of songs from our 80’s albums and singles but we’ve added in some new originals and revamped some unreleased songs too.

Upcoming shows:

July 15th – Suttonians RFC

July 20th – Galway International Arts Festival Monroe’s Galway

July 22nd – Forest Fest at Emo 2023

July 29th – Theatre Royal Waterford 

October 13th – Opium Dublin

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