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Armed with a desire to make music without boundaries, Clann Zú came together in Melbourne in 1999 from various musical backgrounds - punk, rock, folk, electronic & classical. With an ensemble featuring violin and keys, along with a traditional four piece setup, Clann Zú create beautiful dark melodies ranging from the intimate and sparse, to the huge and dramatic. The bilingual vocals (Irish and English) of Waterford born, Declan de Barra are intense and passionate, with lyrical themes running from dispossession, cultural reclamation and resistance, to hopelessness and desperation. Although drama can often be a simile for pretension, Clann Zú execute it genuinely and gracefully, managing to create honest and punishingly beautiful songs.
In 2000, Clann Zú's moving live shows quickly earned them a loyal following in their Australian home town. The 2001 release of their self-titled EP in Australia was met with glowing reviews, as well as a continuing run of packed live shows. Clann Zú relocated to Dublin early in 2002 to complete their debut album "Rua", and headlined Galway's Dominica Festival to a rapturous response in May of that year.
The animated video for "Five Thousand More" created by vocalist, Declan, was featured in various festivals and online film and animation sites worldwide, including the 47th Cork International Film Festival, where Clann Zú played two very special shows at the Cork Opera House. The second animated video for "Crashing to the Floor" was released mid-2003 in Irish. The band spent the year playing shows around Ireland and gathering rave reviews internationally for "Rua", which was re-released in September by G7 Welcoming Committee.
Clann Zú returned to Australia at the end of 2003 to finish writing their second album "Black Coats & Bandages", released by G7 on June 1st, 2004. The band spent two weeks in Melbourne's Newmarket Studios recording in a completely analogue setting. The new album's stripped-down recording and sparse composition make it truer to the live dynamic of the band. Noticeably absent is the traditional Irish and folk flavour that graced previous recordings; in its place, a heavier presence of the Irish language, including two songs sung entirely in Irish.
Benjamin Andrews (Electric Guitar), Russell Fawcus (Electric Violin, Keyboards), Declan de Barra (Vocals, Bodhrán), Liam Andrews (Bass), Lach Wooden (Sound Manipulation).