The exciting duo talks to Cian Montague.
Perhaps because of the immediate popularity of their first songs, or because of their slew of live shows, it often feels as if “DIY-electro-dance duo” Le Boom have been around for a long time. Vocalist Christy Leech doesn’t feel quite the same: “Does it? We’re together two years this summer so it still feels pretty new to us,” he says. You’d never know it from the way Leech and bandmate Aimie Mallon have come into their own.
Le Boom are in the middle of their biggest tour yet, with dates across Ireland as well as the UK. At the time of interview they are poised to play a sold-out show in the Button Factory. Are they excited? “Button Factory will be a special one for us. Most of our following are in Dublin and even though we’re both from Meath, Dublin gigs always feel like home gigs to us,” says Leech.
Le Boom have earned a fierce reputation for their live shows, and recent audiences have been treated to their “boppiest, sweatiest set” yet.
Clearly Le Boom have been enjoying the international aspect to their music. They recently played two shows in London. “It’s an amazing buzz to get to a new city like London and have fans there, and to hear them singing the words in their mad English accents!” says Leech. Mallon describes their show at Latitude festival last summer as a favourite. “When you go to the UK first, you really don’t expect any big reaction at all. We weren’t even well-known in Dublin, so it was huge leap, but we got a really good late slot on a really cool stage in the woods. We played to hundreds of people that night and it was bananas.”
“It’s nice to have a live sound,” Mallon says, “The more weird percussion and unusual samples we can find the better!”
“Bananas” might be a good word. Le Boom have earned a fierce reputation for their live shows, and recent audiences have been treated to their “boppiest, sweatiest set” yet. How has this developed? “Well, it seems to be constantly changing. When we started playing together, the set was slower and probably had less energy – we used to stop after every tune [and] get a clap – maybe like a regular indie band would do,” Leech says. “Now, it’s become pretty intense; I think we only stop playing once for about 30 seconds in our hour-long sets, so they’ve become more of a journey than a stop/start kind of thing. The set has also become a lot heavier – like, it’s still the same songs but they are much more dancey and clubby now.” One interesting aspect of their performances is Mallon’s use of glass bottles as percussion. “Rather than using a sample on the drum pads, it’s nice to have a live sound,” she says, “The more weird percussion and unusual samples we can find the better!”
What sort of music are they into themselves? “Right now, I’m listening to The Blaze a lot,” says Leech. They’re clearly proud of the music coming out of their home country, too. “The Irish scene is so good at the moment,” continues Leech, “I really like Pillow Queens. Soulé is great. Mix & Fairbanks have become good friends as we gig on the same circuit, but they are so good too. Cinema is class as well.”
As a duo, Leech and Mallon have obvious chemistry, and I’m interested to know how they go about writing together. “It depends,” says Leech, “Sometimes it starts with just a song on piano that we start layering up with beats etc., and sometimes it starts with a beat.” It’s a constant collaboration. “We send ideas over and back to each other all the time, and then when we feel like we have something we can work with, we take it to a rehearsal studio and jam it a bit til it feels right.”
While Le Boom’s gigging has taken off in a major way, official releases have been slower to arrive.
While Le Boom’s gigging has taken off in a major way, official releases have been slower to arrive. Their debut single and the tune with which they first made their name, ‘What We Do,’ came out in August 2016, but it would be over a year before we heard an official follow-up with ‘Don’t Need It Now.’ After another wait, their third single ‘Coma’ has just dropped. It seems that the studio releases don’t matter so much when the live show is the real draw; of course, these tracks are all live staples anyway. “We’ve been taking our time and learning our craft and so far, we’ve been mainly focusing on the shows,” says Leech. “Our Spotify looks a bit bare at the moment.”
This could change in the near future. “There are plenty of new tunes in the oven at the moment for future releases. Just letting them get nice and tasty!” says Mallon. Soon there will be a single, “we are planning to just lash them out over the next year, but an EP or an album, who knows? Maybe down the line!” There are plenty more live appearances on the horizon, too. “We have some really nice shows coming up in UK and Europe at The Great Escape and Primavera in Barcelona, so that’s something to look forward to,” Leech tells me. Things are clearly kicking off for Le Boom. Those fans who want music for home listening have had to show some patience, and a little more may be needed. As we know, good things come to those that wait.
Le Boom play several dates in Ireland between now and June. ‘Coma’ is out now.