I Have A Tribe - Sean Smyth - Plec Picks 2014Every year the GoldenPlec community of writers and photographers get together for a big old natter about which artists we expect to explode on the music scene in the year ahead. The discussion always provokes a heated debate, general bickering and communal agreements. To complement our ‘Best of 2013’ feature, we have selected our ‘Plec Picks’ for 2014. The list encompasses a wide range of artists, highlighting some of the best bands and solo artists currently active in Ireland. We had the pleasure of conducting interviews and photo shoots with all acts on this list and we are proud to present the final result.


I Have a Tribe is most certainly one of the most intriguing and obscure acts to feature on this year’s ‘Plec Picks’. With only the one track and a rather peculiar and refreshingly distinct bio to his name online; many will be absorbed and interested as to what lies beneath this thin layer fraught with riddle.

Having toured with Anna Calvi throughout Europe last year and appearing on the Body and Soul main stage at Electric Picnic, attention is beginning to trickle the way of Patrick O’Laoghaire. With news of a four-track EP (revealed later on in this piece), 2014 looks sure to be a significant year for I Have a Tribe.

What are you looking forward to most in 2014?

I think … I’m wondering where I’m going to go with this. Or, wondering where all of this will take me. It’s still kind of new to me, you see. And I’m learning lots of things along these little travels. So, there’s no one big thing. Lots of little ones. I prefer it this way.

Are you planning to release an EP/Album this year?

A four-track, in spring time. It’s called ‘Yellow Raincoats’.

Will there be video releases as part of this?

A video, yeah. We made it in the snow and the rain, out in the mountains during December. It was cold, and very beautiful.

Is there a tour planned?

There will be shows, and some touring. But it’s still being organised.

I Have A Tribe - Sean Smyth - Plec Picks 2014Who do you think will win Meteor Choice 2013 album of the year award?

I’m not sure, in fact I’ve no idea. But the very best of luck to everybody involved.

Who are you predicting to be big from the Irish music scene in 2014?

Who knows! Riverdance?

You joined Anna Calvi on tour recently, how did that go and can you tell us anything about the tour?

Sometimes things you might quietly wish for end up happening. I think that’s the best way for me to explain how it felt. I had sort of decided to drift away from playing music, certainly from playing anything I had written myself. I still went to see lots of artists playing though. And, four in particular woke something back up in me that I had let lie still for a long time. Anna’s show was one of them. So I bought a four-track recorder and went to France and wrote some songs for myself. And, to tour with her, and learn from her, was really something incredibly special for me.

Your presence online is limited in comparison to some other artists, yours instead is understated and calculated, is there a reason for this approach?

I suppose it just makes more sense to me. When I write something I like to go back through it and take out every word that isn’t essential. So, if I was trying to communicate something to somebody, whose language I can’t speak, who cannot speak my language.. what are the words we need to teach one another? That’s how the Monsoon song arrived .. there were lots of other words initially. But I only wanted to use what was needed to express the thought. And it’s the same, I suppose, with the online stuff. Or maybe I just don’t have anything interesting to say ..

I Have A Tribe - Sean Smyth - Plec Picks 2014

Check out I Have a Tribe on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.

Photos: Sean Smyth

Words: Ros Madigan