They now perform regularly in venues across Dublin, have supported Paddy Casey in the Workman’s Club and appeared at the 2012 Knockanstockan festival.
Tonight, the Yips bring their distinct “new-school blues” sound to the Speaker Connolly in Tallaght and Sweeney’s on Dame Street in celebration of Arthur’s Day 2012.
Guitarist Steve McCann promises two exciting shows tonight.
“Expect a lot of energy at the gigs,” he says. “Expect something powerful and original.”
Since being named the winners of 98FM’s Brand New Act competition, the Yips have become known for their distinct sound and unique chemistry onstage.
“There are so many bands just doing the same thing again and again,” Steve says. “We don’t want to be like anyone else – I think that shows [in our performances]. There’s no point in pretending to be somebody else.”
The band met at BIMM music college on Francis Street, where they are all studying for a degree in Commercial Modern Music. They are now in their second year in the course.
“The standard of the musicians [in BIMM] is amazing,” Steve says. “You’d just be bouncing [ideas] off guys in class a lot. You learn a lot from that.”
According to Steve, balancing band life with college life is all about time management.
“We usually practice twice a week, and then we have two or three days off to do college work,” he says. “Weekends are mainly for gigs. That works out because we’re in the college for most of the week. We can go home [on weekdays] and do our [college] stuff – if our heads are screwed on!”
The BIMM degree covers all elements of music – style, techniques, theory and business; all of which have been put into practice by the Yips.
“Alan Cullivan [the Head of Music Business in BIMM Dublin] told us that when we’re at gigs, we should always act professionally. If you come across as professional at your gigs, [promoters] will want you back. The crowd will love you more as well.”
Steve says that unprofessional behaviour can include even “silly things like not tuning up, not having a lead, stuff like that”, and that can make a bad impression on gig organisers.
With regards to payment, Steve says that “there is no point in musicians playing for free”.
“You’re providing a service and entertainment,” he says, “and so you’ve got to spend money and time on rehearsals and equipment. We’re not in it to make money. We love playing, but we want to sustain ourselves.”
The Yips are now preparing to release their debut EP.
“At the minute, we’re just trying to master our EP,” Steve says. “We’re trying to get the funds together to get it out there. We’ve got everything recorded, but we’re gigging until we’ve everything completely ready so we can release it and do a whole launch.”
Expect two wild shows tonight.
The Yips play the Speaker Connelly in Tallaght at 8.30pm tonight. They play in Sweeney’s Bar, Dame Street at midnight.