So Just Who Are ‘The Receipts’?

Elaine Stenson
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So just who are ‘The Receipts’ and where did they come from?

We seem to be hearing a lot about Dublin band ‘The Receipts’ lately, so we thought we would scratch beneath the surface to see what we could find. What we uncovered was something quite unexpected and delightfully refreshing

First of all, The Receipts are not a new band – they were playing in Ireland in the early 90’s and played with some pretty well-known acts with their original music and appeared on multiple Radio/TV outlets at the time. They had some catchy tunes and did their best with what they had but the abundance of Irish talent coupled with them being quite wet behind the ears left them seeking alternative careers to pay the bills. However, they remained close friends and played together privately on occasion as their collective love of music never faded

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In 2014, The Receipts decided to play a few gigs in small places on the outskirts of Dublin to play a lot of their favourite songs by other artists. There was no plan, no stereotypical music you expect to find in pubs and clubs, but a selection of songs the band personally loved. Over time, some of the old songs written by The Receipts crept in, and the response to some songs such as ‘No Greater Love’ became a favourite of locals and beyond. Plans started hatching to record the album they never got to release and everything began to fall into place.

Firstly, they met up with Gavin Ralston – A well-known musician and producer who runs Silverwood Studios in Wicklow. Gavin’s musical ability, mixed with years of production experience was the perfect match for The Receipts. The energy in the studio was immediately evident. To ensure that this energy was maintained, there were no studio click tracks or gadgetry used to produce what became the 10 tracks on their self-titled debut album. Excitement started to build.

Being so enthused by the original recordings, the band decided that the album should be completed and finished to the highest of standards and began experimenting with different guitar sounds, additional instruments (including Saxophones, trumpets, Banjo, Hammond Organ etc.) and everything started fitting into place. A string quartet was suggested to enhance ‘No Greater Love’ and Gavin Ralston brought the song to Fiachra Trench – Well known for his orchestration and arrangements on ‘Fairytale of New York’ among many, many other achievements. Fiachra loved the track and immediately set to work on writing an arrangement for the song. What came of this was a request to not insert a string quartet in one part of the song, but to introduce a 9 piece orchestra throughout the whole song. The Receipts agreed instantly and also suggested recording the process on film to create a video for youtube. This was beautifully finished and can be seen at:

 

At this point, another industry veteran, and friend of Gavin’s – Chris Kimsey, was sent some tracks for some opinion and input. Chris is best known for working on production with acts such as The Rolling Stones, Marillion, Ringo Starr, Duran Duran, INXS and a host of others. Chris could instantly see the energy and genuine passion in The Receipts music and wanted to mix a few of the tracks. The band agreed. Over a couple of months with fine tuning and in some cases completely re-doing some components, the album was ready for completion and production.

It had always been the plan to produce a Vinyl album and so The Receipts turned to Abbey Road with a view to mastering the album. Miles Showell, best known for his work on remasters of Beatles albums was available and keen to work with The Receipts. In December 2018, Karl and Ronan of The Receipts travelled to Abbey Road with Gavin to work on the final mastering and completion of the album. This resulted in the album that was subsequently released on 1st February and went to #1 on iTunes on its first day of release.

The band insist that they are not on a crusade to take over the world, but they are trying as best as possible to avoid industry standards such as Spotify etc. They want people who like their music to buy it, and if people don’t like it then just don’t buy it – but don’t expect it for free! According to Ronan Clinton, Guitarist, A lot of effort went into making the album and it wasn’t made as a business card for future endeavours – It was made out of the same passion and love of music that drove them on after all these years to build something that was both simplistic, but could be appreciated as much today as it was 25 years ago.

We love the album, and we love the journey – Only part of which we can share in such few words, but The Receipts are a band to watch out for – and catch them when you can!

The Receipts are:

Karl McDermott – Vocals, Guitar

Ronan Clinton – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards

James Brady, Vocals, Drums

Paul McDonnell – Bass