Irish electro band hailed for their live shows are now setting their sights internationally

MusicBy Eddie Rowley
Seeing stars: Le Galaxie have signed a deal with Universal Records
Seeing stars: Le Galaxie have signed a deal with Universal Records

POST-breakfast in the ultra-cool glasshouse rooftop restaurant and bar of Dublin’s chic new boutique hotel The Dean, two members of Le Galaxie are beaming like shining stars.

Bearded duo Mike Pope and Dave McLoughlin take in the panoramic view over the city rooftops on a sunny mid-week morning as they prepare to launch their new album, Le Club.
From where they’re sitting, they’ve come a long way. “It only seems like yesterday that we were playing in a tiny club on Parnell Street,” Dave reflects.
That gig was one of their early performances, and it came to a sudden end amid disastrous circumstances. “It was a place called The Boom Room, and we didn’t realise how much we were going to get into the performance,” Dave goes on.
“We were using a laptop for the first time, it was perched on a keyboard stand, and 30 seconds into the first song it went flying and the screen broke.
“We managed to get two more songs out of it before we called it a night. ‘Hope you enjoyed the three songs,’ we said. Fortunately, it got better after that.”
Le Galaxie would go on to perform intimate gigs upstairs in Whelan’s of Wexford Street. “Doing those gigs, we learned how to read the crowd and we learned what was working and what wasn’t,” Dave says.
They finally started making a breakthrough, particularly when they played the Castlepalooza festival in Co Offaly.
“Our first ever Castlepalooza in 2010 changed everything,” Mike recalls. “We did it four years in a row. People would turn up for 45 minutes, but they weren’t just staying to see four older looking men who should know better, dancing around the stage. You felt they were staying for our music.”
Le Galaxie would go on to play legendary gigs at Electric Picnic and Longitude, but they struggled to capture on record the magic they created when performing live.
With their new record, Le Club, the quartet, which also features Alastair Higgins and Anthony Hyland, have finally nailed it. “We went to Los Angeles and hooked up Eric Broucek, who mixed it,” Mike says. 
“Eric has worked with artists such as the LCD Soundsystem and we knew he would make our album sound like a live band.
“Eric has a huge dance pedigree, but he’s a musician as well. In as much as we play dance music, we’re also a band.
“And Eric ‘got’ us and could see our Detroit and early ’90s Chicago dance music influences. He ‘got’ that we were steeped in this sh*t. He also got that we weren’t interested in making retro music. We wanted to make music that sounded modern.”
Their album Le Club, with standout tracks like Put The Chain On, Streetheart and Carmen, is the start of what we predict will be a successful international career for Le Galaxie.
And the boys aren’t doing it on their own anymore, having been signed up by Universal Music. “We can now concentrate on the music,” Mike admits, stressing the benefits of having a big machine behind them. 
“I’m not leaving rehearsals anymore to go home and do the band accounts. You get bogged down in a lot of that stuff when you’re an independent.”
However, Le Galaxie have reached this point on their own merits. “It’s been a long, slow rise,” Mike admits. “Doing live gigs built our reputation like you wouldn’t believe.
There were five or six years where the audience would get bigger by 10 at a time, until we found ourselves at Electric Picnic playing to more than 5,000 people.
“We were a fully formed entity, both visually and live-wise, when we got the Universal deal. There’s not much they can do wrong with us.”
LE Galaxie’s new album, Le Club, will be released next Friday, April 24. You can catch Le Galaxie at Dublin’s Academy next Friday and Saturday