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lock-dance Meath rock newcomers N.O.A.H got an unexpected career boost from the pandemic

As lives were put on hold in the lockdown, the trio had a chance to reflect on their future as musicians.

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N.O.A.H

N.O.A.H

N.O.A.H

THEY have emerged from the mists of the pandemic, and hot new Irish rock newcomers N.O.A.H are counting their blessings that it gave them an unexpected career boost.

The Meath outfit from Ratoath have just released an impressive six-track EP called Echoes Of The Night - produced by Grammy winner Ruadhri Cushnan, who has worked with U2, George Michael, Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons and many more luminaries from the super league of music.

"Ruadhri has a mad busy schedule and is always back and forth between London and LA, but he just happened to be in Ireland for a long period of time due to Covid-19, so we were lucky to get him," N.O.A.H's bassist and keyboardist Adam Rooney tells Shuffle.

"He's a great guy and really amazing at what he does.

"We were looking for the right producer and were aware of Ruadhri's work, so we chanced our arm and sent him a DM on Instagram.

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N.O.A.H

N.O.A.H

N.O.A.H

"Ruadhri liked what we were doing. He'd been working with a lot of solo artists and he said, 'Do you know what, I like the demos and I haven't done a band in a while.' So he agreed to come on board."

Rooney and his pals, Ryan Hill and Ronan Hynes, used the Covid-19 lockdowns as a period to create a wealth of original songs.

"If the pandemic hadn't hit, we would all have been either working or in college and we wouldn't have had the time to put into the band," Adam points out.

As lives were put on hold in the lockdown, the trio had a chance to reflect on their future as musicians and singers, having been performing together in various guises since their early teenage years.

"We took stock of what we'd done and we felt that it was great to have had all those experiences, but now we're adults who want to make an actual impact in what we're doing.

We then came up with the band name, N.O.A.H, which was about separating the old from the new, as in life before the flood and life after the flood, or in today's world the pandemic.

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"Then we spent the guts of a year just writing songs, crafting and crafting them until we felt they were good enough to put out in the world."

Their early shows took place in the 'new norm' as they performed to an online audience. "The band was born into a strange world," Adam says. "All of our early gigs were virtual.

"You definitely miss the crowd and you miss that instant feedback.

"The minute you'd finish a song in normal times you'd hear people clap and you can take information back from that.

"It will influence what you do next and say next, but when you're talking to a camera it's like, 'I'm talking into the abyss now and I don't know who's watching, why they're watching and if they like what we did.'

"We were trying to make live entertainment happen that's not really live. There's so much more to a show. A live gig is about the interaction between the band and the audience.

"It's a social thing, so when one part of that jigsaw is missing you lose a massive piece of the performance."

N.O.A.H recently got a taste of life in the real world when they supported Bell X1 at the September Sessions festival in Bundoran.

"It was our first outdoor festival and it was great to see adults slowly coming up to the front of the stage and starting dancing. It was emotional, symbolising the end of the pandemic in a way," Adam says.

"Afterwards, people were coming over to us and saying how they'd really enjoyed our set. It was just brilliant connecting with people and meeting new people. We have spend a year and a half by ourselves, so when you get to meet people and see their enthusiasm for what you do it's really lovely."

- N.O.A.H's EP, Echoes of the Night, it out now.

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