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waiting game The 4 Of Us' new single 'started on Facebook Live', singer Brendan Murphy reveals

"Doing gigs on Facebook is great, but there’s nothing like playing live on stage... it’s a bit of a drug"

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Brendan and Declan Murphy

Brendan and Declan Murphy

Brendan and Declan Murphy

LEGENDARY Irish band The 4 Of Us are back with a new single, Waiting Game, inspired by their experience of lockdown.

In truth, singer Brendan Murphy and his brother, Declan haven't been away from the spotlight since the pandemic struck - nor have they been idle.

Every Thursday night they hosted a social get-together on Facebook Live with fans.

"The whole time while touring in recent years I was thinking I'd really like to find out more about reaching people online," Brendan tells Shuffle.

"And the irony was that lockdown did it as we started doing Facebook Live shows basically because we missed everybody.

"It wasn't even the shows that we missed so much as that personal connection, because we would talk to our audience a lot after shows.

"At first on Facebook Live we would invite people on to chat with us. We weren't playing any music; we were just drinking wine and connecting with people.

"It was really good fun and gradually they would ask us, 'Why don't you get the guitars on and play us a song?'

"We played them songs we were writing and asked them, 'What do you think of this?' Every now and then you'd get a really good response, even if there was only a bit of a riff and not even a lyric on songs.

"That's what happened with the single we're releasing at the minute. It started with us playing a riff or two in front of an audience on Facebook on a Thursday."

In the early days before the music scene changed, The 4 Of Us were notorious for taking years out to make an album.

"We're used to doing lockdown," Brendan says. "Between 1989 and now the gaps between albums have sometimes been five years. There were more than five years between Man Alive and Classified, and another five years between Fingerprints and Sugar Island.

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"Back then we would just disappear to the point where people would come up to me in the street and go, 'I used to love your band, what are you doing now?'

"Those were the old days when it was all about the record before the industry changed and it became about the show."

Brendan also used the time to set up an online business for The 4 Of Us - with the occasional help of his young daughter.

"Lockdown has allowed us to do a lot of stuff because we were touring non-stop right up until it happened," he says.

"We'd been touring out of the country a lot as well in 2019, so for me it was also a time to catch up with the family. I have a son and daughter aged nine and 11.

"We thought about making vinyl and doing a lot of the things we wanted to do - have different things coming out like lyric books and make a new record.

"However, I was a Luddite when it came to technology and I'd be tearing my hair out trying to set up stuff. Then my daughter would do it in two seconds. When I was going into it I didn't know how to take a screen shot and I had set up the Twitter account the wrong way."

Murphy admits that he's itching to get back on stage again. "There is nothing like it," Brendan says. "It's a bit of a drug. People look at Bob Dylan or Willie Nelson and they don't understand how someone that age is literally never off the road. They're going, 'Why aren't those guys lying on a beach, what is it that has them still doing it?'

"They've got that thing where it's just in their blood and they've been doing it for so long that nothing really compares to it. I'm looking forward to getting that high again when we get out there."

The 4 Of Us have just released a new single, Waiting Game.

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