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This article was first published on CLUAS in Nov 1999

'The Nude' reveal some interesting new flesh

Steve and John of Dublin band 'The Nude' discuss their plans...

Young Dublin band the Nude have gone through something of a transformation in the past year or so. I talked to singer Steve and manager John after the band's recent set in Isaac Butt's (Oct. 30th '99). The gig had come as something of a shock to me. I didn't recognise the music, which has gone from Beatles style pop to hard-edged pop-rock. Neither did I recognise the band, whose image is no longer sweetly clean cut in a boy band fashion, but is almost the direct opposite - floppy hair and scruffy jeans abounding.

The transformation is definitely for the better. When I last saw the Nude live - at the launch of their debut single over a year ago - I wrote them off as tight but one-dimensional and much too sickly-sweet for my liking. At this gig however, it was quite clear that the band have changed for the better. While they still play some of the songs from their first EP, there has been a dark, almost sinister, edge added to the Nude's music. I told John and Steve as much, and they seemed to be pleased that the change is being recognised and appreciated.

So what have the Nude been up to over the past year? Firstly, they parted 'amicably' with their previous management and found John. They've also been rehearsing, building soundscapes, expanding their sound and their influences. In addition they have been busy putting the results of all their hard work down on demo tape. There have been occasional gigs and the band reached the semi-final of the Emergenza new band competition. Emergenza it should be noted has a ludicrous voting system, whereby bands win or lose according to the number of fans they bring, who subsequently raise their hands to vote. According to John, the main reason the Nude didn't reach the final of Emergenza was due to their being unwilling to charge their fans eight quid in the door in order for them to show their hands.

So while the music the Nude played at Saturday's gig is obviously the result of a maturing and increasingly experimental band, all elements of the band's music have yet to gel firmly. Steve tells me that while the Nude have been experimenting, they have yet to find a musical space that they are totally at ease with. Steve personally prefers the rockier, darker elements of their set, but feels that it is the poppier songs which are commercially viable. It seems the band need to find a common ground between the two musical styles. This will doubtlessly come with time.

The short term aim for the Nude is to release a new single after Christmas. An album will follow later in the new year. After that, the old favourite - world domination - will hopefully be skipping merrily along not too far behind...

Niamh Grimes

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