‘Full of Wine’ is a love song to drink, embracing the madness and inclusivity of it at its best. But at its worst, drink is of course nothing to celebrate. That is why this song is expressed through a ramshackle, devil-may-care recklessness, perhaps sounding like it’s in danger of derailing at any point. But, as the song climaxes to a point of no return, ‘Seoirse Brabston’ saves it, an 18th century harp jig by blind harper Turlough O’Carolan, lifting the song into a sort of heaven.
The song’s music video, directed by Bob Gallagher, was performed and filmed in one continuous take. The camera continually revolves around musicians on a circular track, following the songs frenzied pacings.
Bob says “I first met Ronan when he turned up to be an extra in a scene in a Girl Band video I directed in 2015. I couldn’t believe he’d taken a train from Kerry to be on the shoot and I had to marvel at his commitment. When he sent me some of his own music shortly after I had to marvel at that too.
It was great to finally get to work on a video with Ronan for one of his songs and we decided to do it live with the band and an appearance from two dancers, Sarah and Nick. There’s something about musicians playing in the round that conjures up the ghosts. The performance isn’t aimed outward at an audience, it forms in the space between the players, creating a strange concentration of energy. The audience have to just wonder jealously at the mystery of it from the outside. That’s what we had the camera do, in one continuous take, undulating drunkenly around the performance, trying to get a look in.”
The singer sings into the hallowed space, and in singing calls two musicians in from the ether. Dancers from a framed painting remain in paint throughout the songs inebriated lyrics, until O’Carolan’s pure jig begins calls them into reality and also into the room. The room spins quicker as the music spins higher, and at song and visual’s end, the musicians disappear with the music, with Singer and Painted Muses finally meeting and unifying at video’s end.
Born outside Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ronan Kealy developed a strong love of music from an early age, writing his first song at 9 years old after having taught himself guitar on a banged-up nylon acoustic. A short spell studying English in University College Cork helped Kealy to foster his unique and striking poetic voice, taking his Junior Brother moniker from a character in Jacobean play ‘The Revenger’s Tragedy’, a work Kealy studied there. Junior Brother has spent the last few years gaining a fine live reputation and picking up fans such as Blindboy Boatclub and Cillian Murphy along the way.
June 13 – Róisín Dubh, Galway
June 15 – Lost Lane, Dublin
June 21-23 – Body & Soul Festival
June 27 – De Barra’s, Cork
July 19 – Knockanstockan
July 21 – Trad & Folk Festival, Claremorris
July 27 – Deer Shed Festival, Yorkshire