Born 13 days apart, band members Steve and Dan grew up on the same street and began making music together at the age of 10. A couple of years later they played their first gig, performing 50’s rock n’ roll songs to a somewhat bemused audience in a Sligo bar, being several years too young to get a gig in any licensed premises in Dublin. At 17 they united with schoolmates Matt and The Hog, formed the band Porn Trauma and released ‘Sunrise’ EP in 2005 which entered the Irish charts at No. 21 and spent several weeks in the Top 30 OFFICIAL IRISH CHARTS. Over the years, The Last Tycoons have developed a reputation for their live performances, and have opened for and supported various luminaries such as: Babyshambles, Ian Brown, The Coral, The Felice Brothers and Alex Chilton.
Porn Trauma released a limited edition 7″ single ‘Casanova Blues’ before taking a break from the road. In 2007, they then changed their stage name to The Last Tycoons (inspired by F Scott Fitzgerald’s book) and added an extra member (Aoife) on piano/organ and backing vocals. This completed the current line-up and their sound, now defined by their 2 lead instrumentalists (Dan and Aoife), lead vocalist Steve, and rock-solid rhythm section of Matt and The Hog. The band’s sound is also complemented by four vocals which at times play off each other intricately and at other times harmonize effortlessly.
The band’s first collective release was their single ‘Loving Arms’, which was supported by an Irish tour. In 2008, three members of the Tycoons (Dan, Steve & Hog) were enlisted in The Mighty Stef’s backing band, and since then have been involved in the recording of his 2nd album ‘100 Midnights’ as well as three tours of the US and have played festivals all over Ireland and Europe including Oxegen, Electric Picnic and Benicassim festival in Spain.
The Last Tycoons began recording their debut album in 2008, sporadically going into a studio deep in the Wicklow mountains, and often paying for studio time by completing chores for the owner, like moving pianos and unplugging his drains when the studio flooded. The album was completed in 2009 and the band released ‘The Dry Law’ as a taste of the material recorded for their first LP.
The Last Tycoons music is rock n’ roll in a style embraced by few other bands around today. From old style R’n’B to narrative ballads, fiery rock n’ roll to dark boozy tunes reminiscent of Tom Waits, the band centres around strong lyrics and a raucous live show worthy of the Pogues. They have toured relentlessly over the last few years, and whether playing live, recording or drinking through the early hours playing old country tunes, this is a band that lives the music they make.
Formed in 2007 after a change of personnel, The Last Tycoons evolved from highly acclaimed Dublin band Porn Trauma. Their self-titled debut album was released in April, 2010.
‘Replete with vintage sounding guitars, liberal use of harmonica and soulful backing vocals, they certainly offer a refreshing alternative to the raft of copycat, post-punk pretenders doing the rounds…. They are a revelation’ (Hotpress).
‘Their ability is obvious and their hard work in improving every area of their performance is acredit to them. Cracking stuff; watch this space’ (InDUBLIN).
The music of The Last Tycoons has a definite southern American roots undertone, yet is
triumphantly Irish in its origin. Tracks from their debut album certainly grab the listener’s attention, such as debut single ‘The Dry Law’, which was written by lead singer Stephen Fanning while experimenting with sobriety for a month, but is set during American Prohibition and the Great Depression, when alcohol was banned.
‘The eminently watchable front man Steve Fanning is tall and imposing, like a good
looking Richard Ashcroft, with a distinctive twang to his voice that lifts even the darkest corners of their songs to the light.’ -(InDUBLIN). He also sounds, at times, like the love child of Mick Jagger and Nick Cave, which makes for easy comparisons however, this is a band that is not led by any one or two persons but rather a collaboration of ideas with instrumentation such as accordion, piano, banjo, harmonica, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums lending to the bands overall sound.
Known widely for their explosive and raucous live shows, the band have been touring
in Ireland, The UK, Germany and the USA since March, and are due to appear at this year’s Glasgowbury festival in Derry, and Temple House festival in Sligo, before returning to the continent in the Autumn to support the album’s release on German label ToneToaster.
“In short these are the real deal…. An undeniable honorary fine debut album.” (The Mutation)
“If Jack L and Led Zeppelin moved to the deep south and had a love child, they might sound a little like this…. The Last Tycoons is an excellent debut effort from this truly unique band.” (The Star) (www.breakingtunes.com)
Steve Fanning (guitar, vocals)
Daniel Fitzpatrick (guitar, piano, accordion, banjo, trumpet, vocals)
Michiel Hogerziel (drums, percussion)
Matt Roddy (bass, violin, vocals)
Aoife Ruth (keyboards, fiddle, glockenspiel, vocals)
Claire Fitzgerald (background vocals on 02. + 10.)
N.C. Lawlor (pedal steel-guitar on 04.)
Gavin Ralston (guitar, mandolin on 04. + 10.)
01. Speed (Fanning) 3.39
02. Who Needs Radio (Part III) (Fanning) 3.06
03. Not At All (Fanning) 4.21
04. The Dry Law (Fanning) 4.49
05. Don’t Let Me Catch You (D.Fitzpatrick) 4.53
06. Seven Days (Off The Road) 3.30
07. Alaska Hotel (D.Fitzpatrick) 4.40
08. The Love Song (Fanning) 3.24
09. Good Times (D.Fitzpatrick) 4.05
10. Who Needs Radio (Part III) (Fanning) 9.14