Popical Island to release new Grand Pocket Orchestra album


CAT NO: PI-512

Popical Island will release Ronald and Sylma, the second album from Grand Pocket Orchestra on February 24th. The band will be playing upstairs in Whelan’s to celebrate the release. The band will play a number of gigs in support of the album:

  • Feb 23rd, Limerick (Bourke's Bar)
  • Feb 24th, Dublin (Whelan's Upstairs)
  • Feb 25th, Cork (An Realt Dearg)
  • Mar 8th, Galway (Roisin Dubh)
  • Mar 17th, London

What follows is the testimony of Paddy Hanna, of the band:

The story of Ronald and Sylma -

I don't know if you heard our first album (The Ice Cream) but it was quite messy, heck we wanted it to be messy, we like messy debuts. But we knew for sure that the follow up should be slightly more focused, better produced and all that. So I sat down, pen in hand for a few weeks and attempted to put together a coherent set of songs.

This gave Mark Chester (guitarist) time to release his own self-produced album under the name Ginnels, a deadly album of which we were all very proud. This also meant that he had a chance to grow as a producer and, if you wanna be deep, develop as an ideas man.

With that in mind, we started recording the album in what used to be an old antique store in Dublin. We also used a lot of dusty old recording equipment acquired from various car boot sales across Europe. Now that was an interesting sentence wasn't it?

Anyhow, recording took a few months due to overlapping commitments. Bronwyn had duties playing bass in We Are Losers, Chester, Bobby and I in No Monster Club, and Chester, Bobby and I in Ginnels, but we got it done.

Bronwyn and Bobby were also key players in the albums production, the fairy dust sprinklers if you want. They decorated the tracks with their lovely singing voices and mucked around on some new keyboards acquired in the operation documented in the interesting sentence. I should also give special mention to Tony Higgins and Ruan Van Vliet for helping us out on drums: they were very much the parsley on our stew of album.

Ronald and Sylma are the names of Mark Chester's grandparents. 

All the best,


Grand Pocket Orchestra Biography -

Grand Pocket Orchestra were formed in 2007 and consist of members Bronwyn Murphy White (keyboards, vocals), Mark Chester (guitar, vocals), Bobby Aherne (bass, vocals) and Paddy Hanna (guitar, vocals).

To date they have released two EPs, Odd Socks EP & Make Happy War, as well as their debut album The Ice Cream.

They have also written songs for compilations including; Popical island #2, Ding-Dongs Merrily Get High, and the mp3 hugger’s Fast Forward Compilation.

Their song Ballet Shoes has been featured regularly on Newstalk radio, Channel 4 (most spectacularly in Embarrassing Bodies), UK Gold, Dave and on the Playstation 3 game, Little Big Planet 2. Crucially, it also made an appearance on TV3’s Irish Dream Debs last year.

Two of their songs were also featured in the independent documentary Just Do It: a tale of modern day outlaws.

The band have also performed at Canadian music week, Liverpool sound city, ZXZW, Hungry Pigeon Festival, Hard Working Class Heroes, as well as touring regularly throughout their career.

Press for ‘The Ice Cream’ -

"One of the most emotive albums I've heard in a long time, conjuring an unexpected trinity of joy, rage and uneasiness in equal measure..... The ice cream is a bewildering, experimental, vicious little gem of a record."

Hot Press -

"The opening track immediately grabs your attention, shakes you violently awake and lets you know what you’re in for. And what a jam-packed 36 minute journey it is. 18 tracks of high energy, synth-fueled music mayhem later, you’ll press play again, to see what you missed first time around."

State.ie -

"The album induces a heady lust for summer...... the evolution of GPO from attention-grabbers with unlikely potential to real contenders to get excited about is complete."

Au Magazine -

"'The Ice Cream' is decked with all manner of prettiness, like glockenspiels and hearty melodies, but there's surprises and barbs sprinkled just as liberally.... there's more tunes and ideas on here than most bands can muster in a career."

Rough Trade -

“Dazzled Baroque pop… Dublin’s foremost toy pop micro symphony”

Totally Dublin -






January 16, 2012 12:54pm by Newsdesk   Comments (0)

, , , , , , ,

Join the Party!

Latest Press Releases