On 30 March 2001, The Frames released their fourth studio album
‘For the Birds.
Having been previously dropped by two record lables, and having little trust in the music industry, the band released For the Birds independently, on their own record label, ‘Plateau’. They were determined to do things differently, and make a record for themselves, not for music producers. They were aware that they could potentially lose many old fans in the process, but there was a possibility of gaining many new ones as well, and that’s exactly what happened.
The initial sessions for For the Birds began in a country house in Kerry in the spring of 2000. The band rented a house for two weeks, played music, wrote songs, cooked each other dinner, went for walks and had fun. Later that year they travelled to Chicago to work with sound engineer Steve Albini it his
Electrical Audio studio
and if you’ve ever heard Glen Hansard talking about this in interviews, it is clear that it was an incredible experience for them all.
The album sold more copies in the first few weeks of its release in Ireland than all of the band’s previous albums put together. It was very different from anything they had done before, but it was obvious that the band made the right move by finally making music the way they wanted to.
‘For the Birds’ was the first Frames album that I ever bought. I have a crazy memory, so can recall that day very well. I was in Dublin with my mum, visiting UCD and trying to decide what course I wanted to do and where to study when I finished secondary school. Before getting the bus home, I went to HMV and bought the album because ‘Lay Me Down’ was on it. I remember being disappointed when I heard it first because I didn’t look at the track list and was expecting to hear more songs that I was familiar with. ‘Lay Me Down’ was the only one. I didn’t listen to it much until we went to visit my brother in Australia a few weeks later, where I had lots of time to relax, and not enough music with me. I’ll admit the album took a while to grow on me, but it is one of my favourite Frames albums today. I think you really have to be in the mood to listen to it, and it is best suited to long drives or listened too on headphones late at night.
So why am I talking about ‘For the Birds’? On 30 March it will be ten years old, and since its release was such a turning point in the Frames career, they will perform the entire album in Vicar Street in Dublin. Tickets went on sale and sold out today, but luckily I have mine. I’ve decided to tell certain people who already think I’m mad for wanting to see this band so many times that I got free tickets. It kind of justifies my madness a little bit 🙂
I really wanted to take O.J to Dublin with me then, as it will make getting around much easier. I could bring him in during the support band, an amazing band called
who I’ve wanted to hear live for a long time. They play guitar and stringed instruments, and no drums. I decided to ask the staff if there was anywhere I could leave O.J during the Frames performance, explaining the reasons that I wrote about in
If they said no, I had nothing to lose. They actually said yes!
This is a very positive step for an Irish music venue, and one I am very grateful for. I just hope O.J stays on his best behaviour when I am watching my favourite band. He will be able to accompany me for post-gig drinks and meet some friends who are looking forward to meeting him afterwards.