INTERVIEW: The Pale’s Matthew Devereux

INTERVIEW: The Pale’s Matthew Devereux

As Dublin band The Pale set about marking 30 years in the business in 2020, and the recent release of thirteenth album Merciful Hour they head back to the UK for a handful of dates – their first in years. 

The dates follow on from touring in Ireland, and an appearance at Electric Picnic, to bring the music of a band best known for singles ‘Dogs With No Tails’ and ‘Butterfly’ but who have a deep back catalogue packed with songs skipping effortlessly between styles and genres while retaining a strong lyrical focus. 

Live dates: 

MANCHESTER, Lion’s Den Bar – 26 February

LONDON, The Fiddler – 27 February 

LEICESTER, Duffy’s Bar – 28 February (early show 7pm)

Further details

The Pale formed in Dublin in the early nineties and has gone on to release 13 studio albums as well as tour Ireland, the UK, Russia, Japan, Eastern Europe and beyond. 

From early singles woven into alt-music history of the nineties (‘Dogs With No Tails’, ‘Butterfly’) through to more recent releases (‘Such Dumb Luck’ – 2016 Single of the Year shortlist Pure M magazine) the band has always steered their own path musically, 

Their latest release – 2019 album Merciful Hour – was named as a top 10 album of the year by the Irish Mail and shows a band still free of the constraints of genre but with a distinctive sound of their own. 

In 2020 the band will mark 30 years in the business – further details to follow. 

Find the band on social media and streaming platforms:

The band are: 

Interview with Matthew Devereux:

GS: Can you please let me know a bit about your background, where you were born and what your childhood was like?

MD: I was born in the Rotunda in Dublin and I was raised in Coolock. The best parts of my childhood felt like one long feral half Summer. Golden cornfields ablaze between the cloned streets of a grey upon grey housing estate. Playing football on concrete cruciform squares edged out by melting corporation tar. Urgently getting in the last few goes on rope swings tied to lamposts as the light faded.

What are your first memories?

Sunlight bleeding through candy coloured floral curtains, accompanied by my Mother letting me taste a slice of a Granny Smith apple for the first time.

What was the first music you remember hearing?

‘Space Oddity’ David Bowie

When did you get into more serious music?

At the age of thirteen I heard ‘Hand In Glove’ by The Smiths and that was all the impedance I needed to investigate thoroughly the vast map that song placed before me.

How did The Pale form?

The Pale formed through a strong desire to stand apart and create a band who sounded unlike any other we ever heard. When we combined a cheap as chips drum machine with a mandolin and a bass guitar we found the first kernel of our sound. We have expanded greatly on that foundation ever since.

For anyone reading this that doesn’t know the sound of The Pale what would you describe yourselves as sound like?

We can sound like a blind flavour test for the ears. A test that combines unusual flavours that are hard to imagine working together. We simply love to surprise.

Were the band members in other bands prior to forming The Pale?

Most members of The Pale played in other bands before joining and due to this brought many eclectic and unexpected influences with them.

Do you have any favourite memories from the 30 years you’ve been together?

Playing together at the BAM festival in Barcelona is certainly one of my favourite memories, due largely to the lighting system failing and leaving us to perform solely by the light of a full harvest moon for most of the show. Still feels like a fever dream, but it actually did happen in real life.

You’ve not long released a new album, do you have any further plans to release any more new material?

We are certainly hoping to release some new music this year and we are actively writing new material at the moment.

What can fans expect at your forthcoming live gigs?

Fans can expect us to cherry pick from thirty years of Pale music at our live shows this year. We plan to fully embrace our thirty year milestone with an intensive addressing of our complete catalogue.

What does the future hold for the band?

As we grow older the way forward has become ever more certain and ever more illuminated, due to this we plan to make as much art as possible while the light is strong.

Finally, what’s on your turn table at present?

Fontaines D.C – Dogrel