Young Dubliners Can't Wait to Return to the OC Pub That Scammed Them

Categories: this weekend

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Keith Roberts of Young Dubliners (center)

It's not often that a band can look back fondly about a time they were tricked into a playing a venue. But fortunately for world-traveled Celtic rock band Young Dubliner's the luck of the Irish was on their side the first time they were asked to play Muldoon's Irish Pub in Newport Beach. For a band who makes their living playing to enormous festival crowds all over the world, the fact that they'd plop down in a cozy little Irish bar in OC seemed like a surprising way to end a massive tour throughout Europe and the U.S. But it turned out they fell in love with the place and hand picked it as their last show of the year after the events coordinator pulled a stunt that became a funny piece of band lore that they've never forgotten. On the cusp of releasing a new follow up album to 2010's Saints and Sinners, front man and guitarist Keith Roberts talks about how the band got scammed into playing the bar the first time and why they can't wait to play there again on Sunday for an acoustic set at 2 p.m.

OC Weekly (Nate Jackson): You guys are used to playing huge shows all around the world, what made you want to close out the year with some smaller more intimate gigs like the one at Muldoon's?


Keith Roberts: The main reason was because we'd been on the road for so long that we just did a month in Europe and a month back east and three weeks in the Midwest. So it ended up just becoming this two-and-a-half, almost three month trip. So we decided no touring at the end of the year. But you get back and you have all these offers and you just realize that a show like this is a lot easier on us since we're just gonna be able to go home after the gigs. Muldoon's though is a total one of a kind, there is nowhere else in the world where we play a venue like that, that small. So why do it?

That goes back to a guy named Richard Kaplan [Muldoon's special events coordinator], who sort of tricked me into it the first time, saying we were getting an award or something and we showed up and we did a few songs and the award ended up just being a picture of us at the bar. So it was such a classic scam. And so after wards we talked to the guy and everyone at the bar was amazing so we ended up agreeing that we were gonna return to do this little odd gig at the end of the tour. I let them know we'd be available and they immediately said we should do it. So we get to kind of go back to where we started for a couple of shows without all the pressure of a tour or a major show.

And at this point you're still wrapping up a new record right?


We're at the stage now where all the basic tracking is done and I'm writing lyrics like a lunatic and re-writing lyrics and second guessing myself, all the joyful parts of finishing an album. So we're trying to get that done and released by March. We're playing a few of the new songs at the gigs, it's good to get them out live a little bit to find out if something's good or not.

What kind of direction are you going with this record, is there anything that is a new element to the sound versus 2010's Saint's and Sinners?


It's still very much us, we're not really fad chasers. Bands like Mumford and Sons sort of worked their way into our genre, it's still a lot of the same instrumentation, but also there are a lot of other great bands like Of Monsters and Men, I love the fact that they're as rocking as they are. We're still a band that's got that new existence, we could play a song on acoustic guitar and the next one we could be blasting electrics. I like all types of music and modes of rocking out but we never want to be just an acoustic band or just a noise band. We're kind of somewhere in the middle.

Location Info

Muldoon's Irish Pub

202 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA

Category: Music


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1 comments
Emeraldlorraine
Emeraldlorraine

Great interview of the band. If it wasn't for the Harp Inn's annual Christmas party, I would have been at Muldoons to see the Young Dubliners. Southern California is blessed with many Irish bands as well as Irish pubs, and it is always great to have the Young Dubs back in town!  250 gigs a year? Lads, take some time off! More is less and less is more.

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