Moonfest promises three different stages throughout Clematis Street in West Palm Beach on which 25 bands will mark their territory; now that's a block party you can enjoy without fear. Headliners Reverend Horton Heat are getting lots of buzz, but it's the local lineup that has us all fired up.
In preparation for a full-on Moonfest-ivus, we chatted with Robert Norvell from the Lahinch Mob. You might recognize him as the guy on stage at O'shea's wearing a kilt. Self described as "high energy Irish rock," Norvell and his band mate Keith Ahern have made temporary homes for themselves at every Irish bar in South Florida you can name. We learned how Norvell splits his life as a DUI lawyer and precisely why he never leaves home without his trusty kilt.
New Times: You guys definitely lean towards the Irish/folk side of things. Do you ever feel playing a bar might not be the best place for your music to be appreciated?
Robert Norvell: We aren't just Irish music. The irony is that so much pop music has classical overtones that integrate with the violin so well. Coldplay, the Verve. I never actually had a problem or thought that our music didn't fit wherever we played. Thanks to Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, people are totally receptive to that genre.
Whenever I have seen you live, it has only been two of you. But in doing some research, it looks like there is sometimes a full band?
Yes, we do have a full band. We have two other members. Alex on drums and Joe who is from a U2 tribute band. When the venues have the money to afford the full band, we certainly prefer to do that. But with the economy today, many bars only want to pay the least they can.
That makes sense. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel like you are gigging a lot more lately than you had been in the past.
Yes, we took a break. I wear many hats. I have a family, and I have a law practice, and I took the time to work on that. It's been about six months since I called Keith and said "Let's get together and make beautiful music again!" When I came back, I had a greater appreciation for why I enjoy it. I enjoy playing music with Keith and that comes through and we have a great time together and I think our audience gets that.
How long has the band been together?
The band is really Keith and I, and we have been playing together for at least 12 to 13 years. I just posted pics to our Facebook from when we toured Ireland in 2003.
So, this is going to sound weird, but how Irish are you?
Keith is from Dublin, so he is as Irish as it gets. I am of Irish decent but, it is not first or second generation. I mean look at me, I have freckles and red hair. I look like I'm fresh off the boat.