The Coronas relish the challenges of being the new boys in town

The Coronas
The Coronas

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When you’re one of the biggest acts in your home country, it would be easy to coast along.

But Dublin’s The Coronas decided that after scoring three double-platinum albums and filling arenas back in Ireland, they would up sticks and move to London where they are relatively unknown.

Now signed to Island Records, and with new album The Long Way to push, the four-piece are bringing their boisterous rock and heartfelt slowburners to The Wedgewood Rooms on Monday.

Singer Danny O’Reilly is full of praise for their new label: ‘Creatively, we wanted to push ourselves and put ourselves at the bottom of a bigger ladder, so we took the decision to move to the UK.

‘We met with a couple of labels over here, and we really liked Island.

‘They really liked the new stuff they heard and wanted to sign us off the back of that rather than rerelease our old stuff, and treat us like a new act, which we are to a certain extent in the UK.’

It’s nice for us to put on the big shows and productions with all the bells and whistles, but then to come and do these as just a four piece, there’s no hiding behind a big production, you’ve got to be good

Danny O’Reilly, The Coronas

Three of them, Danny, bassist Graham Knox and drummer Conor Egan, met at school, recruiting guitarist Dave McPhillips at uni, to become The Coronas eight years ago.

‘We were in our comfort zone to a certain extent back home,’ says Danny, ‘people recognising us and telling us we’re great, and you can buy into that. But at the end of the day, the population of Ireland is less than the population of Manchester, you know?

‘It’s cool we’ve done well and we’ve never taken it for granted, but we felt this was the right time.

‘We wrote a batch of songs for this record before we came over, but we kept on writing and recording, and we realised at the end that only one of those songs we wrote back in Ireland had made it. Our mindset changed a bit and we got the hunger for it – things started to fall into place. We want to keep ambitious’.

And they’ve been looking forward to hitting the road: ‘There’s a certain magic to playing in clubs and pubs, the intimacy that you don’t get in those bigger venues. It’s only three or four years since we were at that level back home.

‘We moved up through those venues, and hopefully we can do that here too – we relish the challenge.

‘It’s nice for us to put on the big shows and productions with all the bells and whistles, but then to come and do these as just a four piece, there’s no hiding behind a big production, you’ve got to be good.

‘It stops us from getting ahead of ourselves and taking things for granted.’

Doors open 8pm. Tickets £8. Support comes from Portsmouth’s own Electric Arms. Go to wedgewood-rooms.co.uk