Some bands have a deep meaning behind their name—a story, a deep meta reference or an inside joke that left the band giggling. Oh Geronimo, however, is not a band that thinks the name is important. Banjo player and songwriter, Kyle Robertson, says it was a name the band just enjoyed.
“There’s not really a good story behind it,” he says, laughing. “Geronimo is a natural, native kind of idea. A lot of our songs have to do with nature and the outdoors. The name seems to fit.”
The folk band does not fit into the mold of other ordinary bands in the genre. Lead singer and songwriter, Ciarán Downes, believes the lack of romance sets Oh Geronimo apart.
“We experiment a lot with harmonies but our lyrics, amongst other folk bands, are less romantic and a little more forward. They bring new ideas to the table,” Downes says. The lyrics seem very important to the band and believe expressing an idea is one of the most important aspects of playing music.
“The songs are designed so the lyrics come together at the end. It’s makes sense—it’s one full idea,” explained Robertson, who said one of the most inspiration things about music was its personal nature. “A lot of the music I listen to, I listen to it for the persona side of it—for the lyrics and the connection to the lyrics. So that was kind of our goal so we could reach out to other people and have them relate to us.”
This past December, Oh Geronimo released their first EP titled Mind your Mannerisms.
“A lot of the lyrics are about dealing with family issues and people going away to school and it’s easy to forget your roots, Downes explains. “Reflecting on moving out—we all just move away.”
When first starting out, Oh Geronimo had a bit of trouble securing venues, Downes explains.
“We didn’t have any music to show anybody for shows but we wanted everyone to have a place to play.”
Some might feel defeated but not this band.
“We’ve been putting on house shows in [people’s] basements,” Robertson says. “I think the people who come to see us, enjoy them the most. When everyone is so close, face-to-face like that, it creates the best possible atmosphere for our show.”
These shows are becoming almost a signature for the band now.
“The vibe is really welcoming, everyone is here to party and have a good time. It’s very casual and a nice way to ease into shows but it’s turned into more than that, it’s like a biweekly occurrence. We’re getting bands from out of London now. About 50 to 60 people attend each one,” Downes said.
These basement shows might have sparked the beginning of a successful new folk band in London.
“From the start, we’ve got it going through our own house shows,” Robertson says.
Oh Geronimo is currently working on a new EP called The Hibernation, which they plan to release sometime during the summer.
Oh Geronimo is performing this Wednesday at the Aeolian Hall in benefit concert Share The Man. Doors open at 6:30 and tickets are $10 for students.