The Clockworks: New Music to Listen Out for in 2021

A phonograph in black and white in front of a curtain in Twin Peaks

What we’re really looking forward to in 2021 are new records from some of the best bands around right now. Here, Julia Mason talks to the punk four-piece, The Clockworks whose new music you need to listen out for in 2021.

Being an independent musician was hard even before COVID-19 brought the world to a halt. With venues being shut down, tours cancelled, and releases postponed, the ongoing pandemic has shaken up the music industry as a whole, and independent artists are among those whose livelihoods are most threatened by the global crisis. Despite all this, 2020 has been a prosperous year for new music and artists have been finding increasingly inventive ways of getting themselves seen and heard. For once, I think we can all be grateful for social media for keeping us entertained through the dark times. There is hope for the new year, though it may take some time to return to normal, we do have new music to look forward to.


Pairing snarling kitchen-sink commentary with insuppressible sonic tenacity, The Clockworks are a band to savour in these dark days. Formed in Galway and drawn together by a mutual appreciation of all music, past and present, The Clockworks are a four-piece comprising James McGregor on Vocals/Guitar, Sean Connelly on Guitar, Damian Greaney on Drums and Tom Freeman on bass.

JM: What have you missed most in 2020?

TC: We’ve definitely missed gigs most as a band this year. We’ve still been recording and releasing tracks in the past couple of months, so we’ve been lucky in that sense, but we can’t wait to get back into the live shows.

JM: Who are you inspired by musically?

TC: With the world of recorded music at our fingertips, we’re as inspired by bands we grew up with like The Strokes as we are with The Smiths or David Bowie. Inspiration, for us, comes from anywhere. Bill Withers might inspire one song; The Doors might inspire another, Kendrick Lemar inspires a third.

JM: What is your songwriting process?

TC: James (McGregor) is always scribbling lyrics in his notebook, in pubs and cafes around the city. Musically the songs come together in different ways; James might come to our rehearsal room with a skeleton of a song, Sean (Connelly)  might have a guitar line he can’t stop playing, Damian (Greaney) or Tom (Freeman) might get a groove going, and we all see where it takes us.

JM: If you could choose anywhere to gig where would it be?

TC: Glastonbury would be the big one. We love playing festivals and that’s the biggest festival there is. It has such a legacy and we’ve always said we’d love to be a part of it one day.

JM: If I took a look inside your fridge right now what would I find?

TC: Nothing great at the minute because we’ve abandoned it to go home to Ireland for the holidays. Anything that was left behind is plotting its revenge on us as we speak.

JM: What are The Clockworks immediate plans for 2021?

TC: That’s a tough one to answer these days. What we’re definitely going to carry on doing is recording and releasing singles. Hopefully this summer we’ll be getting back on stage making up for lost time. Whenever that happens, we’ll be ready.

The Clockworks are signed to Alan McGee’s Creation23 label, and in 2020 released “Stranded in Stansted”, “The Future is Not What it Was”, “Can I Speak to a Manager” and “Enough is Never Enough”.

To hear more new music from The Clockworks, check out their Facebook page. Please support your favourite independent artists by buying merch and music directly from them, and donate to your local venues that are at risk of closing down due to the pandemic.

Written by Julia Mason

I love funky punky music you can dance to, and that's the type of music that inspires my writing. Currently an admin for the Fontaines D.C. Facebook fangroup "What's Really Going On?" which now has almost 4000 members. Living in Edinburgh, UK I am also a member of Pentland Triathletes and have completed two Half Ironmans. Good to meet you!

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