Fred (band)

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Origin Cork, Ireland
Genres Indie
Years active 1998 – 2013
Labels RCM Music, United For Opportunity, Faction Records, Sparks Music
Website Official Site
Members Joseph O'Leary
Jamie Hanrahan
Jamin O'Donovan
Justin O'Mahony
Past members Eibhlín O'Gorman
Emmet Christie
Carolyn Goodwin
Liam O'Connor

Fred were a five-piece Irish alternative band from Cork. They released four albums, the last of which, Leaving My Empire, was released in Ireland in 2011.


The Fred EP was released in 2000. A debut album, Can't Stop, I'm Being Timed was released in 2002. The single "October", released in 2004, was taken from their second album. Two follow-up singles taken from the album were released in 2005: "Summer's Coming" and "Four Chords and the Truth".[1]

Fred released their second album, Making Music So You Don't Have To independently, debuting it to a sold-out Cork Opera House in 2005. It peaked at No. 70 in the Irish Albums Chart, spending one week there.[2] The single "Good One" (which eventually appeared on their third album) was released in June 2007 and gained huge support from both national and international radio stations.[3]

Fred's third album, Go God Go was released in Ireland on R.C.M Music the band's own label and distributed via Faction Records on 30 May 2008[4] and via United For Opportunity in the U.S. in 2009. The album was recorded in Love Tap Studios in Ireland and mixed by Mark Wallis in London. It spent a total of two weeks on the Ireland Albums Top 75, climbing as far as No. 30 in the Irish Albums Chart.[5] The singles, "Skyscrapers" (released 16 May 2008)[6] and "Running" (released 8 August 2008)[7] received a significant amount of airplay on national radio during the summer of 2008. A third single from the album, "The Lights" was released in Ireland on 14 November 2008. Fred performed at a number of Irish festivals including Electric Picnic 2008 and Hard Working Class Heroes. They played their debut show in Canada at NXNE in June 2008[8][9] and played at Pop Montreal and the Halifax Pop Explosion to support their Go God Go's album's release in Canada in October.[10] Their cover of the Irene Cara song "Fame", recorded on The Ray D'Arcy Show on Today FM, featured on Even Better Than the Disco Thing released in December 2008.

On 20 January 2009, it was reported that thousands of euro worth of equipment owned by the band had been stolen from their van parked across from Anglesea Garda Station in Cork, just as the band were to begin a North American tour.[11] The missing gear was recovered within 48 hours.[12] The following week, Fred appeared on The Cafe on 30 January 2009, where reference was made to the incident and it was explained that the "amateur" thieves had attempted to pawn the weapons off only to be foiled by leaving their addresses in the shop.[13] The band played their single "Good One" on Tubridy Tonight on 21 March 2009.[14]

Fred's product has been used by the BBC amongst others as theme music to television shows.[15] The single "Skyscrapers" was awarded iTunes Canada's influential "Single of the Week" accolade in October 2008.[16] In January 2009, the band were nominated in the Hope for 2009 category at the Meteor Music Awards. They have performed at festivals such as Oxegen, Electric Picnic and Hard Working Class Heroes. They were also the first band to perform at the renovated Thomond Park, home of Munster Rugby.

Fred were the first band to perform at the renovated Thomond Park in Limerick.[17] They played three singles, "Running", "Skyscrapers" and "Good One" before Munster played Ospreys in the quarter-final of the Heineken Cup on 12 April 2009.[17] Fred's performance at the Cork Midsummer Festival's spiegeltent on 15 June 2009 was named as "Gig of the Week" by The Irish Times.[18] Fred's early Saturday performance on the Green Spheres stage in front of a large crowd at Oxegen 2009 was described as "everything that a festival band should be–fun, energetic and visibly having a superb time".[19]

On 19 March 2010, the band were announced as one of the first acts expected to perform at that year's Indiependence.[20]

In November 2010, Fred travelled to Montreal to record their new album with producer Howard Bilerman (and former Arcade Fire member) at his studio Hotel2tango (Which he runs the Hotel2Tango recording studio in Montreal along with Efrim Menuck and Thierry Amar of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and A Silver Mt. Zion, and Radwan Moumneh) . Fred spent 3 weeks recording with Howard and returned to Ireland at the start of December 2010. In January 2011 they travelled to London and mixed the new record with Ben Hiller.

On 11 April 2011 the band streamed their new album Leaving My Empire on Soundcloud.[21] The album, released in Ireland on Friday, 15 April 2011, went straight into the Irish Album charts at No. 23, and The Indie charts at No. 10. The Irish national press received the record with High praise with State Magazine calling it "A burst of Technicolor glory", Irish Independent describing it as "Sprawling, ambitious and intoxicating", Heineken Music calling it "A joy to behold", and Hot press stating the album "has seen them ascend to a new level of brilliance". In August 2011 'We are the city now' was used in a national Canadian commercial for TBooth Wireless.[22]

In October Fred played during the CMJ Music Marathon in New York city they were joined by Julie Feeny on the trip as a guest pianist & singer

Fred appeared on the 10th anniversary of 'Other Voices' in Dingle in December 2011. Alongside Wild Beasts, Edwyn Collins, Ham Sandwich, Spiritulized, Lisa Hannigan, The Frames. They performed in the IMRO Other room and performed 'Stereoscope'. On New Year's Eve Fred performed at the Vicar St in Dublin for the 'Mixed Tape' concert. Other artists performing on the night included Wallis Bird, Lisa Hannigan, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jerry fish, Rhob Cunningham, Jerry Fish & Tucan. Fred performed a version of Jackie Wilson's 'Higher & Higher' with James Vincent McMorrow on Lead vocals, They also did a version of Bruce Springsteens 'Hungary Heart' with their Drummer Justin O'Mahony playing guitar and singing lead vocals.

Fred's song 'The Life behind' was used as a soundtrack to the gorilla exhibition 'Romantic Ireland from the streets' which was erected on St.Patricks day 2012 on the former Anglo Irish banks HQ along Dublin's Quays. The Anglo Irish bank is said to be the central player in the banking crisis in Ireland. The exhibition was responded to the Yeats poem 'September 1913' which was recited by spoken word artist Stephen James Smith alongside the song 'The Life Behind'

On 21 March 2012 'Leaving My Empire' was released in Canada on Sparks Music. Fred performed during the week of its release at 'Canadian Music Week' in Toronto. They appeared on Canada AM on 21 March, and on 24 March they appeared on CBC's 'Q' with Jian Ghomeshi. Again the record was received with high praise in Canada, Jian Ghomeshi saying "...pop rock with effortless authenticity, FRED are a rewarding listen." Alan Cross "...if you have room in your heart for one more band then you may find yourself smitten with FRED very quickly." The McGill Tribune "...poignant melodies, poetic lyrics"


Fred announced they were to break up in November 2013. The announcement included details of a final tour of Ireland to thank their fans.[23] Their "Last Hurrah" concert in the Pavilion in Cork on 28 December 2013 sold out in 14 minutes, with the result that a second concert entitled "The Second Last hurrah" was announced for 27 December 2013.


  • Joseph O'Leary - Vocals
  • Jamie Hanrahan - Guitar
  • Jamin O'Donovan - Bass
  • Justin O'Mahony - Drums


Studio Albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
2002 Can't Stop, I'm Being Timed
  • Released: 2002
  • Label:
  • Formats: CD
2005 Making Music So You Don't Have To
  • Released: 2005
  • Label:
  • Formats: CD
2008 Go God Go
  • Released: May, 2008
  • Label: RCM, United For Opportunity, Sparks Music
  • Formats: CD
2011 Leaving My Empire
  • Released: 15 April 2011
  • Label: RCM
  • Formats: CD, Download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


Year Title Chart positions Album
2004 "October" Making Music So You Don't Have To
2005 "Four Chords And The Truth"
"Summer's Coming"
2008 "Skyscraper" Go God Go
"The Lights"
2009 "Good One"
2010 "Trial By Fire" Leaving My Empire
2011 "If Not Now When" TBR
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Extended plays[edit]

Year Album details
2000 FRED
  • Released: 2000
  • Label: None
  • Format: CD


In January 2009, the band were nominated in the Hope for 2009 category at the Meteor Music Awards.[25] They lost to Wallis Bird at the ceremony on 17 March 2009.[26]

Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
2009 Fred Meteor Music Award – Hope for 2009 Nominated


  1. ^ Fred Music: Releases
  2. ^ A.CHARTS.US: Making Music So You Don't Have To
  3. ^ Fred info
  4. ^ "Skyscrapers - New Single from Fred". Humble Voice. 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  5. ^ A.CHARTS.US: Go God Go
  6. ^ 7digital "Skyscrapers"
  7. ^ 7digital "Running"
  8. ^ review - Friday 13 June 2008
  9. ^ review - 14 June 2008
  10. ^ "FRED (the Cork, Ireland band) at Zaphod Beeblebrox". OttawaStart. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  11. ^ "Fred gear robbed in Cork". Hot Press. 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  12. ^ "Fred get their gear back". Hot Press. 2009-01-22. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  13. ^ "Celebrity BB star set to appear on The Café". RTÉ. 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  14. ^ "Tubridy Tonight – Saturday, 21 March 2009". RTÉ. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  15. ^ CD Baby: Making Music So You Don't Have To
  16. ^ "Fred make iTunes Canada's 'Single of the Week'". Hot Press. 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  17. ^ a b "Fred make rock 'n' roll – and rugby – history". Hot Press. 2009-04-02. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  18. ^ "Ticket Gig Of The Week". The Irish Times. 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2009-06-19. There was no room in the tent on Monday night, when Cork band Fred played to a capacity audience in the Cork Midsummer Festival's spiegeltent. The band stayed calm, the crowd went wild, and everybody went home happy. The Midsummer Festival runs until June 28th. Still to come are performances from Camille O'Sullivan, David Holmes and Sol Pico, as well as the participatory Dance Marathon. 
  19. ^ "Rain fails to dampen Oxegen vibes". The Belfast Telegraph. 2009-07-13. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  20. ^ "Indie-Pendence line-up revealed". Hot Press. 19 March 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  21. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^
  24. ^[IE]
  25. ^ "2fm Hope For 2009 shortlist announced". Hot Press. 2009-02-18. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  26. ^ "Top accolade for The Script". The Irish Times. 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 

External links[edit]