Ham Sandwich (band)

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Ham Sandwich
Ham Sandwich at Mitchelstown Indie Pendence Festival 2007
Ham Sandwich at Mitchelstown Indie Pendence Festival 2007
Background information
OriginKells, Ireland
GenresIndie rock
Years active2003 (2003)–present
LabelsRoute 109A records
MembersNiamh Farrell
Podge McNamee
Brian Darcy
Past membersJohn Moore
Ollie Murphy
David McEnroe

Ham Sandwich (stylized as HamsandwicH) are an Irish indie rock band from Kells, County Meath.

The band originally consisted of Niamh Farrell (vocals), Podge McNamee (vocals and guitar), Brian Darcy (guitar and piano), John Moore (bass guitar) and Ollie Murphy (drums).[1] On 12 April 2010, Moore announced he was leaving the group. The band subsequently hired David McEnroe as his replacement.[2][3]

To date, the band have released three studio albums: Carry the Meek (2008), White Fox (2010) and Stories from the Surface (2015).


Formation and early years (2003-06)[edit]

Ham Sandwich was formed by John Moore, Podge McNamee and Niamh Farrell at a crucifixion party on Good Friday 2003,[4][5] initially with Moore as guitarist and McNamee and Farrell as vocalists.[6][1] Moore and McNamee had been friends since childhood, growing up in Kells, County Meath, and Farrell had befriended McNamee upon her recent return to Ireland after spending several years in Scotland.[1] Brian Darcy, who McNamee had known from school, was recruited as a guitarist and Ollie Murphy joined soon after as the group's drummer.[6] Moore suggested the band's name at an early rehearsal session, initially as a joke, before it was officially adopted by the band.[6][7] The band initially faced much criticism for their unusual name, most notably by U2 frontman Bono,[8] but Farrell has defended the choice to keep the name stating: "I suppose we were a bit stubborn at first and then I think it got so far that we couldn't change it because then we would have been known as 'so-and-so, formerly known as 'Ham Sandwich' and there's nothing worse than having to put that on a poster, but people have started warming to it."[7]

The band spent the next year writing and rehearsing songs, with Moore as their primary songwriter,[9] before giving their first live performance in their home town of Kells.[1] They released their debut single, "Sad Songs", in August 2005.[1] Rather than seeking a record label contract, the band published the single on their own independent label, Route 109A Records, named for the bus route between Kells and Dublin.[1] The decision to release their first single independently, rather than seek a major record label deal, came from a desire to work and develop at their own pace, as well as to retain control over their own music.[4] All of the band's subsequent releases have been on their own label.[10] The band continued to tour around Ireland throughout 2006, releasing two further singles, "St. Christopher" on 20 February and "Words" on 19 September.[11]

Carry the Meek and White Fox (2007-13)[edit]

On 16 February 2007, Ham Sandwich released their fourth single, "click..click...BOOM!!!" This was followed by a short tour of Ireland in support of the release.[12] The band made their Irish television debut in February, performing the single on The Late Late Show.[4] Later that year, the band began work on their first album, Carry the Meek, having enlisted Irish musician Karl Odlum as producer. The album was recorded in a home-made studio at Headfort House in Kells.[13] The album was released on 15 February 2008 and received generally favourable reviews in the Irish media.[14][9][13] On the same day the band won the Hope for 2008 Award at the Meteor Music Awards.[15] The band released three more singles from the album 2008, "Keepsake", "Never Talk" and "Broken Glass",[16] and embarked on tours of Ireland and the UK, including spots at Glastonbury and Electric Picnic.[14][17]

On 6 November 2009, Ham Sandwich released "Out of the Darkness", the first single from their planned sophomore album,[18] although it did not appear on the album when it was eventually released.[19] On 12 April 2010, Moore left the band, citing a "typographical error".[2] On 15 July 2010 the band's manager, Derek Nally, died after suffering a heart attack.[20] Despite the personal turmoil, the band re-entered the studio to start work on their second album afresh, with Karl Odlum returning as producer as well as filling in on bass guitar duties for the departed Moore.[21] On 7 May 2010, the band released their next single, "The Naturist".[22] Their second album, White Fox, was released on 1 October 2010 and was dedicated to Nally.[23] The band continued to tour, with David McEnroe filling in on bass,[3] and released the next single from the album, "OH-OH", on 18 October 2010.[24]

On 4 February 2011, "Ants" was released as the third single from the album.[25] Although the song failed to chart, the video became a viral hit and won the Best Concept award at the 2011 IMTV Awards.[26][27] The band's next single, "Models", was released on 15 June 2011 and was later used extensively in the Discover Ireland TV and radio campaign in support of The Gathering initiative in 2013.[28][29] In December, the band finished off the year with performances on the Irish television show Other Voices, as part of its 10-year anniversary celebrations,[30] and at the New Year's celebrations at The Village.[31] The band continued to tour throughout 2012 and 2013, playing their first headline show at Dublin's Academy on 18 February 2012.[32] The final single from White Fox, "Long Distance", was released in June 2012.[33] Other notable performances included playing at the President of Ireland's Garden Party at Áras an Uachtaráin and supporting Bon Jovi at Slane Castle, both in June 2013.[34][35]

Stories from the Surface (2014-present)[edit]

Having toured extensively in support of White Fox, Ham Sandwich began recording their third album at Windmill Lane Studios in 2014, with Karl Odlum once again producing.[36] On 30 March 2014 the band debuted "Illuminate", the first single from the new album, prior to their first headlining gig at the Olympia Theatre.[37] That year saw Niamh Farrell present televised coverage of the Choice Music Prize.[38] Following support gigs over the summer for Arcade Fire and Mumford and Sons,[39] the band released the second single, "Apollo" on 31 October 2014 as a free download on their website.[40] On 9 February 2015, the band announced that their third album, Stories from the Surface, would be released on 17 April 2015.[41][42] It was released to generally positive reviews and became the band's first album to top the Irish album charts.[43] A third single, "Fandango", was released prior to the album on 13 March 2015.[44]

Stories from the Surface was nominated for the Choice music Prize 'Best album of 2015'. On 3 March it was held in Vicar street to a sold-out audience with solo artist Soak walking away with the prize for best album for 2015. In October 2015, the band travelled to the CMJ music festival in New York city playing a handful of shows.

The band released an animated video for their track "Satellite" by artist Mark Corrigan in March 2016. In November 2016 the track "All Worthwhile" was released with a video showing clips of the band since its inception.

The band released a new track entitled "Bodies" in November 2017 heralding a new direction for the band. The track was very well received and became playlisted on a number of national radio stations.


Current members
Former members
  • John Moore - bass (2003–2010)
  • David McEnroe - bass (2010–2017)
  • Ollie Murphy - drums (2003–2019)


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
Carry the Meek
  • Released: 15 February 2008
  • Label: Route 109A Records
  • Formats: CD, Download
White Fox
  • Released: 1 October 2010
  • Label: Route 109A Records
  • Formats: CD, Download, Vinyl
Stories from the Surface
  • Released: 17 April 2015
  • Label: Route 109A Records
  • Formats: CD, Download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Sad Songs" 2005 Carry the Meek
"St. Christopher" 2006
"click...click...BOOM!!!" 2007
"Keepsake" 2008
"Never Talk"
"Broken Glass"
"Out of the Darkness" 2009
"The Naturist" 2010 White Fox
"Ants" 2011
"Long Distance" 2012
"Illuminate" 2014 43 Stories from the Surface
"Fandango" 2015
"Bodies" 2017 "Reactions" 2018
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Donnelly, Dave. "Ham Sandwich Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b Cuffe, Aiden (12 April 2010). "John Moore leaves Ham Sandwich..." Golden Plec. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b Byrne, Al (16 May 2010). "Ham Sandwich - Whelan's 15/5/10". ZME Music. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Udell, Phil (13 March 2008). "Interview: Ham Sandwich". State. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  5. ^ O' Hare, Colm (20 May 2008). "At home with... Niam Farrell, Ham Sandwich". Hot Press. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Kavanagh, Joe (19 March 2008). "Food For Thought". Irish Examiner USA. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b Carry, Robert. "JOE meets... Ham Sandwich lead singer Niamh Farrell". JOE. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
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  9. ^ a b Curran, Aidan (12 March 2008). "Album reviews - Ham Sandwich 'Carry The Meek'". CLUAS. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  10. ^ Fitzgerald, Eric (11 December 2014). "Ham Sandwich: no filler, all killer". Limerick Post. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
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  12. ^ "Ham Sandwich announce single + tour details". Hot Press. 1 February 2007. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  13. ^ a b Freyne, Patrick. "Carry The Meek". Hot Press. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  14. ^ a b "Ham Sandwich announce album & tour". Hot Press. 7 January 2008. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Meteor eight-in-a-row for Westlife". The Irish Times. 16 February 2008. Retrieved 19 February 2008.
  16. ^ "Ham Sandwich release new single". Hot Press. 30 October 2008. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
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  19. ^ Byrne, Al. "Ham Sandwich - White Fox review". oxygen.ie. Archived from the original on 13 May 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
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  21. ^ Tyaransen, Olaf (16 November 2010). "Snacks Appeal". Hot Press. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  22. ^ Udell, Phil (5 May 2010). "Ham Sandwich - The Naturist". State. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  23. ^ "Ham Sandwich Announce New Album Details". Hot Press. 18 September 2010. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
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  25. ^ Udell, Phil (17 January 2011). "Video exclusive: Ham Sandwich - 'Ants'". State. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
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  27. ^ "IMTV Awards". IMRO. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  28. ^ Udell, Phil (15 June 2011). "Video premiere - Ham Sandwich - 'Models'". State. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  29. ^ "Hamsandwich". Irish Mirror. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  30. ^ "Other Voices Announces Artists for 10th Anniversary Celebrations". Other Voices. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  31. ^ "Ham Sandwich to play NYE show". entertainment.ie. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  32. ^ Cuffe, Aidan (7 November 2011). "Ham Sandwich announce Academy show". Golden Plec. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  33. ^ Udell, Phil (22 June 2012). "Single premiere update: Ham Sandwich – Long Distance (Pockets Remix)". State. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  34. ^ "Countdown to Ballymahon's NewC Fest". Westmeath Examiner. 26 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  35. ^ Balfe, John (8 April 2013). "Bon Jovi announce trio of Irish bands as Slane support". entertainment.ie. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  36. ^ Balfe, John (15 April 2014). "HamsandwicH talk new album, Saturday's Olympia gig and more". entertainment.ie. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  37. ^ Udell, Phil (30 March 2014). "Ham Sandwich – 'Illuminate'". State. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  38. ^ [1]
  39. ^ Kelly, Aoife (20 November 2014). "Ham Sandwich". Irish Independent. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
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  41. ^ "HamsandwiH announce new album Stories from the Surface". Nialler9. 9 February 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
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  43. ^ Kelly, Aoife (24 April 2015). "HamsandwicH hit number 1 with new album 'Stories from the Surface'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
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  45. ^ a b "Discography Ham Sandwich". irish-charts.com. Retrieved 20 April 2015.

External links[edit]