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Lydia Des Dolles remembers the first time she saw Ruairi Paxton playing with The Things. It was a gig in her home town of Waterford that the music lover had managed to sneak into when underage - something that was a regular occurrence for a girl obsessed with sounds.

But at the time, she had no idea that she and Ruairi, his brother Danda and drummer Donagh would create what is undoubtedly one of the finest Irish records of 2010.

The band are Sweet Jane and the album Sugar For My Soul is released today on Reekus Records.

And the 24-year-old singer says she's glad that it's finally going to hit the shops.

Lydia said: "We began recording in December and we have done so much with it, recording, mixing and so on and it has taken so long that it's almost a relief to get it out there."

Before signing with Reekus at the tail end of last year Sweet Jane were already becoming a force to be reckoned with.

They had bagged support slots with bands they liked, simply by going up and asking them for the position.

And the live shows were something people were raving about. And Lydia said Sugar For My Soul would have happened one way or another but signing with Reekus moved things on faster.

She said: "We had planned to go down and record it before Reekus got involved and it was only when we started to meet with them that things evolved.

"We set down a time to go into the studio and record it - signing the record deal cemented things for us."

Sweet Jane's Ruairi and Danda Paxton are, of course, brothers from a very musical family.

Most of them seem to wield guitars and Ruair was formerly a member of The Things while Danda was in The Brothers Movement with some of his other siblings.

But both are now dedicated to Sweet Jane, a band that formed out of a few stolen nights of drinking in Dublin.

Lydia said: "I met Ruari at a party about two or three years ago and he introduced me to Danda.

"Danda and I spent the weekend in a pub just drinking and talking about recording together. We each had our own ideas and music tastes but we became friends.

"And then we started recording together in my apartment on a ten track.

"When Ruairi heard the songs he really liked them and asked if he could get involved.

"We had a few different drummers then about a year ago Donagh joined and that's completed the line up."

Lydia said she never really set out to be a band member but felt that it was the next logical step.

She's been obsessed with music from an early age and loves gigs, records and everything about it.

But Sweet Jane just happened organically. She said: "I think I have always been drawn to music and with regards to actually being in a band the whole process of going to gigs and buying records was always something I did.

"And that drew me in from a really early age so I think it was just a natural progression.

"I always said I was going to be in a band and play music but it was almost two years after Sweet Jane started that I realised: "I am actually in a band now."

"It crept up on me, I didn't expect it to happen so quickly." It must have been a tough decision for Danda to leave The Brothers Movement behind considering their successes and following.

But Lydia said it's not something she can talk about on his behalf.She said: "It's something that was on his mind and he kind of had to just make the decision to choose one.

"None of us knew he was going to make the decision - he just came into the studio one day and said that he was going to tour once more with the Brothers Movement and that would be it."

As far as the record goes, it's been making waves as far as the critics are concerned.

But don't believe the hype - lend your own ears to the scuzzy guitar sounds and shoegazy vocals and you will be very pleasantly surprised.

It sounds like nothing else coming out of Ireland today and might remind others of a misspent youth.But there's good reason for that too as Lydia explains.She said: "I am not the most adventurous music listener - I have listened to the same bands all my life.

"I like Oasis and I'm pretty influenced by Brit Pop, the old Creation Records back catalogue, Ride and Primal Scream - that whole early 90s sound is what I am into.

"Everyone in the band has a different influence, everyone pulls from something else."

It's no wonder then that maestro Alan McGee has had Sweet Jane over doing Death Disco shows in London or that Glasvegas are big fans.

And just like the Jesus And Mary Chain or the brothers Gallagher, Lydia admits that some of Sweet Jane's best ideas come from conflict.

She said: "Danda, if he could live in the studio, recording he would and I am the opposite - if I could live on tour I would.

"That' the dynamic we have - we are like ying and yang for the most part, he has his way of thinking and I have mine and then the ideas that keep are the ones that are the explosion in the middle.

"It's not built on harmony but we aren't a sunny, happy pop band either." lSugar For My Soul is out today on Reekus Records and 5.30pm they play an all ages in-store in Tower Records on Wicklow street, Dublin.

Tonight they play at 11.30pm in Pacinos, in Suffolk Street and they will also be appearing at Oxegen.


TO THE FOUR: Sweet Jane have a new album out today
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 2, 2010
Next Article:Carry on camping.

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