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The Bitz: It takes Wilt power to face music again.

THE year 2000 has been brighter than bright for Kilkenny band Wilt.

Each month has brought more fans to the Wilt fold, more airplay and more critical acclaim.

Their debut album, Bastinado, was released last Monday to the delight of critic and fans alike.

But even so, frontman Cormac isn't satisfied.

"I am nervous but not so much about the album as about the whole thing.

"I suppose you could say it would be nothing if we failed at this, because no-one knows us.

But on another level it means everything to us that we succeed, because it is our way out of the world that we found mundane and boring."

"We're very happy about the way things have been so far, but because we've done this before (Cormac and Darragh Butler were both members of Kerbdogs) there's always the insecurity about being in a full-time band again - knowing it call fall apart in seconds.

"The reason we started a band again was because we know what it will be like if our lives were to take an ordinary path again."

"With Wilt there have been very big highs and also very big lows and you have to keep things in perspective. We could be frying fish for a living in a couple of weeks, as Ike Turner once said."

But there is confidence in the Wilt camp. Darragh and Mick Murphy and both packed in their day jobs and Cormac is thinking of asking Dublin City University for a year out of his college course.

"We've been playing a lot of gigs with other people so I think it's about time we faced the music and did a few gigs ourselves," says Cormac.

Wilt are to embark on their own headline shows across Ireland later this summer.

Already they've played the Glastonbury and T In The Park festivals and they're also making prestigious appearances at Reading, Leeds and Ireland's own super festival Witnness.

So far, all the Wilt singles have done well in Ireland and the UK.

Cormac reckons a lot of the fans will be surprised by the album, which has been ready and waiting for release for a good few months.

"There was no point in releasing the album earlier as no-one would have known who we were. But at this point we're playing gigs where people know our songs which is great.

"And now that the album's come out, we'll be able to play some of the slower songs and other tunes which people didn't hear before the release of Bastinado."

So far, the best moments for Cormac were getting playlisted on BBC Radio One and the realisation that they had a following of fans.

"I'd never actually had a record playlisted before - to have that experience and to have so many people listen to one of my songs was an amazing feeling. Also to be recognised as a band so early on and have a regular crowd that come to the gigs is great. We didn't think that would happen so soon."

Cormac may come across as a bit of a worrier but it has to be said that one of the best songs on the album, Peroxatine, is the result of Mr Battle's personal demons.

"It's an honest account of how I felt - it's not a fairy tale. It's about the way depression and anxiety can affect you. But we pride ourselves on honest lyrical content - the lyrics are very dark but the music itself is uplifting.

"So it's weird to hear us on the radio sandwiched in between songs about nothing, where the lyrics don't do anything but rhyme.

"I suppose that's a bit of a triumph for us."
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Quigley, Maeve
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 9, 2000
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