2014 was quite the year for Kerbdog frontman Cormac Battle. The Irish alt-rockers reunited with their original guitarist Billy Dalton, and, with the help of a successful Pledge campaign, released their live album, Congregation. In November, the quartet embarked on their biggest UK to date, which included a show at London’s Kentish Town Forum. Here, Cormac looks back on the past 12 months and reveals the secret to surviving the dreaded New Year’s Day hangover…
What was your hangover like on January 1?
“Existential in the extreme. They’re getting more like that as I age. It took till Paddy’s day until I felt right again. But then again, Kerbdog played that night and I’m in the band so I was entitled to feel that way. So there.”
Do you have any surefire hangover remedies?
“The only one for me is to be chained to the banister at home. Otherwise, a hangover will be guaranteed. Although two Whopper meals under the duvet covers helps a bit with the fear the next day.”
Did you have much Kerbdog activity planned when the year began?
“Absolutely none until our drummer Darragh [Butler] informed me that we had a live album coming out. Next thing you know, I’m on day eight of a UK tour with my arse hanging out of a van again trying to deal with amps and leads.”
Were you surprised by the response to the Pledge campaign for Congregation?
“Very much so. I had no idea if there was any interest in us at all. It was the first quantitative evidence that people actually cared. It was flattering and humbling all at once.”
** Kerbdog did their first full tour in years in November. What was that like?**
“It was the best time I’ve had in 15 years. What’s not to like about a nine-day party with your friends, playing to the biggest crowds we’ve ever had and leaving the responsibilities of living in the big bad world behind for two weeks.”
Do you think you’ll make a full album next year?
“It’s up in the air at the moment. But the will to do it is very strong in the band. It’s a matter of how and when… life is fucking busy!”
What’s been your most memorable show of the year?
“It’s not terribly rock but London Grammar at the Electric Picnic Festival in Ireland. Mesmerising sounds overblown. But they were and are…”
**What’s been your personal highlight? **
“Completing a brilliant tour of the UK this year. I was high as a kite for about a fortnight afterwards.”
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself in 2014?
“That I can still party hard for many days in a row without too much incident.”
Which films do you make a point of seeing at Christmas?
“It’s A Wonderful Life, which I’m watching tonight. The Wizard Of Oz and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, too. It’s clichéd, I know, but I don’t care for irony anymore.”