just here to make you smile
The Opacas (Steve Talbot, Peter Tobin, Pat Boyle and Mark Raynor) were formed during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic with the members writing and recording remotely, before putting the music together through standard applications on mobile phones.
In October 2020, they released their debut single, ‘Out Of My Mind', along with its accompanying video, which was shot in The Office Bar in Salthill and on Salthill promenade. Steve and Pete met in person for the first time when filming the video for the song - neither had yet met Mark Raynor in the flesh (he was represented in the video by a wooden cut-out!).
The band’s mission was to "put a smile on the faces of the people of Galway as we cope with a constant stream of bad news stories", through their music and videos. This approach also resulted in a key feature of The Opacas approach - collaborations with fellow creatives through music videos.
This began with the videos for the 'She Walks Away’ and ‘We Won’t Look Back’ singles, with The Opacas joining forces with the Athenry Drama Group and the Knocknacarra Amateur Theatre Society.
Together they created humorous, story based videos, shot in Athenry and Kinvara. The video for 'She Walks Away' was particularly noteworthy, as it told the story of a lovers tiff, and drew inspiration from 1920s Laurel and Hardy comedies.
The Opacas also release piano-only versions of their songs on YouTube to showcase the work of local visual artists. Creatives featured in the videos included Emma Cownie, a Welsh based landscape painter); Connemara based landscape artist Aoife Dowd; Clare artist Patrick Kinneally; and the Galway based Chinese creatives, Jin Yong, a visual artist, and Chaosheng Zhang, the hugely popular local photographer.
Another side to The Opacas was the video for ‘Outta Time’, which saw the band represented as Lego figures and running around Galway city centre. This was created at the height of lockdowns and the characters from previous video are represented by Lego figurines.
In a different vein, the band’s song, ‘Wish I Met You’, about a father's lament for a stillborn baby, was played at a ceremony for International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day at UHG.
The Opacas began performing live in summer 2020 (a highlight being Galway Folk Festival) and their goal is to play support at Galway International Arts Festival. Local musicians Mike McLoughlin (percussion) and Joe Treacy (guitar) have been added to the line-up for live performances.