The passion in The Eire Lines music comes from growing up in really tough and bigoted areas of Glasgow and Belfast. The dream was to escape that life and start again. Australia gave us that chance.”
Jim and Alex arrived in Australia from Glasgow and Belfast respectively, not knowing each other, but they just happened to meet by chance in a recording studio in Adelaide. She was married with a 3 year old child and he was a backpacker. How would this work out, you would think?
More than two decades later The eire lines are electrifying audiences across Australia and the world with their fusion of Celtic rock, zydeco, African, folk, gospel and whatever style of music that happens to take their fancy.
As singer/songwriter/guitarist Jim Paterson says, “We like the fact that The Beatles had nearly every possible style of music on their albums, so we go along with that philosophy.”
With so many rhythms and vibes radiating from the stage, it’s impossible to stay still. Jim and Alex are renowned for their unbelievably high-energy shows and think nothing of performing high kicks on stage and sprinting through the audience encouraging dance marathons.
“To us, music is just a ball of fun, especially when you’re performing your own material. It feels great to come off stage after running for hours, completely soaking with sweat and adrenaline. That’s a great day’s work.”
Their all-ages audiences get inspired too. If they’re not laughing along to a crazy anecdote they’re stomping in time, shouting out lyrics, waving hands in the air or dancing like there’s no tomorrow.
The secret is the great faith Jim and Alex have in their fans. “When you demand they get up, and believe that they will, then they usually do,” Jim says. “Alex and I are already dancing so that makes it easier and with the added effect of really great beats and brilliant musicians. It all happens quite naturally”
“We sometimes write songs with a groove that we know will work. It’s called working backwards – knowing what you want the audience to do, and then creating it.”
The eire lines also help create a better world for the next generation. Jim and Alex support mental health, suicide prevention and domestic violence initiatives, performing at fundraisers and spending hours each week adding their names to online petitions.
Ever ambitious, they’re branching out now to writing a musical, starting up a side band, pitching their songs to famous artists and performing at intimate house concerts.
Picking highlights from their 20+ year career is like walking through a garden of riches.
They’ve recorded with African, Indian and American soul and gospel singers, performed at Womad in England on the day Princess Diana died, entertained 30,000 people on New Year’s Eve in Melbourne’s Federation Square and 750,000 at Adelaide’s Skyshow, and rocked Byron Bay’s Blues & Roots Festival, Port Fairy’s Folk Festival, and the famous Skagen Festival in Denmark.
“Performing with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra was really scary but memorable too,” Jim muses. “I believed that the whole orchestra was following me and I was petrified I’d stuff it up, until the conductor mentioned they were actually following him!”
With ten albums also under their belt it’s clear The eire lines are a much-loved, admired and sought-after act. And for that, Jim and Alex owe their thanks to Australia. “We got away from the bigotry and violence of Scotland and Ireland to live in a country where that sort of thing doesn’t really exist. We love that about Australia.”
We relish the prospect of working with multicultural musicians and Australian icons. Many big bands from Australia’s past have Scottish and Irish roots (Jimmy Barnes, Doc Neeson) so we also feel that we’re following in that tradition.”