The Plague Monkeys are a four piece band from Dublin, Ireland. They are Carol Keogh (vocals), Donal O' Mahony (guitars, keyboards and mandolin), Barry Roden (bass) and Thomas Haugh (drums, percussion and keyboard). They formed in December 1995, and released an independent demo EP "People And Machinery" just before the New Year.
The musical world inhabited by The Plague Monkeys is the same evocative place that one might find, say a Mazzy Star or Mary Margaret O'Hara. try to imagine The Velvet Underground jamming with the Cocteau Twins and you begin to get an impression of this group.
Haunting, beautiful vocals, enjoined with shimmering soundscapes and evocative lyrics to create music that inexorably draws the listener in. The Plague Monkeys are special: they have been described on more than one occasion as "a breath of fresh air": the UK media is now beginning to take note as are industry people in the US.
The "People and Machinery" EP featured the track which became the bands namesake. This EP was featured on the Mike Moloney Show on 2FM during January 1996. In March 1996, the band made a video for the song The Plague Monkeys, with independent film director Brian O'Malley. This video was frequently played on Irish alternative music programme No Disco and featured in the best of the season as chosen by the shows programmers. The same month, The Plague Monkeys won an award for "Best Music Video" in Altered Visions, a national festival for independent video. It went on to feature on 2TV (pop video show) where it entered the video chart at No.1.
Also in March, the band recorded a session for Dave Fanning's programme on 2FM, produced by Ian Wilson, which has been aired three times due to popular demand. In addition, The Plague Monkeys material has been played on other national radio stations, and on college radio in Philadelphia, where it was picked up by loyal fans.
The Plague Monkeys have concentrated on taking their mounting repertoire to the stage. They have played nationwide venues such as The Da Club, Connolly's of Leap, Behan's Blue Room and most recently, Andrews Lane Theatre, to great response. They are also presently considering offers from both recording and publishing companies.
In April 1997, the band released the "Navigator EP" which contained four tracks, including Star Country, which they made another successful video for with director Brian O'Malley. In May 1997, Carol and Donal did an interview on "No Disco". They have plans to build their own studio. In the summer of 1998, the band released their debut album "Surface Tension" followed by "Mouth To Mouth" in November.
In September 1999, the band released their second album "The Sunburn Index" and later recorded three new songs as part of the soundtrack for Conor McPherson's film "Saltwater" starring Brendan Gleeson and Brian Cox. The band parted ways in 2000.