What’s the link between talented Irish singers Naimee Coleman, Tara Blaise and Miriam Ingram? Answer: They were all members of The Wilde Oscars, the band led by Dubliner Leslie Keye, which became a launchpad for the women’s varied solo careers. Coleman had moderate success with her album Silver Wrists, and even cracked the UK Top 10 when she provided the vocals for Aurora’s dance remake of Duran Duran’s Ordinary World. Blaise ( then Tara Egan-Langley) joined Kilkenny band Kaydee, met Corrs producer John Hughes, changed her surname to Blaise, and starred in the stage production of War of the Worlds. But what became of Miriam Ingram? She too, took a circuitous route, taking in stints with The Harvest Ministers, Nick Kelly, Grada and Dr Millar. She has now released her debut album, Trampoline, a fine collection of elegant folktronica tunes fuelled by such diverse influences as Mary Poppins, The Clash, Kate Bush and Monty Python.
Miriam Ingram grew up in Sandyford, Co Dublin and went to school at Colaiste Iosagain in Stillorgan along with members of Kíla. Another classmate, David Odlum, became a longtime friend and a strong influence on her sound, and did mixing duties on Trampoline. The first record Miriam bought was by some guy called Tchaikovsky, but she also lists Joni Mitchell among her teenage idols. She studied Music Media Technology in Trinity College before joining The Wilde Oscars. Leslie Keye was the band’s lead singer, but Miriam, Naimee and Tara were more than just eye-candy at the back, contributing fine vocals on the band’s two albums, Fish and Newspaper.
When The Wilde Oscars went their separate ways, Miriam became something of a jobbing singer, guesting with various bands and solo artists and contributing vocals to various musical projects. One of her most consistent gigs was with Sean Millar, former leader of Dr Millar and The Cute Hoors, and a formidably talented lyricist. MIllar’s gruff tones were beautifully counterpointed by Miriam’s gliding ones, and the pair worked countless gigs together. Miriam didn’t neglect her own solo work, playing regular shows for a growing army of friends, fans and admirers. She wrote the songs on Trampoline at her home in Sandyford, but avoided the trad girliefolk route, instead using computers and sequencers along with acoustic guitars to get that avant-electronica flavour.
Trampoline features a host of highly respected Irish musicians and technicians, including Joe Chester, Trevor Hutchinson, Graham Hopkins, Dave Hingerty, Justin Carroll and Conor Brady. Miriam will perform a special, glitzy Christmas party, complete with 10-piece band, at Dublin’s Boom Boom Room tomorrow night. Expect a host of talented guests, and a couple of Christmas carols.