My Weekend: Touring, recording, working, living...

The Good Room present the return of Altered Hours to Live at St Luke’s, Cork, with special guests The Bonk, on Friday, September 27. Frontman Cathal MacGabhann discusses his journey to Cork, his ideal weekend, and his favourite cup of coffee
My Weekend: Touring, recording, working, living...
Altered Hours, Cathal MacGabhann is pictured far left.  Picture: Izabela Szczutkowska

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m from Limerick. I grew up with a family of five, with two older sisters. My mother taught me the Suzuki method of violin from age four and my father taught me my first chords on the guitar.

My father is a visual artist so I was surrounded by intriguing and strange art hanging from our walls since day one.

At around age 12 I took a trip to London to visit a penpal I had at the time. He introduced me to punk rock, skateboarding, and a world I had not previously seen staring out my window at cattle in county Limerick (which in retrospect was lovely). This spurred me into a world I felt comfortable in and soon after bought an electric guitar and started playing gigs around Ireland from age 14. And that’s still what I do.

I moved here to Cork when I was 18 after finishing school.

I longed for a city environment so I got a job and started a band almost immediately.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

I’m either recording music, playing music, going to a gig, or lying flat on the ground pretending to rest until I go again.

Lie ins or up with the lark?

Up early.

Altered Hours (photo by Izabela Szczutkowska.j
Altered Hours (photo by Izabela Szczutkowska.j

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

I work part-time as a picture framer so between touring, recording, working, and living — my work creeps into everyday somehow. Very confusing sometimes... when you stop to think about it.

If money was no object, where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

I’d go to Texas with Elaine.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

Ramelton, Donegal, and west Clare.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

I work with my friends a lot so I’m not sure when we’re hanging out or getting something done. I like that.

Do you get to indulge in any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

Watching hurling and I’m obsessed with skate culture in general.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

Cheese on toast made with as much love as I can muster.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

Miyazaki for the treat and Bia Blasta for the omelette. Filter cafe is my favourite cup of coffee.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

Freaking out even if I’m off on Monday.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

7.30am. But I never set one if I’m on my own watch.


Altered Hours’ music takes on many forms, exploring vast psychedelic spaces, immediate post-punk tones, repetitive rhythms and propelling structures. Having previously released music with Anton Newcombe’s label A Recordings and Irish indie labels such as Art For Blind Records and Penske Recordings, the band have toured extensively across Europe over the past few years. Their discography to date has shown an ever evolving style, sometimes unpredictable yet always exciting. Live, they have become known for their intense and exhilarating performances.

The Good Room present the return of The Altered Hours to Live at St Luke’s, Cork, with special guests The Bonk, Friday, September 27 September. Tickets €20 are on sale now from

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