I Promise You
Becky Baxter / Conal O’Donoghue / Shauna McGarrity / John McNulty
A song about being strong; a song about escape from being controlled; a song about defiance.
John always maintains that “I Promise You” is reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” … but the truth is that Conal took his inspiration from listening to Joe Bonamassa on a long drive. In fact, during that drive Conal conceived the idea, imagined the initial riff and created the arrangement – just as well he wasn’t behind the wheel!
Shauna had only just joined the band and wasn’t able to attend the practice session in question, so Conal demo’d the idea and the riff to the other two and it sparked an immediate creative frenzy for both the music and the words. By the next practice session, the song was more or less ready save for the bass line which, inevitably, followed in short order.
It is most definitely a song about defiance; something that is emphasised firstly by an opening of an unaccompanied vocal line and secondly by a driving, almost aggressive riff and rhythm. It’s also a song about being strong; just listen to the “promise” in the chorus. Finally, it’s a song about escape from being controlled coupled with a line or two that might almost be considered to be a threat …
This track always goes down well at live gigs and generally excites a lot of comments from audience members. We think it comes from two things: the stark contrast between the solo vocal opening and the heavy, slightly oppressive, blues/rock lick that follows it and then from the further development of the original lick into a “tower of power” type of sound. In a few short minutes this track can put anyone through the emotional wringer: a song about being strong, a song about escape from being controlled and a song about defiance.