Retired Belfast group steps back into the spotlight to support the women's national team at this summer’s tournament
A Belfast indie pop band is hoping to score a hit with a new single to celebrate Northern Ireland qualifying for the Women’s Euros this summer.
3D Shark came out of retirement in 2016 to release a tribute single for the men’s team when they qualified for the Euros in France, collaborating with former BBC sports presenter Jackie Fullerton on the track.
And though it didn’t set the charts alight, Jackie Fullerton Says (I’m In Heaven When We Score) was popular with Northern Ireland supporters at the Fan Zone in Belfast.
Now, the four-piece — Pete Major, James Elliott, John Stewart and Paul Woods — has come out of retirement (again) to release a single in homage to the women’s team going to Euro 2022. And this time they have added a female on vocals, Niamh Rooney, with whom Pete performed in a previous outfit, The Holsteins.
Pete, who plays guitar with 3D Shark, said the band played the local music circuit between 2010 and 2015. All keen Northern Ireland fans, they decided to get together again in 2016 to record a single for the men’s team qualifying for the Euros.
So, when the women’s team made history with their win over Ukraine in April 2021 — just in time for Pete’s birthday — 3D Shark agreed the time was right to get their teeth into new music and record a single for Kenny Shiels’ dream team.
“When the men’s team qualified, we recorded two tracks: the one with Jackie Fullerton and another one called We’re Going To The Euros 2016,” said Pete.
“We’re all big fans of Northern Ireland. I’ve followed them all my life and was in France in 2016.
“We’d retired before then but got back together to record those songs. Only something monumental was going to coax us out of retirement and then the women qualified.
"We felt it was only fair to celebrate their brilliant achievement as well, as we’ve all been following their progress and would love to see them doing well.”
The foursome got together to record A Song For Euros at the Einstein Studios at Antrim, enticing singer Niamh Rooney to add her vocals to the track.
“It’s important that we have a female on the single, as four men in their 50s singing it might seem a bit bizarre,” said Pete.
“We thought it was a good way to show support, to include female representation, and Niamh was more than happy. It’s a fun song and the lyrics are very optimistic. We sing about winning the Euros.
“Northern Ireland might be the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, and it will be tough, but those women never cease to surprise us, so hopefully they’ll go out and cause a few more surprises. And if the song goes down well with the fans, that would be a bonus. We’d love it to become the unofficial anthem for the team this tournament.”
A Song For Euros will be released on the Time To Be Proud record label, on streaming services, Bandcamp and in physical format from selected record shops.