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* Glen Hansard, 43 Played: Outspan Foster, guitar After The Commitments, Hansard returned to his day job as the lead singer for Dublin-based band The Frames.The band enjoyed success in Ireland in the early 2000s, but Hansard’s life changed substantially in 2006, when his low-budget musical film about an Irish busker who falls in love with a Czech immigrant became a worldwide hit.
“For an artist who wanted to get out and prove himself as a songwriter, it was difficult,” he said recently.Once won Hansard and his co-star (and real-life partner) Markéta Irglová an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2007, and a stage version went on to become a hit on Broadway, winning eight Tony awards.It opened in London earlier this year to glowing reviews.The talented young cast of The Commitments, who had been plucked from working-class obscurity by the film’s director Alan Parker, became overnight stars when the film, adapted from Roddy Doyle’s novel, was a boxoffice success.The soundtrack to the film, which included soul staples such as In The Midnight Hour, Try a Little Tenderness and Mustang Sally, went on to sell 12 million copies, and ensured their fame burned bright.* Dave Finnegan, 46 Played: Mickah Wallace, drums Despite playing a drummer in the film, Finnegan, who lives in Southend-on-Sea with his partner Maxine, didn’t perform on the soundtrack and so never received any royalties.
In 2009, he revealed he had become an alcoholic, going on drinking sessions that lasted for days on end, and had tried to kill himself three times after failing to come to terms with life after The Commitments.
Earlier this month, he completed a solo tour of Australia, and says his shows are “probably about 85 per cent my own thing, and then The Commitments songs to keep people happy”.
He still performs Mustang Sally, realising there’d be hell to pay if he didn’t.
With his powerful, raspy voice, 17-year-old Strong was The Commitments’ standout performer, and a glittering career seemed to beckon.
Following the film’s success Stateside, he was invited to perform with the likes of Elton John, Bryan Adams, Ray Charles and The Rolling Stones, and signed a solo record deal with MCA Records worth a reputed $500,000.
However, sales of his debut album Strong, which featured original material, were anything but, and the label dropped him.