"Titanic"'s below-deck band made it on board with the help of Guinness

When Leonard DiCaprio and Kate Winslet forged their love with a loose-limbed jig below deck in “Titanic,” the music was provided by the rowdy quintet Gaelic Storm. Fans who’ve wanted to dance like the $600 million lovers now have their chance: The Santa Monica-based Irish band is featured on “Back to Titanic” (Sony Classical), the soundtrack sequel newly in stores, and on their own debut album, “Gaelic Storm” (Higher Octave Records).

Gaelic Storm (who have their own website ) can credit drunken exuberance for their “Titanic” appearance. The band formed just three months before the film’s music supervisor, Randy Gerston, spotted them in June 1996 at one of their regular Sunday night pub gigs. It was a particularly loose show lubricated by “quite a few pints,” according to vocalist and bodhran (Irish frame drum) player Steve Wehmeyer. Gerston said the band’s relaxed style was ideal for the steerage scene, and asked them for a demo tape.

“We slaved over the demo, thinking, ‘Oh, this is our big chance,’ and spent hours in the studio putting it together,” says Wehmeyer. “But Gerston called back and said, ‘No, this isn’t what we’re looking for at all. It’s too tight, too polished. What do we have to do, get you guys drunk?’ We said, ‘Yes.’ So a few weeks later, we went into Sony Studios here in Santa Monica with our instruments and five cases of Guinness, and spent about ten hours in the studio. When we came out we had ten tracks laid down. They used two-and-a-half tracks in the film.”

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