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Other Voices Derry – 8 reasons to watch

Other Voices Derry – 8 reasons to watch


6. Little Bear step in for Two Door Cinema Club

Little Bear
The last night in The Glassworks was supposed to feature a set from one of the most successful bands in Northern Ireland in recent years, Two Door Cinema Club. Unfortunately, the day before lead singer Alex Trimble completely lost his voice to Laryngitis. So, it was decided that local Derry band Little Bear who had made an impression on the Music Trail around the city the day before was to replace them. It’s a tall order for any band to fill in for a band who can sell out Dublin’s O2 and London’s Brixton Academy, but Little Bear were ready and able.

Despite clearly being a bit overwhelmed by their sudden elevation, they quickly showed us it was a good decision. They have melodic pastoral folk songs that sound a bit like Fleet Foxes at times. The employment of two mobile phones as a vocal aid on ‘The Devil is a Songbird’ was an eye opener and they continued in that vein with songs like ‘I’d Let You Win’, ‘The Few And Far Between’ which even featured some audience participation. It just goes to show, a band like this just needed a platform and a bit of luck to impress. The locals were beaming but so were the visitors who got to witness a great new band.

7. Sam Amidon performing ‘Streets Of Derry’

Beth Orton finished off Sunday’s night proceedings and was joined by fellow musician and partner, Sam Amidon on fiddle, a man who has a deep knowledge of folk in all its forms, not least of the Irish traditional variety. He was coaxed by executive producer Philip King to perform a cover from his as yet unreleased new album, of Andy Irvine & Paul Brady’s ‘The Streets Of Derry’. It was fitting rendition that married this city’s history with its present.

8. Savages – The brutal modern sound of ’80s Manchester


In between the local heroes Neil Hannon and SOAK on the first night, London’s Savages served up a set of austere rock inspired by ’80s Manchester. The influence of Joy Division and their ilk is all over the gothic cold wave tones of the band from the razor thin bass notes to the jarring guitar riffs. They have a magnetising drummer too, whose robotic rhythms were central to the performance.

Singer Jehnny Beth takes her cue from the jittery stage presence and paleness of Ian Curtis and the nervous energy of Suicide’s Alan Vega but adds a far-reaching choral range of a trained singer to create a voice all her own. Savages stood out with their jutting intensity.

Other Voices Derry is broadcast tonight at 11pm on RTE2. Look out for performances from the Other Room too featuring Swords, Riptide Movement, Best Boy Grip, George Ezra, Katharine Philippa and Ryan Vail.

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