Move over The Undertones, Japanese Popstars, Nadine Coyle and, er, that guy from D:Ream, there’s a new generation of musical talent making a big noise in Derry, the UK’s City of Culture 2013. Lauren Murphytalks to some of the city’s hottest tickets to see what all the fuss is aboutOUR KRYPTON SON
The folk alt-rockers
Did the local music you grew up with have any effect on your own material?
Not really, to be honest! The type of stuff I write is generally influenced by different artists from all over the place.
I am a fan of Neil Hannon, though.
What’s your favourite thing about Derry?
It’s such a musical town! It’s a great pleasure to be a part of the network of musicians, too.
Your favourite venue?
Sandinos back bar is a favourite. An Culturlann’s a great spot to play, and there’s a new venue at the moment called the Glassworks. It’s a beautiful old building that used to be a church, then a library, and it’s gonna host some great gigs, including Other Voices.
What are your plans for 2013?
We have some big gigs in mind for next year, some festivals, and maybe some interesting musical collaborations. And album number two! I reckon it’s gonna be a pretty good year.
The singing, songwriting wünderkind
How important is it to you to be known as a musician from Derry?
I don’t really think about it. I’m proud of Derry, and the people of Derry; I think we’ve achieved so much and have such a wealth of talent. But in terms of my own identity, I’ve been brought up to avoid labels and just to be proud of who I am without having to align myself to anything. I’m just Bridie.
Who’s your favourite Derry act?
Wow, I have so many. The Clameens, The Reverb, Little Bear, Best Boy Grip, ill Minds, The Boatclub, Paddy Nash and the Enchiladas . . . so many more.
I suppose my favourites would be the Playhouse, and I’ve had some fantastic nights in Bennigans, and Sandinos hosts some amazing artists. They’re very sentimental to me because I did some of my very first gigs in those venues. Apart from those, I think St Columb’s Hall and the Glassworks are fantastic venues.
What do you have planned for 2013?
I hope to release a few singles, maybe an EP. I’m really excited about City of Culture coming to Derry. There are so many opportunities now for great local bands and I cannot wait to take part. I’m really excited about Other Voices coming to Derry and being involved in that again, too.
COOL DISCS, Foyle St
The record shop
One of the last outposts on Northern Ireland’s independent music retail landscape, Cool Discs (founder Lee Mason pictured with some happy customers, above) has provided the citizens of Derry with a diverse selection of CD and vinyl releases by international and local acts for the past 16 years.
CONOR MASON (Conor Mason, Our Krypton Son, Little Bear)
Do you think that Northern Irish acts get a fair amount of coverage south of the border?
With the amount of social media now, it’s not hard for bands from the north to get their music into blogs, radio, etc in the south. There’s also sections in Northern Irish magazines and radio shows, like Across the Line, that focus on promoting music from north to south and vice versa – so I think it’s all going in the right direction.