Members of an Irish music and dance act that only formed last year are counting down the hours until Saturday night when they will perform a song as Gaeilge in front of millions of viewers in the final of Germany's Got Talent.
Formed by Cork-based producer Seán McCarthy, Dúlamán – Voice of The Celts entered Das Supertalent 2017, the German part of the internationally successful Got Talent franchise, in the hope of generating some publicity ahead of a planned tour of Germany.
"We had booked a tour for Germany and we were hoping to promote it so we entered Das Supertalent. We were hoping to get through to the audition rounds and were hoping to get coverage which would be good for promotion and it kind of took off from then and we didn't really expect that," said McCarthy.
After initially submitting recorded material of their own, the troupe translated and recorded Cheri, Cheri Lady, a song by pop star and Supertalent judge Dieter Bohlen, into Irish which deepened German interest in the band.
“For us to do that, I think it kind of intrigued them as well and a lot of the audience have asked about it. They couldn’t understand that we could do that – that you could put Irish dance to a German pop song,” said McCarthy.
“That was our idea to make us stand out. We started with our own song and then went into a rendition of his. We thought he’d like it, but he absolutely loved it.”
The reaction was dramatic and the troupe quickly landed a three-record deal with Sony and recorded their first album in just a matter of weeks.
“We were thinking that it might be a bit of excitement that would fade out but it didn’t and suddenly flights were booked and we went over to Germany in October and recorded with a guy called Jeo Mezei, who is one of the top producers,” said McCarthy.
"He is a really big name in Germany. He has done a huge amount of pop. He has tons of gold and platinum records and has mixed music for Ronan Keating and Westlife."
Dúlamán will now battle it out in Cologne on Saturday night with 13 other acts in front of an expected TV audience of nine million people. The album is being launched ahead of the final and streamed online by German tabloid Bild.de.
Choreographed by Jacintha Sharpe and with music by Conal Early, the Dúlamán show features four lead vocalists, five musicians and 12 traditional Irish dancers.
"The idea behind the show is to take the best of the big Irish shows such as Celtic Woman, Celtic Thunder and Riverdance and create something new," said McCarthy.
Highly choreographed performances such as these require a lot of understanding between musicians and performers and luckily for Dúlamán, three of the four singers knew each other well before they joined the troupe.
Seán Keany (22), Conor McQuaid (21) and Gavin Ryan (22) all hail from Dunboyne, Co Meath and met while at school. The fourth singer, Aaron Doyle (21) , is from Monasterevin in Co Kildare.
“It’s completely mad. A few months ago Conor (McQuaid) wasn’t even in the group. We were sitting around having a pint and he was like, ‘I’d love to be doing that with you’. Then we heard there was an opening so Conor joined us,” said Keany.
“I was a year ahead of Gavin and he was a year ahead of Conor but we all knew each other through the music department in the school,” he added.
The three had performed in school musicals and Keany puts some of their success down to the help and guidance given by music teachers Nessa Olohan and Pat Morris.
“It is down to St Peter’s College and the work that they put into the music department and pushing people to keep going with performing,” he said.
The band is named after dúlamán which is the Irish for channelled wrack, a strain of yellow seaweed found on the Irish coast. It was also the subject of the song Dúlamán first made famous by iconic traditional band Clannad during the 1970s.
The winner will be decided by live vote and while Irish viewers may not participate, the show will be streamed live on tvnow.de and can also be viewed on Sky digital.