Derv’s Voyage of Discovery – NotSoWeekly Newsletter (Vol 3)


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Photo: Derval Mc Cloat

Greetings peoples and apologies for ‘le silence’. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Thing is, I’ve been transitioning into a ‘career’ as a full-time writer and as with any big upheaval, it’s been more than a little life-changing to say the least. Anyway, hey ho, we’re there now! Que sera sera!

Okay, so in a WAY busier than average early Summer season, there’s a shed load of music n’ news for ‘you/me/us’ to get acquainted with; so no dilly dallying, let’s get straight to it and kick off Vol 3 (in case you missed it, here’s a link to Vol 2)

First up y’all, a dash of fan-girling. Long time ‘admiree’ of the blog, Dorset gal Gris-de-Lin, has been hi-bindering around the Antipodes and Europodes with one Gemma Ray. Within a hair’s breadth of their return from a gander around Oz/New Z, the pair along with Andy Zammit high-tailed it off to swan around Switzerland and Germany finishing up at Berlin’s Baustelle Neues Schloss (if anyone cares to tell me what that means, I’m all ears) and to prove it, we have a photo!

If you still don’t know how damned-fine a singer/musician Gemma is, then feast your senses on this short live film taken during a recent gig in Rome.

As per, our newsletter is accessorised by a bejewelled Spotify playlist, in which you’ll find sonic samples from both the G’s.

Now unless you’ve been living in a dark cave on the Outer Hebrides or were turned into a frog by the the local branch of your witches coven, you’ll be aware of the biggest tour in town passing through an arena near you. Derv was lucky enough to get to see Radiohead play a packed out 3Arena, Dublin the week of #OKNOTOK and the 20th anniv of OK Computer.

It was, a boiling cauldron in which the frenergetic roars of the crowd reverberated thricefold off the gigantic dome-like ceilings.  Radiohead (11, 886, 308 likes on FB and counting) were magnificent in voice, instrumentation, performance and form.

They were, as we would say, in fine fettle, with frontman Thom Yorke gyrating like a buck hare with St. Vitus’ dance with all of the verve and flexibility of a man half his age.  Stage right, (Here’s) Jonny was enacting his very own version of The Bends (over the keyboards), while stage left gave us the ever statuesque Ed vocalising stunning renditions of falsetto harmonies to Yorke’s lead.

It was without doubt the best live performance by any music act/artist I have ever witnessed. The only downsides were:-

  1. Being physically assaulted by the Corkonian nutjob standing to the left of me – if you’re reading this, I don’t bruise that easily!
  2. Being physically assaulted by the oversized fully stuffed totebag on the right hand shoulder of the guy with the jigging legs in front of me, Cheers
  3. Being physically assaulted by the 40+degrees indoor temperatures – it was like a sweaty hellish furnace. White top, bad move 😦
  4. The very noticeable absence of a certain Creep from the setlist

So, for those of us who didn’t get to see their first ever smash performed live ‘in person’, here’s Radiohead performing the Pablo Honey anthem live at Glastonbury (where they were rockin’ but not as rollin’ as they were in Dublin!!).


There are so many new releases zipping around the stratosphere right now that in order for us to catch up, the easiest thing to do is to emulate them and accelerate at high speed.

Harry Styles Harry Styles (Album) – “And tonight Matthew, I’m gonna be David Bowie/Beck/Prince”. On your bike mate. A poor man’s Robbie Williams without the songwriting talent of Guy Chambers. DerVerdict – Dreadful tosh that borders on identity theft. Run. Very Fast.

Alison Moyet Other (Album) – Alison Moyet has created an album of sheer beauty, an undiluted joy that navigates rivers of lyrical poesy and soars, like the Essex singer’s voice, through an abundance of musical melodrama.

Eloquent, elegant and eschewing the jazz-pop style which became her post-’80s signature, Other is a masterpiece. An adventure through a lyrical wonderland set against a backdrop of well-matured, modern day electronica. DerVerdict – If you only buy one record …  PS See the 5min vid below of Alison discussing the album.

The Strypes Spitting Image (Album) – The Strypes, who made their ‘world debut’ on the Studio 4 stage of Ireland’s grand-dame of talk shows, the Late Late, are a band steeped in the youthful yore of The Beatles, Elvis Costello and some other band that’s hanging onto the tip of my tongue for dear life (when I shake them off I’ll let you know). Or is it the shades of James Honeyman Scott’s helter skelter guitar style?

Either way, Spitting Image ups the ante, a bold yet natural move for a young band previously known for their Bo Diddley R&B meets proto-punk vibes.  If you’re familiar with the works of Tilbrook/Difford/Holland aka Squeeze, (I Need A Break From) Holidays will resonate. DerVerdict – A Must buy, for sure.

Broken Social Scene – Stay Happy (Single). There are similarities here with Norwegian band Broen (when they’re not lurch-rappin’). Toronto natives Broken Social Scene have a new album in the post – Hug of Thunder – which should arrive on your doormat 7th July (via City Slang). Ahead of its release, the multi-faceted Canadian outfit have dropped lush single Stay Happy.

Opening with a vocal lifted straight out of Barbarella and a melody floating through a tropical night sky, the track rapidly transitions into a melodramatic fanfare of funky beats, swaggering bass and glorious choral harmonies, all with a twist of lush shiny brass.  More to follow! DerVerdict – Yeah baby!

Broen – You (Detective) (Single). Speaking of Broen, BBC radio and most recently Lauren Laverne, appear to have fallen in love with this track. It’s a serious ramp up from their previous outings, a maturing of what was previously a sound somewhat in slight disarray or a style reaching out for its place in an ever changing musical landscape.  With You, Broen have nailed a sound that does justice to their redoubtable talent.  DerVerdict – Dive In!

Nick HaywardMountaintop/Baby Blue Sky (Double A). No your eyes are not deceiving you.  Yes, this is Nick ‘Haircut 100 – Fantastic Day’ Hayward and he has returned to the fold with new music, a new signature style and new specs. Mountaintop is Everley Bros gone yeehaw Bluegrass, while Baby Blue Sky casts a few backwards glances to the 80s whilst nestling in a predominantly easy listening Tom Petty-esque pop-rock landscape.

Nick Hayward’s new album Woodland Echoes is due out later this Summer. DerVerdict – No set stylistic pattern makes it difficult to gauge which audience Hayward is aiming for! TBC


August RosenbaumNebula (Single). An absolute heavyweight of an instrumental set on classical-Spanish pillars, performed with emotive aplomb. Curious, dark and exceptionally imaginative. DerVerdict – Worth exploring. 

Depeche ModeGoing Backwards (Single). Oooh, just for a minute there, I thought the mighty Mode had crossed back to days of yore and greatness. That said, there are shades of old in here. Stylistically, Going Backwards somewhat does just that, sitting somewhere around Ultra/Exciter territory. DerVerdict – Hardcore fans will love it, Wilder diehards will pour scorn. Plus ca change.

OtherkinReact (Single). While still brimful of clangour, sass and swagger, and with a white-hot guitar solo in the mix, React sees flame-throwing Irish rockers Otherkin actually take it down a few notches into Strokes-like territory.

With the announcement of a debut album, OK, and a seemingly endless list of European tour dates (starts Newcastle 30th September – ends Dublin’s Button Factory 15th December), Otherkin’s flame is set to continue to burn througout the rest of 2017. DerVerdict – #musicyouneedtohear

MO Nights with You (Single). The Danish singer has flatlined with this hapless, hookless shank of vacant pop. DerVerdict – Nope.

Spring BreakersShaking Hands (Single). Yet another new Norwegian musical spin-off sees Ludvig Moon frontman Anders Killerud (to whom I believe congratulations are in order!!) pair up with Panda Panda co-lead Hakon Kjenstad. Their dreamy debut single Shaking Hands is released under the Spring Breakers moniker. Think sitting inside a slowly spinning top made of marshmallow and cloud. DerVerdit – Yup!

MotionsSay Goodbye/Coincide (Double A). Released on 29th June, this Double A marks the third release from Dublin duo, Dave Nulty and Tom Daly.  It also marks a seismic shift in the quality of both their songwriting and arranging, with Coincide a serious contender for alt-rock anthem of the Summer. Fans of the Gahan Condemnation vocal will be transfixed. DerVerdict – Ones to Watch. Closely.


Festival season is once again upon us and with Body & Soul and Glastonbury now relegated to the blurry mists of hazy memories, we look forward to more upcoming carnivalesque soujourns in muddy/grassy/lumpy fields eating falafel/burgers/<<insert rude word>> whilst quaffing endless gallons of caffeinated drinks/alcoholic drinks/<<insert rude word>>.  Festis to look out for in the coming weeks are, (you couldn’t make this up!) …

Latitude – UK – 13th – 16th July – Headline acts incl The 1975, Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons, along with other stalwarts such as Goldfrapp, Placebo and our own Imelda May.

Longitude – IRL – 14th – 16th July – Headline acts incl Stormzy, The Weekend, and ditto Mumford, as well as homies Picture This, Aine Cahill & Bitch Falcon.

Other festivals hitting a field near you this July are :- Noisily (Leicester) 6th – 9th July, BST Hyde Park (London) 1st to 9th July, Citadel (London) 16th July, Tramlines (Sheffield) 21st – 23rd July, and the one I’d go to if I had my way – Afropunk Fest (London) 22nd – 23rd July which features the wonderful Lianne le Havas along with NAO and Thundercat. For ticket info, click on the festival name.


Last week was one of the best weeks for new music that we’ve had on #FOTN in yonks.  Much to my delight silken voiced Aislinn Logan ran away with the public vote.  Alongside her you’ll find gems from Hydromag, The Hangmen, Perks and so much, much more. If you’re an emerging artist, up and coming musician, do please check out our site and give serious thoughts to uploading your music to our Dropbox. Tune into the latest faves here –

And finally, finishing up with some GOOD NEWS VIBES!

So, aside from Ed Sheeran announcing myriad Irish dates (4th – 16th May) on his upcoming 2018 live tour – tickets go on sale July 8th peeps for details, the super good news is that the Other Voices Irish music festival has announced it will be departing its native Dingle shores this Summer for the riverbanks of Berlin no less.

As part of an initiative supported by the Irish Dept of Foreign Affairs & Trade in conjunction with Creative Ireland, Other Voices will host a live event at the Riverside Studios on 13th July; a satellite-event of Tech Open Air Berlin 2017.

The first in a series, this new OV project aims to both increase awareness of contemporary Irish music and artists within the German market, and strengthen what is already a solid bond with our Deutsche counterparts.

Featured artists will include New Jackson (David Kitt), Berlin-based Tom Adams, Talos, Soulé, Them There and Caoimhín Ó’Raghallaigh of The Gloaming fame.  For further details and ticket info, check here

As usual, we give you a parting gift of a specially curated Spotify playlist, below, to complement our latest rambling, shambling newsletter.  You might indulge me with a spot of straw polling below … Hope you enjoyed, and as Dave Gahan would say – “See You Next Time!”

DervSwerve x



MFI Series Of London Events To Showcase Irish Acts To UK Music Industry

A series of London-based gigs to showcase up and coming Irish music acts has been announced by Music From Ireland.  The Irish music export office in conjunction with hosts London Irish Centre, will this  month bring the best of emerging Irish talent across the sea to the UK capital for a succession of gigs.  Kicking off on Thursday 29th June in the LIC’s Camden HQ, the series is expected to run until the end of 2017, if not beyond.

The platform was developed with the UK industry in mind, as it bids to bring contemporary Irish acts to the attention of a wealth of music professionals ranging from promoters to PRs to programmers.  The project is supported by Culture Ireland, the government subset of the Dept. of Arts, responsible for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide.  Speaking of the showcase series, Christine Sisk, Director of Culture Ireland explained:

“Culture Ireland puts showcasing at the centre of its strategy for international promotion of the arts as by reaching international promoters showcasing succeeds in generating further career opportunities for artists globally. The new quarterly ‘Music From Ireland’ showcase, run by the London Irish Centre in partnership with Music from Ireland offers a great platform for Irish musicians in London to reach promoters, agents and programmers and gain UK touring contracts.” 

The series opener on June 29th will feature three non-Dublin based acts: Cork native Talos, Northern Irish artist Naomi Hamilton who performs under the Jealous of the Birds moniker, and Limerick based Rusangano Family.

Three extremely diverse acts, they make for a broad and colourful representation of the modern Irish music scene in 2017.

Jealous of the Birds is an everything and then some singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who dabbles in myriad sounds so as to render her style impossible to nail into one single classification.  Travelling through the dark into light, her songs are a fine balance of hushed poignancy and electric vibrancy.

Having released her debut Capricorn EP in early 2015, this young songwriter has gone from strength to strength amassing a strong fanbase that includes media from both North and South of the border.  Her leisurely indie-folk meets hyperactive post-punk debut album Parma Violets, was released to broad critical acclaim in April, 2016.

Check out the video of the chanteuse’s live BBC N/Ireland performance Leonard Cohen’s sublime Famous Blue Raincoat; I challenge your spine not to tingle.

Breaking Tunes profile:
• Web:
• Twitter: @jeliofthebirds
• Facebook: @jealousofthebirdsofficial

Cork native Eoin French is the man behind the Talos music project.  With a voice not unlike that of legendary Talk Talk frontman Mark Hollis (there, I’ve finally said it), like his mysterious predecessor, his voice flits through bars of insanely emotive instrumentation. Brimful of the Cork man’s vocal nuances and peppered with stark imagery and keenly felt lyrics, his debut album Wild Alee is a sure fire cert when it comes to best album 2017 nominations further down the road.

Check out the breathtaking visual accompaniment to Talos’s latest single Contra, a devastatingly and beautifully eerie song about loss and death crafted in a delicate shell of hope and light. Shot in the West of Ireland , the film was directed by the singer’s friend, renowned photographer Brendan Canty (of feelgoodlost)

• Breaking Tunes profile:
• Web:
• Twitter: @talostalostalos
• Facebook: @TalosTalosTalos

Last but most certainly not least, Limerick based Rusangano Family is a triumvirate comprising two MCs and a DeeJay. Winners of the Choice Music Prize album of the Year 2016 for their self-released album, Let The Dead Bury The Dead, this hip hop/rap/Afro beats outfit are at the cutting edge of the contemporary Irish music scene. In fact, they are everything that is good about the rapidly changing, diverse Ireland in which we now find ourselves.

Check out their searingly on-point new single I Know You Know the lyrics for which you’ll find laid out underneath the video on YT and I strongly urge you to read them! Slick funk bass-lines and silky synths blunt somewhat the sharpest edges of the damning lyrics.  A song about depression, place and isolation within society (least that’s my interpretation), the striking visual accompaniment, below, makes compelling viewing.

That’s a ‘rap’.

• Breaking Tunes profile:
• Web:
• Twitter: @RusanganoFamily
• Facebook: @RusanganoFamily

A limited number of ticket for the inaugural showcase gig on 29th June in Camden are open to the general public. Full details and tickets here.

If you don’t go, you are missing one heck of a line up and what promises to be one hugely memorable night.  In the meantime, you can feast your ears on more sounds from the three featured artists by streaming this 9-track playlist which I’ve pulled together from their various catalogues.  Enjoy.



Still ‘Early Days’ For Tim Chadwick

Dubliner Tim Chadwick released his first single Blindfolded just over a year ago in April 2016.  It was more than well received by Irish music media with comparisons with JV Mc Morrow and BF Leftwich tripping over themselves for page space.

Fast forward to May 2017 and the release of Chadwick’s debut EP entitled Early Days.  And while it still is, early days that is, the singer has already made more than an indelible mark on the contemporary Irish folk-pop scene. Although I include the term folk in its loosest interpretation, as the Dubliner’s sound leans more towards an alt-pop disposition rather than the more typical ‘nonny’ acoustic-guitar in a fair isle jumper folk-style.

I could reel off a list of ‘sounds likes’ and ‘in the mould of’ but that would be disingenuous to a singer-songwriter who has, all hyperbole parked on the hard shoulder, a crackingly good and exceedingly delicious voice. Thoughtfully curated nuances shadow this light as a feather vocal instrument, which despite its subtle mellowness has sufficient weight behind it to be utterly convincing.

Tim Chadwick’s contemplative and at times visceral lyrics, emotive instrumentation, and charmer of a voice all speak for themselves.  This is one of those rare occasions when I’m simply happy to let the songs do the talking …

Gig wise the only listing appears to be a late September date at The Sugar Club, details here.

For further information, you should check in regularly with Tim’s Facebook page as I would imagine that other lives are in the offing.

Early Days is out now via iTunes – hop out your wallet and shop here.

Before you do though, check out the wonderfully entertaining video accompaniment to Tim’s latest single, the infectiously up-tempo Never Wanted You, which stars dancer extraordinaire, Erik Cavanaugh.

You can follow Tim and DervSwerve on Twitter to keep up to speed with all the latest news.

Sweet Georgia Gazes Heralds A More Mature Dayflower Sound

On the 31st October 1988, Liverboys The La’s released an infectious jangle that was so simplistic and uncluttered it made for a welcome antidote to the alt-psych-dance fusion that was the Madchester sound. With a melody that wrapped itself around your memory like an endearing cobra, There She Goes, became one of the greatest and most memorable Indie anthems of all time.

Five years earlier, a quartet of pioneering genii dropped the S-bomb onto the ToTP studio and the world of music was irrevocably changed as Hand in Glove provided our first meet and greet with the legend that is Johnny Marr.

Why am I starting a post on a Dayflower single with a meander about The La’s and Marr? Well might you ask! And the answer is thus. Because that’s what I hear when I play this Sweet Georgia Gazes – Marr riffing with The La’s – and it’s like sweet manna from heaven on the day before payday.

A brief opening of backwards wonk leads into a charge of propulsive drumming, which akin to that of a certain Spellbound Budgie, hurtles its way through an intricate writhe of guitar blaze and billows of angelic vocals provided by artist/photographer Leonie DuBarry-Gurr, whose voice by the way is simply delightful. Ever the master of subtlety, bassist Dhonau downplays his contribution which acts as an anchoring counter to Alex Clemence’s trademark dreamy vocal.

Parking the hyperbole, suffice it to say, this is a song somewhat akin to the older self looking back on its younger ‘heart-shaped’ self.

With its nod to the Marr-eseque guitar style and side-step away from the more syrupy sound we’ve come to know, Sweet Georgia Gazes is proof positive that Alex Clemence’s songwriting and the band’s capacity for quirky yet innovative arrangement, have developed and matured to such an extent as to take Dayflower’s sound up to the next level.

With a video in the offing you can expect more gazing from Sweet Georgia … for now though, you’ll have to settle for the more than retro lush audio of Dayflower’s hazy days gaze.

Dayflower is: Alex Clemence: vox/guitar, David Dhonau: bass/vocals/tambourine, Chris Merriman: electric guitar/vocals and Simon Bland: drums/vocals.  The band will play their next Candy Dust gig on 30th June as per in The Cookie, Leicester, full details here.

Follow Dayflower on Facebook and Twitter, and DervSwerve likewise!