There are few feelings like the serendipitous moment when you discover a band that stops you dead in your tracks, fills you with happiness and makes you want to dance or at the very least tap your toes and anything else in the near vicinity! I was fortunate enough to have a moment such as this by a random tweet that said quite simply… “..check out my bands new single… Enjoy!” Little did I know how much I would enjoy the new single and the discovery of The Logues! I owe a big “Thank You” to Kiel Cathers for that tweet and for introducing me to his band! So just who are The Logues you may be asking yourself? They are five lovely lads from a the Village of Castlederg situated off the River Derg in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Their music has been described as “psycho ceilidh”, “whiskey-soaked folk” and “partying music” all very apt descriptions of a musical style they have made all their own. The members of the band are as follows:
Logan McCool – Vocals, Tin Whistle, Bass
Kiel Cathers – Vocals, Guitar, Tambourine Man
Christopher ‘Beers’ Speer – Banjo, Guitar
Jesse Darragh – Bass, Mandolin
Darrell Nelson – Drums
The Logues had an auspicious beginning as a band on St Patrick’s Day in 2006 when they joined together to fulfill a drunken promise of a gig. Ever since that opportune day, they have been entertaining audiences throughout Ireland, the UK and various other countries with their folksy Celtic rock extravaganza.
In July 2011, The Logues released their debut album “Tough at the Bottom” and were signed to the AMA Music Agency later that year (think Paddy Casey, The Coronas, Clannad, Mary Black, and Cat Dowling, to name but a few). They’ve performed at various festivals, headlining at quite a few and on average play 150 gigs annually. Some spectacular highlights of this young band of merrymakers include performing at The Pogues official after-concert party in London and having their debut album reach #4 (yes, you read that right… #FOUR) in the Amazon UK Folk Download Charts; mainly due to word of mouth promotion by their wildly devoted fans they’ve been cultivating over the years.
This being said, the guys in the band were kind enough to answer a few questions to give us all some insight into their lives, their music and what’s coming next…
How did you all meet?
Chris (Speer, banjo) and I grew up about a mile from each other and went to the same primary and high schools, high school being where we met Logan (vocals/tin whistle) and Darrell (drums). So we all got into music at around the same time: I have Chris to thank for giving me a pirated* copy of ‘Appetite For Destruction’ which convinced me almost immediately that I wanted to be a musician, successful or not! We then acquired Jesse (bass) through a band that Darrell played in. *piracy is bad, kids.
What was the first tune you recorded?
I think it was I Don’t Love You At All, a song that Logan wrote when he was 16 that has been a set closer of ours since our first gig. People just seem to go crazy to it! We’re considering re-recording it this year because the original was a very lo-fi home recording. We also filmed a low budget video for it, which consisted of us getting extremely drunk and dancing around (our hometown) Castlederg.
The video is here:
Who are you influenced by? Why?
General influences would be the beloved Irish sitcom Father Ted – few long journeys to gigs take place without at least one Ted quote. Also the genius author Flann O’Brien, and general overheard conversations in bars. Musically Logan (the songwriter) takes cues from old English punk bands, along with Big Country, The Pogues and traditional music in general. Mix that up with some Bushmills and a few White Russians and you got yourself a song, baby.
What’s your favourite musical memory as a band?
This is a tough one. I can’t speak for the other guys…but I will. I’d have to say the first time we played in Holland, at an Irish festival in a place called Hardenberg. It was in 2011 and although we had played outside Ireland before, in London, this was a new and incredible experience. We were anxious about how our music would go down to an audience unfamiliar with our genre but people went crazy.
Who are you currently listening to?
I write this particular answer in our van on the way back from a gig in Dungloe, County Donegal. It was fun. Darrell’s listening to Zac Brown Band, Chris banjo is listening to The Boss, Logan is listening to Iron Maiden and I’m listening to Ryan Adams’ new single and the new Gaslight Anthem stuff. Jesse is sleeping so I didn’t ask him.
Best gig so far?
It’s like picking a favourite child. Last week we headlined a festival in our hometown of Castlederg which was amazing. For context Castlederg has a population of 2000 people and 700 showed up to see us and they were great. Apart from that, there was Dubai on Paddy’s Day this year, to 4000 people from all corners of the globe. That was a special gig.
Where do you find inspiration from to write songs?
Woops, I should have read this question before writing the influences answer! Again, overheard conversations in bars are a big inspiration. There are lots of characters in rural pubs and their phrases sometimes make their way into lyrics. Incidentally alcohol helps the creative juices to flow sometimes! The song Broomstick Boogie for example was built around a lilt that Logan started singing in a pub while an old man was dancing with a broomstick. Also, love and heartache are big inspirations, of course!
Apart from plugging our new single Bless The Land we’ll be releasing a new single or two, hitting Holland in October, Dubai next March, an English tour in April, hopefully Germany in August and loads of Irish pubs and festivals in between. Come see us! We don’t bite!
Undeniably, I’ve come quite late to the party that is “The Logues”. However, I am so glad to have found their high-spirited music that is uniquely this bands gift to the masses.
Their new single, “Bless The Land” dropped on the 4th of August, 2014 and is definitely destined to become a new favourite for new and old fans alike. Just click on the links above, give them a listen and I promise you’ll be hit by that jolt that all good music gives you and be left wanting more! So, go on, listen to the album while you’re there and then just go and download the tunes … trust me, you will want them in your playlists! And, if you have the opportunity to see “The Logues” live, take it! I know I will!
It started with a song… and ended with a smile!
If this inspired you… a cup of coffee would be lovely!
For more info on “The Logues” and their music, just follow these links: