Sometimes, you hear a band for the first time and you get the feeling you’ve caught the beginnings of something special. That was the case in the Castle Inn in Greencastle a few weeks ago when Derry band Deadpool made an unforgettable appearance at the now hugely established Moville Songwriters Competition.
In a contest largely dominated by soloists and performances with a folk or country edge, the band deserved instant credit for giving an unapologetic performance of their alternative sound. The four piece from Galliagh don’t describe themselves as being alternative. They don’t describe themselves as anything other than four guys from Galliagh and Shantallow wanting to write lyrics, put them to music and have people listen to them.
Playing live, they bring the kind of energy and performance you’d expect from a band who’ve been touring together for ten years. They’ve only been together for around six months but the standard is already very, very good.
In particular, Ink, a song penned by lead singer Aaron Walker with help from his fellow band members, is a showstopper.
If you close your eyes, you’ll be transported back to the nineties, the beginnings of Grunge and the heyday of Seatle showstoppers Nirvana.
All of the band are in their early twenties, all of them are from what are considered as some of the most socially disadvantaged parts of Derry.
“We’re disaffected and that’s what we write about,” says frontman Aaron. “We’re not polished, it’s important to us that we keep things real. We wouldn’t be telling the truth if we put out a shiny happy tune about the city of culture, because that has nothing to do with the reality of our lives.”
Drummer Daran says it’s about keeping everything simple and letting the music speak for itself.
“We enjoy playing music and at this stage we’re just at the beginning. We’re a very young band.”
This isn’t a band with a five year plan. They don’t want to waste time dreaming about making their millions until they have something solid to offer and in the coming months the local four piece are determined to get into the studio.
“We’re taking it one day at a time and hoping that at the end of the summer we’ll be able to put out a record and give people something to listen to,” says Aaron.
Guitarist David Falkler agrees: “We’ve only been together a few months so we really want to get more material together.”
The band got third place in the Moville Songwriters comp and that has spurred them on to write more. They’ve thanked organiser Gerry McLaughlin for giving them a chance to perform.
“We want to say a big thank you to Gerry and DylanFest, the Castle Inn and Rosato’s for having us. It was a memorable start to the year for the band.
“During the final in Rosato’s it was a pretty intimate setting for a four piece band but we’re glad we were there and it was a good chance to get our songs out there.”
Competition organiser Gerry McLaughlin was equally as enthusiastic about the band. In his candid blog on craicon.com, he said that although opinion was divided, the Derry lads were the talking point of the final night, performing a storming set to close the competition with.
Describing them as ‘sensational.’ Gerry continued: “They appeared at 7:00pm to set up and didn’t get up playing until later in the night. They had got two songs through to the final but as it didn’t seem appropriate for a full band to come all the way from Derry and spend all that time setting up so we gave them four songs to sing.
“The majority of the audience loved it and thought it was the most exciting part of the night – but a few didn’t like it. I have to say that I was in the former camp. I’d love to hear a full gig from them. Outside the DylanFest and BeatlesFest I would say they are the most exciting band I’ve heard around here since The Plea – who are now going on to great things both nationally and internationally. There were plenty of people who would love to have heard more from them. They have as good a chance as anyone from around these parts of making it.”
For more on Deadpool, visit https://soundcloud.com/deadpoolmusic