I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll but Derry’s young people like it...

(0402SL02) Photo: Stephen Latimer
(0402SL02) Photo: Stephen Latimer

The sound of drums, guitars and keyboard spill out into the cold, frosty night.

Young people from all over Derry have turned up at the Studio Two music club in the Skeoge Industrial Estate; they’re here to play music, learn music and for some it’s the chance they’ve been looking for to start up their own band.

Studio Two owes its existence to team at Great Shantallow Community Arts (GSCA) in Galliagh Park. Ollie Green is the organisation’s Artistic Director and he says that since they moved into the building they have have been inundated with requests to join from young people from every part of the city.

“We haven’t even officially opened the building yet but it’s going really well. We opened the doors to the young people on Tuesday night and I have to admit that we were really shocked by how many turned up.

“The main focus of the club and the project is to introduce and nurture musical talent. It’s a great space for the young people to meet up and play a bit of music. The response has been really positive, even it has been a bit noisy,” jokes Ollie.

Denis McLaughlin is a well known local musician and musical facilitator at the club. He says that he’s delighted to see so many young people enthused about music.

“It’s great to see the young people coming here at night to learn music. There’s a real mix of young people here but the one thing that they all have in common is that they are all passionate about music.

“Although a big part of the club is about music we want to use it as a place for them to mix, talk and have fun.”

Fifteen year-old Charlie Douglas only started at the music club this week. Charlie, from Derry, is a Red Hot Chilli Peppers fan and has been playing the guitar for the last two years. Charlie says that one of his relatives told him about the GSCA music club and explains that when he heard that other young people would be there he decided that he wanted to give it a go.

“I am really passionate about music,” says St. Columb’s College pupil Charlie. “I’ve been playing the guitar for a while now but I want to join a band. I saw a notice in the club looking for people to put their names down to join a band - hopefully something comes out of it.”

It’s 14 year-old Holly Doherty’s second year with the music club. As a result of getting involved last year Holly learned to play the guitar and was the lead singer in a band. She describes herself as a singer/song writer and enjoys listening to One Direction, Lil Wayne, Beyounce and Justin Bieber.

“I didn’t really know too many people here before I started the club but I have made plenty of new friends.

“I enjoy playing music with the other young people here - it’s great fun.

“I am interested in music outside of here. I even bought myself a guitar and I do music at school too.

“Music is a subject that I would definitely think about doing for A-level. It’s a lot of fun.

“I enjoy singing and writing songs. Hopefully one day one of my songs will be heard on the radio.”

Like Holly, James Healy first started attending the music club last year. He says that he’s delighted to see that the team at GSCA were able to move the group into a building with more space.

“This place is great. Apparently there’s going to be a studio for us to record our songs. I think that that would be brilliant if it happens.”

James, (15) is in a band called Seraphis; they have been together for just over a year and have recorded an E.P.

“It’s an exciting time because we are doing everything on our own. We have recorded the E.P. and it’ll be available to listen to on the Sound Cloud soon.

“The music club gives young people like myself to mix with other young people with similar interests. Not every teenager in Derry wants to be part of a GAA club or football team - some want to play music.”

Denis says that the progression of the GSCA music club is timely in the sense that it’s happening just before Derry’s City of Culture year next year.

“Derry is bursting with musical talent. All you have to do is listen to what’s on offer in the city centre at the weekend. The young people of the city are the future of music in Derry and it’s only through clubs like the GSCA one that they are able to express themselves together.

“The great thing about this club is that it’s open to everyone. We have young people here who are into death metal, country music and we even have a girl who plays the clarinet. There’s a great mix here and I am sure that some of the young people here will go on to bigger and better things.”

For further information on the GSCA Music Club contact GSCA on 028 71 357 443.