Just seven months after a local publican spotted them on youtube and gave them their first gig, two Inishowen teenagers have just celebrated the launch of their debut album.
After impressing crowds in Moville, Carndonagh, Muff and beyond, 16-year-olds James McDonald from Moville and Niamh Cregan from Muff, better known as James & Niamh have taken the plunge and recorded their first album.
The album which is simply entitled James&Niamh includes seven live tracks which have proved most popular with their fans - a difficult task according to James. The Moville Community College students say they have been overwhelmed with the response they have received so far.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday, James explained how he never thought in their wildest dreams they would have an album so soon after their first proper gig.
“When we first started I thought this is something I’d love to do, but not after just seven months, I thought maybe a few years, but we’re so delighted to actually have the album now. It’s a great feeling.”
The two young stars recorded their album in Derry’s North West Institute thanks to student and local musician George McCormick.
“We first got to know George when we took part in the Up Scene music project last year, then he approached us in October and asked if we would be interested in recording an album. He is currently doing a course in Derry and he was able to produce the whole album.
“They have a new recording studio in the Institute and it was a great experience. We were finished the whole thing in two and a half hours.”
Despite being no strangers to performing, at their launch on Sunday night, the teenage duo had one of their best nights yet.
“We’ve been so happy with the amount of support we have had from people, but Sunday night in Rosato’s bar at the launch was really special,” said Niamh.
“People were up dancing in the bar and it was a great atmosphere. We brought 35 CDs with us to the bar that night and we were sold out at the end, we couldn’t believe it.
“It has been such a strange experience for us, I was having dinner in Rosato’s recently and they were playing our CD. It was so weird, a great feeling but weird. It’s definitely something we’d like to keep up in the future.”
Modest as ever, the pair both claim they would not be where they are today without the support of their family and friends.
“We couldn’t do it without them,” said James. “For a start they drive us around! But seriously they have been a great help and it’s really appreciated. We’d also like to like George for making the album, and Eddie in Rosato’s for giving us our first gig and hosting the launch on Sunday.”
And with gigs, weddings and more plans for 2012 it seems the future is still very bright for these two young students. To pick up one of their CDs, there is a limited number available in Rosato’s Bar, Malin Road Moville or failing that come along to any of their gigs. They are playing next in the Persian Bar, Carndonagh on 21st January, but for the full line-up follow them as ‘James Niamh’ on Facebook.