Derry Songwriters head to Moville this weekend

Ryan O'Dochartaigh is one of several notable Derry musicians competing at the National Songwriters Festival in Donegal this weekend. (190413JC11)
Ryan O'Dochartaigh is one of several notable Derry musicians competing at the National Songwriters Festival in Donegal this weekend. (190413JC11)

Some of Derry’s best singer-songwriters are headed to Moville this weekend for the 2nd annual National Songwriters Festival held in Moville and Greencastle.

Flying in from his home in Totnes in Devon to be the main judge will be Beatles road manager and talent scout Tony Bramwell. Tony was a childhood friend of both Paul McCartney and George Harrison and they appointed him as their road manager right from the start and he was with them throughout their careers.

Paul McCartney, with whom he is in regular touch and whose wedding he attended last year, asked Tony to be a roving ambassador for the Beatles and he makes a regular report to him on Moville’s BeatlesFest on the Lough which takes place from August 29 - September 1 this year.

The first semi-final will take place in the Sean Ti in Greencastle tonight, Friday, with the Grand Final in Rosatos in Moville on Saturday. Flying in from Manchester where he is making waves is Derry man Whoriskey. Matt has three songs into the final. Matt is part of a golden generation of Derry talent as his ex-classmate, Ryan O’Dochertaigh, who organises so much of the music in Derry, was in his class in school. Ryan has two songs through. Another of the golden generation through to the final is Jack Craig who finished 4th of 17 in the final of Derry’s Songwriter competition in Masons. Jack lived just two doors down from Matt for 20 years.

Matt was also surprised to find that another of his ex-classmates, John Deery, will be playing for Tony in Rosatos, with his band The Heads. Other Derry acts to have got through to the later stages are Derry author Paul Herron and Susie Blue.

Tony Bramwell, who was previously joint head of Beatles label Apple Records and then Polydor records with the Bee Gees, Slade, The jam and Roxy Music in his stable has now started his own record label.

Said Tony: “I’ve already signed up two Irish acts, a French guy and a Mexican act”.

He is hoping he’ll spot an act worth signing on his visit over here. It might just be one of the Derry acts that gets the nod. We’ll see on Saturday night!