One is a well-known local crooner. The other, a former member of local heroes Tie The Boy. Now, musical cousins Martin John McCafferty and Tim Hegarty have come together to create a powerhouse of a new band they call DERRY...
Hailing from one of Derry’s best known musical families - the MacCafferty clan - both Tim Hegarty and Martin John McCafferty have spent a lifetime immersed in music. Now based in the picturesque city of Bath, England, the duo are currently making waves as DERRY and they’re hoping that some homespun magic might help propel them to greater things.
The ‘Journal’ caught up with one half of DERRY, songwriter Tim Hegarty, to discover more about this aptly-named musical act.
Besides being the drummer in Tie The Boy, Tim has previously had success in the past writing for the likes of disco-legend Gloria Gaynor, D:Ream and Tori Amos. Nowadays, however, he’s saving up all those songwriting skills for his own albums.
“As a songwriter, I was recording for myself when I decided to get my cousin Martin involved and we had suddenly created DERRY,” Tim explains.
“There’s nothing political about the band’s name, we just liked the idea of calling it DERRY because it’s where we both lived!” he laughs.
“We then got John Baggot, the keyboard player from Portishead, involved. John’s a really nice guy and, even though he plays with the likes of Robert Plant, he liked our music so much he was well up for being involved. Then we got the bass player from ‘The The’ and Julian Cope, James Eller, too, which was just brilliant. It’s great to have such top players involved, and Bath seems to attract all these musical types too, handy for us!”
With influences as diverse as Van Morrison, The Kinks, Sinatra, Damien Rice and The Stereophonics, Martin John and Tim Hegarty believe that music should be written from life’s experiences – “if you haven’t felt it, you can’t sing it”– and so their debut album is full of songs that reflect the illusion, the delusions and the reality of life.
Speaking of his fellow musician, Martin John McCafferty, Tim went on: “Martin’s my cousin and he’s a good looking young lad with a great voice. Martin is at that perfect age where he will appeal to loads of people - that’s the aim anyway! He has that certain magnetism that can win people over too. The Mel Gibson effect, as my wife calls it!”
Martin John is also an actor currently on Sky’s smash hit series ‘Game of Thrones’ series. Whilst the ‘pop’ eleament of their songs remain, the tracks from the album are mostly about the last four years of songwriter Tim’s life - a period which saw many major upheavals including the loss of his mother, his family business, and illness. However this debut album is not a rage but a paean to life and the songs have strong melodies and choruses that linger in the mind.
Now the ambitious duo are hoping to secure a deal for distribution and marketing in London. “We don’t think we need a record label - labels nowadays just aren’t the same,” Tim says. “for a record label to take you seriously these days, you really need 5,000 likes or more on Facebook. But if we get the right distribution and marketing, then we can get on iTunes and can actually let people known that its there.”
“We set up a Facebook page and have had great support from Derry people so far - we had 1,000 likes in just ten days! So realistically, that’s what we’re hoping people back home can do to help through Facebook. We’d love Derry people to get behind us and register their support. We’re flying the flag for Derry and we can do this!”
Speaking of his hometown after years spent living in Bath in the West Country, Tim says: “It’s all happening in Derry at the minute! Although we actually haven’t heard that much about the whole City of Culture title in Bath. To be honest, I think they could do with a lot more publicity in England to let people know what’s on and what they could travel there to see.”
Recorded in Bath and produced by Alex Pilkington the debut album contains some sublime performances. As the band now start to master their final tracks they are already gaining interest from the major players in London – and this is before they have even played their first gig!
So get online and start listening and liking now! See: www.facebook.com/derrytheband