Two Derry bands to launch music and arts festival in Donegal

John O'Neill
John O'Neill

Local bands Red Flare and Autumns will kick off the ‘Distorted Perspectives’ festival in Letterkenny on Thursday April 30.

Distorted Perspectives, now in it’s second year, is a four day alternative music and arts event, run by Donegal County Council Cultural Services Section. Over the course of the Bank Holiday

Artist Locky Morris who will play keyboards for Red Flare.

Artist Locky Morris who will play keyboards for Red Flare.

weekend, the Regional Cultural Centre will showcase an array of local, national and international acts.

Red Flare comprise of John O’ Neill, of The Undertones, on guitar and Locky Morris, local artist, on keyboards. The duo will be joined on stage with Ruairi O’ Doherty on bass and Connor McCarron on visual projection.

Their set comprises of low, medium and high tempo songs, and sometimes ranging between all three. They perform to a recorded back beat drum, often in a trip-hop style. John’s guitar ranges from clever hooks, to

jangly riffs, to unrestrained blasts. All in accordance with the vibe of the song, and in harmony with Locky’s creative chilled or spin tingling keyboards.

Their song, ‘Interiors’ is a slow, low tempo, beautiful track. The reverb of John’s guitar hooks, blending with Locky’s vocals and keyboards give the song a kind of dark, melancholic feel.

Another track, ‘Bell tree’, has John blazing on guitar and Locky fusing electronic sounds to a pounding tribal beat. The pair alternate the vibe of this track so cleverly, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was several individual

songs. It fuses punk with techno before climaxing into alternative dance.

Their songs have been compared to The Velvet Underground, Brian Eno, New Order, Portishead and Rare. John O’ Neill describes the sound of Red Flare as, ‘atmospheric Electronica’. He said:

“Our music could be likened to early Brian Eno mixed with the darkness of Nick Cave.”

Commenting on Red Flare’s songs, Locky Morris said: “The sounds are like, one day you’re in New York in the 70’s, and the next you’re on a psychedelic trip in San Francisco.”

Red Flare create sublime experimental, alternative music, and are two creative musicians at the top of their game. They exhibit sheer class,

which has come about by a lot of hard work and immense creativity.

The other Derry act, ‘Autumns’, are your archetypal ‘shoegazers’- a fusion of surf-rock and psychedelic rock. This makes them an ideal choice of act to feature on the Distorted Perspectives bill. They blend a garage-punk beat with a post-punk, mid 80s sound, often likened to the Jesus And Mary Chain.

Christian Donaghey describes his music as a ‘bedroom wall of sound’, which would be a pretty apt description. Guitar reverb and distortion feature prominently as well as Christian’s muffled vocal style.

His song, ‘Honey It’s Winter’, would be a prime example, were his vocals are so muffled, he’d make Jim Reid sound easily audible. For this track the vocal is spot on- it’s not always about what’s being

sung, it’s about the voice being an instrument.

Another track, ‘Je Vous Etre’ is a kind of mixture of early That Petrol Emotion sung in a Lydonesque (John Lydon) style.

For information on all this weekend’s gigs visit