Figure of 8 set to rock CultureTECH tomorrow

Figure of 8, aka Dermot McGowan, brings an unique coloobartion to CultureTECH this weekend. pic by Matthew Logue
Figure of 8, aka Dermot McGowan, brings an unique coloobartion to CultureTECH this weekend. pic by Matthew Logue

A unique collaboration between a traditional Irish vocalist, a string quartet who have played with Lady Gaga and Kanye West and one of Derry’s finest electronic producers looks set to be one of the musical highlights of CultureTECH.

Derry’s Dermot McGowan, the one time organist in Red Organ Serpent Sound, and now working under the moniker Figure of 8, has teamed up with traditional vocalist Grainne Holland and the Prima String Quartet and are set to make their debut performance at An Cultural on Saturday night.

Dermot, who is now based in Belfast after a couple of years in London, says the collaboration became to take shape after his father introduced him to Grainne’s music.

“I loved her voice and thought it would be quite different to try doing something in Irish.

“I remixed one of Grainne’s tracks ‘Bata an Tsil’, had no idea how it would turn out, but it got a pretty good response online even in some trendy UK blogs,” he says.

After that remix, the notion of a live show quickly began to take shape.

“The idea for the show was something I’ve been dying to do for a while, to work with live strings visuals and electronics,” Dermot says.

“After the remix I thought it would be good to develop the idea further and work with Grainne for a full show.”

Dermot says music lovers can expect a real unique collocation between the three artists.

“It’s quite experimental. Grainne’s amazing and the Prima Quartet are unbelievable players so there’s no worries that end.”

The performance will be accompanied by surreal visuals cast over three screens. The music takes a wide range of influences across the vast, ever expanding, genres of modern dance music, from disco, garage, acid house, traditional North African rhythms, to the cinematic synth scores of Vangelis and John Carpenter.

Dermot’s stock has risen quickly since his Figure of 8 reincarnation. In the first 6 months of the project’s inception he has already supported International Electronic artists 2 many DJs, The 2 Bears and The Japanese Popstars, had releases on several reputable labels, radio play worldwide from as far afield as Vancouver to Jakhartha, and had an underground smash debut single.

The gig gets underway at 9pm - more details are online at