East Cork underage bands given a chance to shine at charity gig.
Published – East Cork Journal – Thursday, November 22nd 2007.
Green fields surround the secluded house in the middle of the countryside. All that can be heard is the echo of guitars and the clash of cymbals. The room is tiny. It can only barely fit all the gear that the band need. It is the one place that they have the freedom to practice. No neighbors to complain and no one to disturb them. It may not be the perfect place but for DeadNight this is home.
Local band DeadNight was formed earlier this year when five young guys decided that they wanted to combine their talents and to make themselves known. The members of the band are all aged 16 and 17 and some of them have been in bands before.
I met with DeadNight’s bass guitarist earlier this week. Steve is 17 years old and from Midleton. He had been in bands before when he was younger and feels that being able to play with other talented musicians gave him the experience needed to be part of DeadNight. While it may all seem like fun and games for the band they have come across many difficulties in their short time together. With two of the band members studying for the leaving cert. it is often difficult to find time.
“I’m in school all week and my only day off is Sunday, it is the only day that we all have free to practice and sometimes one day a week doesn’t feel like enough time” comments bass guitarist Steve.
The other problem that the band has and it is a problem that most underage bands encounter at some stage is that they cannot be in pubs after 9pm at night. Of course it is the law and because of this there can not be any exceptions but sometimes it just doesn’t seem fair that the bands can’t play at night. There are underage gigs organized but as DeadNight say “There are monthly all ages gigs called Freak house organized by another school goers but we still have had problems getting more regular gigs in pubs”. This makes it difficult for y
oung people to get practice out in the real world in front of pubs full of people. One local pub owner realizes this but says “unfortunately it is the law, if I could I would have young people playing in my pub, it would give them good experience and would bring me more business. No one would loose out as strict rules could be enforced regarding alcohol”. As a father of two teenagers this pub owner is aware that DeadNight are not the only group that encounters this problem. He talks about his own family and how the same law will affect his children too.“My son has just turned 14, he plays the guitar and wants to play in a band, hes too young yet but in a couple of years if he joins a band I wont even be able to let my own son play in my pub”.
So it all may seem unfair but hope isn’t lost for these young people. Earlier this year three Cork girls came up with the idea to organize underage gigs. Having been in bands themselves in the past the girls knew all too well how difficult it is to get a chance to play in public.
They knew it would be a challenge but they all have reasons for being committed to the idea. All three girls have lost close friends and family to cancer so they came to a decision that they would organize the gigs and give all the profits to the Irish Cancer Society.
Local girl Vikki Peters is one of the organizers of the charity gigs and explains how she came up with the idea. “It all started when I wanted to get my head shaved for cancer but my mum said no way! So I rang my friend Amy and later that night we were discussing the idea when Sinead joined in the conversation. My uncle Dave Philp died of prostate cancer last October, Amy’s best friend, Linda Kelly died of Leukemia last March at the young age of 17 and Sinead’s granddad died of lung cancer before she was born”. The girls decided to host a gig in memory of the ones they had lost and give all the proceeds to cancer research.
This took place last July and over 2,500 euro was raised. Bands traveled from all parts of the country including Clare, Wexford, Dublin and of course Cork.
The next gig is to take place on the 25th November. There will be 5 bands playing at the gig including DeadNight .Other organized activities which will take place during the gig include leg waxing which was a great success at the last gig.
“We want to raise the same amount as last time if not more. We also want to have as many people there and to make sure its one that will never be forgotten. But most of all, we want to make Uncle Dave, Linda and Sollies Granddad proud” comments Vikki.
So for Dead Night plans for the future include preparing songs so that they can hopefully record their first album in the coming months. And for the organizers of the ICS gigs they hope that the event will be even bigger this time and as much of as success. The gig will take place in Cruiscin Lan on the 25th November. It is a very worthy cause and a good opportunity for the young musicians to showcase their talent.