Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Crystal Swing is made up of Mary - keyboard extraordinaire and mother to Dervla and Derek who are on vocals.
"Crystal Swing (Mary, Derek and Dervla) have been performing as a family band for over three years while Mary has been active in the industry for around eight years.
The band has recorded two very successful CDs: Sweet Dreams in 2007 and The Best Years Of Our Lives in 2009 and continue to go from success to success with their very popular brand of music.
Mary, Derek and Dervla acknowledge the great support the band has received and continue to receive from the local radio stations and also their loyal fans, without whom, the band would not survive.
Each member of the group offer their unique style of performance and entertainment and, at this stage, have a large following of fans.
On stage since childhood, Mary lives for the bright lights. She began her entertainment career seriously about eight years ago and with her son and daughter, Derek and Dervla, formed Crystal Swing about three years ago.
Mary provides great variety in her repertoire which is drawn from the Country and Irish genres, in the main.
Keyboardist, vocalist and musical director in the band, Mary accomplishes all with ease. She insists on good performance, good sound and value for money for her clients and audiences. Together with Derek and Dervla, she makes Crystal Swing synonymous with fantastic, professional entertainment.
Derek is now the lead singer of the band and is also an accomplished guitarist. He has a great love of the showband era and takes his inspiration from legendary performers such as Brendan Bowyer, Brendan O'Brien, Art Supple, Declan Ryan and many, many more successful artists of that time.
A rock n'roller at heart, he adds a comedic and energetic element to his entertaining performances and is a favourite with audiences, far and near, who absolutely love when he takes to the stage.
He was very privileged when asked to perform with a host of professional artists in Northern Ireland recently, before an audience of over 4,000 people. His performance there attracted quite a lot of attention and as a result he has secured dates for future performances up North while plans for appearances in England are also in the pipeline.
Dervla has a unique Country and Western singing voice.
She has received several awards over the years and has taken on many different roles in drama and singing.
She has appeared on a number of occasions as a guest of Eileen Nolan at the Everyman Palace Theatre in Cork.
With an outstanding singing voice and sparkling stage presence, Dervla is a natural Country music singer and is, already, a favourite with her many fans throughout Munster and beyond". REF: http://www.crystalswing.com/about.html
Mary (Mother, Keyboard player)
Have you always been musical?
When I was a child I always wanted to work in the music industry and when I was a teenager I was asked to join a number of bands but I never took them up on the offer. I have several brothers and they didn't want me to join the bands as I suppose they were mainly male orientated. I did regret not joining the groups. When I had Dervla and Derek I saw potential in them and I tried to nurture their talent.
I never tried to push them into it - they wanted to do it. When I joined the band they wanted to be a part of it. We launched our first CD 2 years ago. Even though I am their mother we are more like brothers and sisters. We have a fantastic friendship. They are very mature and they are very level headed. If one person is not happy then we don't go with the idea. I couldn't work with two better people.
Have you any other children?
We just have Derek and Dervla. (Michael is her husband).
Why did you decide to put the proceeds of the CD towards MS Ireland?
The proceeds are going towards MS Ireland. I know a few people who suffer from it so it was close to home for me.
Have you been performing since you were a child?
I have been performing since I was a young girl. Once I could talk I was singing. I have been in singing competitions and last year I got the lead role in my school musical which was a great honour. Myself and Mam and Derek go out and play with the band every week.
It was my Mam who set up the band 8 years ago. It just happened that we joined the band - it was never planned - it was just natural.
What year are you in school?
I am in 5th year in school. I do want to do well in school but it is hard trying to do both.
It must be hard being in a band with your Mom and your brother - do you ever disagree on your musical direction?
No the three of us get on great. At times it is hard but we get on fierce well and we get on well as a team.
Every single person in school has been great. Even school kids that I don't know have been coming up to me. Everyone has been great and they are so nice.
What do you say to your critics?
We don't pay any notice to that (Criticism). When we saw the comments at the start you do think God this isn't good but there are always people who don't want you to do well. We love the music and we don't care about the mean things they are saying.
How did you get on on The Late Late?
We had a marvellous time and everyone there was so nice. We met them all on the show - Louis Walsh, Boyzone and Ryan. It was like a happy family. We loved every minute of it. We had a great laugh with Boyzone.
What kind of music do you like?
I love Michael Buble, Mike Denver, John McNicoll, I love the show band music - I am a bit of a showman on stage as well.
I have music from both sides of the family. My mother's side, they all sing and play instruments. We always have so much fun at the parties. My Mam has been out on the road for 8 years. We have always been a part of it but in a big way in the last 3 years. We have always acted on stage as well.
What gigs have you performed with Crystal Swing?
We have done the North to the South. We were in all the dancing venues that hold about 400 a night. The crowds are growing and growing. The music is coming back and the crowds are getting bigger and bigger.
Where did you come up with the name?
Crystal part comes from Crystal Gayle and the Swing part is because it's swing type of music.
Myself and my sister joined about 2 and half years ago when we made the first CD. That brought us to the attention of dancing venues. Then one would lead to another venue. We launched our CD in August. My voice on the second CD is a lot deeper. It has gotten better as I get older. Our website has created a big buzz.
We went on Rural TV to get more promotion. We had recognition the north of the country but we weren't well known in the centre of the country. About a month ago we noticed a lot of people on the website and then we noticed the hits were getting more and more on Youtube and then Sean Moncrief said this song for number one and then all the papers were calling us.
We are now getting about 50 emails every hour. It's impossible to write back to everyone. But we will get back to everyone in time. We are also going to get a manager as well.
Are you planning on going to college?
I am doing my Leaving Cert - for the moment it's taking a backseat but we have all our course finished and now its revision time from now on. ...... The music career is what I want to make happen. We always hoped it would happen but we didn't see it happening so soon. We are having a ball.
Has everyone in your home town been happy for your success or have you received any criticism?
When we were leaving Thursday for The Late Late Show there were hundreds of people waiting outside the house. All the locals gave us a great send off - they had banners and everything. We sang a song for them out on the road. We also went up to our national school and we saw all the kids standing out to see us.
I don't look at the comments that much. I saw on the Rural TV - there's about 1500 comments and half of them aren't bad so it's only about 500 people who are saying mean things out of 300,000 - which isn't bad. Everyone gets bad press. We have young people coming up to us saying wouldn't it be brilliant if this music came back - we would have somewhere to go. I think the show band music will come back in a big way. It's looking very promising.
Who would you like to collaborate with?
Crystal Swing will be playing The Theatre Royal in Waterford on the 14th and 15th of March.
They will also be playing The Showband Show in the Cork Opera House on the 16th of March.