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Going back to our roots
Some of Ireland’s top bands are joining forces to pay tribute to their favourite Dublin artists. It’s all happening at the JD Roots concert in May.
Colm O Hare, 22 May 2012
It’s a neat idea. Take three cutting-edge Dublin bands, put them on stage together in a top venue, where they’ll perform super-group style before an invited audience. The twist is they’ll be playing songs not from their own repertoires but classics made famous by other legendary Dublin outfits, past and present.
It’s all part of a brand new concept, JD Roots, which grew out of the acclaimed JD Set that ran from 2002 to 2010 (initially as a competition for unsigned bands). Last year’s re-invention of the idea saw Neil Hannon, Cathy Davey, Jape, and Romeo from The Magic Numbers perform their own versions of Vampire Weekend’s debut album, at the Button Factory, Dublin.
With a hometown theme in the same venue, JD Roots 2012 offers a slightly different take. The groups involved, The Minutes, Delorentos and We Cut Corners, are all highly acclaimed and popular. They are well up for the challenge too, it seems.
“We really liked the idea of doing something like this,” says Delorentos’ Kieron McGuiness. “It’s a lot different. There’s something really creative about it. The brief is fairly loose as I understand it. The way it was told to us, it had to be either songs by Dublin bands, songs about Dublin or even a song that dominated our youth growing up in Dublin. That was the template. As it turns out the songs we’re playing are all by acts from Dublin.”
Given the vast legacy of great Dublin rock music, reaching back over 40 years, choosing favourites can’t have been an easy.
“It wasn’t,” McGuiness concedes. “Each of us in the band had two or three suggestion, everything from trad to 70s rock to more modern stuff. We decided early on that we wouldn’t do massively modern stuff like say, Villagers or Jape or Cathy Davey or any of the other local bands that we were close to. I can’t tell you the exact songs we’re doing. In the mix there’s a U2 song, a traditional song, a global smash hit and a local hit that we like. We’re talking Thin Lizzy, The Pogues and Whipping Boy, a big inspiration for us growing up”