INTERVIEW: Strength N.I.A talk music ahead of their Irish tour

Bennigans 17th May (feat TPM & Stephen McCauley)

Local outfit Strength N.I.A will embark on a mini Irish tour this month, kicking off on Friday 3rd May as they make a trip to the iconic Whelans venue in Dublin.

The guys will bring their self-described ‘Werewolf Pop’ sound to Bennigans Bar on Friday 17th May with support on the night coming in the form of RTE Choice Song of the Year Award Winners TPM, who hail from Dundalk, and the BBC’s very own Stephen McCauley for a Soundscapes DJ set.

Speaking ahead of the tour, we caught up with frontman Rory Moore to find out more and to get the latest on the band’s second album which they are currently working on.

“Yes, working on album number two which I have been writing and recording these last few months” revealed Rory.

“It took me such a long time to get the first record out there, I had been holding onto so many songs for so long, struggling to let so much go. I began writing the second record almost immediately after the first was released, the songs on this record feel consistent and from the same vine. The proposed date is uncertain at the moment, perhaps later in the year.”

And the frontman revealed that the seom of the tracks will be included on the tour: “Yes definitely, playing roughly four or five new songs live” said Rory. “Really enjoying them, we premiered some of the songs when we played at the Other Voices Trail in Dingle last November. Some people came back to see us play the second performance so it felt as though they were enjoying them as much as we were.”

“We’re looking forward to playing all the shows, we are playing with dundalk brothers TPM who put events on in a 17th Century castle in Dundalk so that’s going to be magical.

“Benjamin [keyboards] just bought a car so I have less of the driving to do which will make it more pleasant. Cheers B!” Laughed Rory.

TPM will be joining on the guys on a few dates on the calendar so it seems both bands really hit it off. “We were both playing at Swell Festival on Arranmore Island last year and I was was really impressed with their live show. They are off the wall, fun and totally bonkers, incredible live act. We have kind of been in touch ever since” revealed Rory.

TPM will join the guys at Bennigans Bar on the 17th of May for the home leg of the tour and they’re looking forward to it. “I feel it’s going to be bouncing in there” said Rory. “It will be a real performance feast with moments of reflection. Stephen McCauley is doing a live Soundscapes set so that will bring a sense of musical equilibrium. “No one’s going to want to leave, but there will be intervals between the acts if people need a breath. I feel like I need to mention that there’s only 40 tickets available for this event so I would urge people to get there’s asap as once it’s sold out the lounge will be reserved for ticket holders only!”

And Rory had huge praise for Bennigans Bar and in particular the boss, John Leighton who has been invaluable for the original music scene in the city to grow and thrive.

“John Leighton is an upstanding guy and a young accomplished musician, his energy makes the bar a cool and exciting place to be. Locals have stayed since he took over some years ago so that’s an endorsement of his good character.

“Add to that the influx of young alternative people so it’s sort of a miniature version of Max Yasgur’s farm during Woodstock 69. It’s an innovative space for musicians to meet and play. It ranges from leftist post Punk to quintessential 1930s Jazz!

“It’s a friendly and open minded joint with no bouncers on the doors so that tells you something about the spirit of Bennigans. I think people will look back in years to come and really appreciate its place in Derry culture” said Rory.

You can catch Strength N.I.A alongside TPM and Stephen McCauley at Bennigans Bar on Friday 17th May with tickets available from Cool Discs and also Bennigans Bar. Time: 9.30pm / £7

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