This season’s Cottage Sessions will come to a close this weekend when John Deery & the Heads take to the stage with support on the night from Reevah.
It will be an extra special occasion for the local band as they have just released their new album ‘Nothing Permanent Lasts’ following a highly successful Crowd Funder campaign. The Cottage Sessions will give the local audience a fantastic opportunity to hear the new material live for the very first time.
Heads frontman John Deery has been heavily involved in the conception and production of the Cottage Sessions so it is fitting that his own band will close the debut season.
Speaking this week about the exceptional local showcase he said: “The Cottage Sessions was originally an idea that myself and Blane O'Donnell (Digital Marketing Coordinator at Inner City Trust) came up with as a way of showcasing talent from the North West and further afield.
“We wanted to create an 'Other Voices' style music platform for the great music that is created here, creating very professional videos of each of the performances and hosting them online on a YouTube channel to send our music out to the world. The first season is about to finish and we're delighted to be involved as one of the artists as well as one of the people behind the scenes.
“It really couldn't have gone any better. We have an amazing team of up to 15 volunteers who wanted to get on board and create something special to showcase the music of Derry to the world. The whole concept is a grassroots, unfunded platform and it requires a huge voluntary effort from each of our outstanding team; from hosting and preparing the night, to filming, sound recording and editing the videos, it really has been a special experience working with such a great team of people.”
Although Season 1 comes to end this weekend, the organisers already have their eyes firmly fixed on Season 2 and are encouraging those wishing to be involved to get in touch. “We're currently in the process of booking Season 2 and taking applications from acts that are interested in playing” said John.
“We've already had over 40 applications from artists and bands, proving there is no shortage of talent here. We will be putting a lineup together soon and hope to start shooting early 2018 again for Season 2.”
‘Nothing Permanent Lasts’ is the third studio album from the local band and has been years in the making. Recorded and mixed locally, the ten track album was produced on the back of a successful crowdfunding campaign which saw over 100 fans contribute nearly £4,000, as a result, guaranteeing the album’s production.
Above, John Deery and the Heads, Photo by Lawrence Cooke at The Photographer's Studio
Speaking about the great support the band have received, John said: “We are very fortunate to have such generous supporters for our band who genuinely wanted us to record another album.
“The support we got was overwhelming and we have thanked each and every one of the over 100 supporters on the album sleeve. We couldn't have completed the album if it wasn't for them, so it belongs to them as much as us.
“I know of a few artists who have not been as fortunate with their Crowdfunder campaigns, but I would definitely recommend it as a way of engaging your fans in a project. You are able to set flexible targets as well, so that even if you don't hit your target, you get to keep the money you make, minus a percentage. It really is a great way of getting projects off the ground, instead of relying on bank loans and the credit union to put albums together in the hope of recouping some of it in CD sales afterwards.”
“We're delighted with the album and how it turned out. The official launch is on September 30th in Nerve Centre, although we have sent out the finished album to everyone who contributed to our Crowdfunder campaign as a thank you for supporting us. There are also a few limited early copies available from Cool Discs and Abbazappa for anyone who wants to hear the new songs before the launch and there will also be more available soon through our website www.johndeeryandtheheads.com.”
“We won't be releasing the album onto any of the online platforms like Spotify, Deezer, iTunes and so on until 2018 at least, as we wanted to make this album special, one for the fans and lovers of our music.
“The revenues from the streaming sites are so poor that it makes it much more worthwhile to sell directly to our fans and people who want to support the band, this whole project has allowed us to create music very closely with our fan base and has made it a much more rewarding and meaningful experience.”
The local musician has been totally hands on with his latest release, from writing and recording through to the production of the album artwork. His creativity is stamped on the entire process.
“I've always been involved in art, in fact I'm an art teacher and creative media lecturer in my day job, so creating the artwork is something that came naturally enough to me” he said.
“I have always seen art, whether it be painting, film making, photography, design and so on, as deeply and intrinsically linked with music. They are expressive tools that can and should be used together to create deeper meaning and explore creative themes.
“Sometimes a thought, feeling, emotion or concept is better expressed in a painting than a song and so I think the album artwork is the other part of the story. A visual representation of the main themes within the album of impermanence, time, love and connection with others.”
Known for his thought provoking lyrics, John has come up with a gripping title for his new album and he explained his inspiration. “I have always been fascinated with time, with how little we have of it on the larger scale of the planet and the universe, how we place such importance on things which ultimately don't matter.
”The phrase 'Nothing Permanent Lasts' came about as a way of expressing this; It's a bit of an oxymoron, which I like and is actually very hard to argue with if you think about it.
“People consider tattoos to be permanent and yet in 100 years there will be nothing left of them, buildings crumble, mountains erode and if you think about it further back in time, really nothing we consider permanent lasts at all.
“I think this fascination with the scale of time and our impermanence was really started by seeing the Stromatolites in Australia, which are tiny little rock columns, completely unassuming looking lumps of rock that are made up of 4 billion years worth of layers of cyanobacteria, the first single cell organisms to oxygenate the earth and start all life as we know it. There is an illustration beside them that shows the whole of the human species as a fingernail on the arm span of life and it left a deep impression on me, fundamentally changing my view of the world” he said.
John Deery and the Heads with perform at The Cottage Sessions on Saturday, 26th August from 6.30pm, with support from local artist Reevah. Tickets are priced at £8 and are available at http://www.cottagesessions.com
The official album launch for ‘Nothing Permanent Lasts’ will take place on Saturday 30th of September in the Nerve Centre and tickets for are available now from www.nervecentre.org