‘New Beats from Dublin’ refers to our work with singer Andrea Nicole, a project which culminated with a great show in the Workman’s Club last Saturday, September 28th.
Several months back, Andrea approached us to see if we would be interested in collaborating with her on a percussion mix of her single ‘Need You’, having seen us in action at the Drogheda Samba Festival the previous year. Andrea’s music is primarily dance orientated, and we really liked the song, and decided to give it a shot.
It also helped that Andrea is very talented, and focused on building her career through crafting great tracks and promoting them, avoiding the current reality-show craze. It only took a few rehearsals to get a usable mix of the song down, and a rough edit of the track in rehearsals can be seen here.
Discussion soon turned to how we could perform the track live, but raised another problem, in that one song in an otherwise percussion-only set would feel strange – in short, we needed to develop more songs with Andrea.
Despite the hectic schedule over the Summer, we kept chipping away at selecting songs and working through basic arrangement, with the whole team re-convening in early September, to start rehearsals in earnest. At this point, we were joined by guitarist Paraic O’Neill, who added an important aspect of melody to the mix.
Rehearsals moved quickly, and within 2 weeks, we had the bones of several songs down. Some of these utilised existing rhythms from the Afro Brasilian canon, such as Marcha, and Samba Funk, and others were completely original drum lines to fit the particular songs.
In the end, we decided on six songs, which would represent the range of interests we collectively share, which were:
- ‘Fever’ – Peggy Lee
- ‘Faith’ – George Michael
- ‘Tainted Love’ – Gloria Jones/Imelda May
- ‘Tough at the Top’ – E-Z Rollers
- ‘Proud Mary’ – Ike and Tina Turner
- ‘Need You’ – Andrea Nicole
These all went down extremely well live, and this energised us to look at some more possibilities for performance. Andrea is also in the process of writing more original material, and some of this might lend itself to the MaSamba treatment, so ‘New Beats from Dublin’ should be a lot more than a one-off show.