Glasgowbury's G Sessions Return
The Draperstown festival's long-running showcase series finds a new home following a three-year hiatus
After a three year break Glasgowbury Festival's popular G Sessions are set to be revived under a new roof in Draperstown.
Originally running at the Cellar Bar each month from 2004 - 2014, the returning music showcase will be fittingly headlined on September 24 at the festival's own Cornstore Loft by indie-folk four-piece Orchid Collective, an act fostered in part by Glasgowbury.
Guitarist Shea Tohill developed his skills as a teen through the festival's Rural Key Sessions and founders Paddy and Stella Glasgow have given much encouragement to the Magherafelt native, who now uses his time to help tutor other young artists at the very venue to host the new-look G Sessions.
In addition to Tohill, Orchid Collective are lead vocalist and guitarist David O’Shea from Co. Meath, bassist Hugh O’Neill from Co. Sligo, and Dubliner Brian Roony on drums. Their sound is characterised by distinct vocal harmonies and layers of reverbed guitars sure to please fans of Villagers, James Vincent McMorrow and Bon Iver.
'We made a big point of four-point harmonies in our band, and then writing it,' Tohill explains. 'Dave comes in with folk ideas and acoustic guitar and I add the spacey, ambient, U2-esque guitar sound.
'We spend a lot of time working out different harmony parts, it’s a big thing for us but it usually comes pretty naturally now. Everybody kind of knows what to sing.'
The band came together organically with the four jamming together while at music college in Dublin.
'We’ve been a band for about three years but we see last year's single 'Figure It Out' as marking the start of our real drive,' he says. 'Ever since we’ve finished college we’ve just been gung-ho; we got a manager on board, a booking agent and we’ve just been touring Ireland.'
As well as touring, the band have just recorded their EP Courage with producer Rob Kirwin, who has worked with the likes of Hozier and U2, so they're excited about its forthcoming release on October 21. And having gigged relentless across Ireland, including performing on two stages at Electric Picnic, Orchid Collective are taking the build-up to its Dublin launch with utmost seriousness.
But being from Mid Ulster, Tohill is just as excited to see G Sessions back, having previously played the showcase alongside The Wood Burning Savages and witnessed memorable sets from the likes of And So I Watch You From Afar and Cashier No. 9.
'It needs it,' he says. 'Whenever I was in school you used to go and see bands that were touring England and they were coming and playing a bar in Draperstown – it’s really encouraging whenever you're a teenager and that’s been kind of missing for the last three years, so I think it’s great that Paddy and Stella are running it again.
'There needs to be something between Belfast and Derry. If you’re touring as a band it's great, you can do Thursday night in Belfast, Friday night in Draperstown and Saturday night in Derry. It’s cool you can do this wee spot in the middle of the Glenshane.'
Tohill adds: 'The Cornstore is really cool, it has a really good PA, good sound and good people, good room – it’s great. I look forward to playing there.'
Also playing on the night will be Mojo Fury's Michael Mormecha, who released his debut solo album LOFi LiFE in May. The gig is billed as BYO, strictly no glass. Tickets priced £7 are available now online or from the Cornstore. Enter for your chance to win a pair here.