Despite its small population of just over 100,000 people, Derry is renowned for its musical heritage. Our ‘Sounds of the City’ tour takes you to some of the locations where the city’s most talented sons and daughters honed their skills, lived and also performed:
We begin our tour beside the Guildhall which for generations hosted the local Feis Doire Colmcille where thousands of local children perform Irish song and dance to a dedicated local audience. Amongst them was the renowned Irish tenor Josef Locke whose statue we visit outside the nearby City Hotel before we make our way to the City Walls.
Our walk along the walls takes us past St Columbs Hall where legendary Irish bands such as The Horslips and Thin Lizzy performed to enthralled audiences. We then continue to St Columbs Cathedral to hear about the cathedrals connections to Cecily Alexander, author of famous hymns such as ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’. Departing from the walls we stroll into the Fountain to see the home of the Wray family, the grandparents of Gary Lightbody lead singer of Snow Patrol.
We then move into Bishop Street to view the childhood home of renowned composer and singer Phil Coulter and to also see the shop where Derry Punk legends The Undertones (of Teenage Kicks fame) had their first rehearsals in ONeills Fruit Shop. We also explain Bishops Streets connections to legendary rock guitarist Rory Gallagher.
A walk into the Bogside lets us explore the areas connections to the Eurovision Song Contest through former winners Dana and Johnny Logan. We then finish the tour in one of the citys famous live music venues in Waterloo Street where the frequent sing songs allow you to make some music of your own!