Based in Newry Northern Ireland, Dean and Chapter are a three-piece rock band with a difference. Currently in their third year they have gigged extensively throughout the whole of Ireland. They’ve played in many prestige venues. Several appearances at “Fibber Magees” in Dublin. “The Stags Head” in Dundalk, “Johnny B. Goodes” in Antrim are just a few. They have also ventured as far as Scotland playing at the renowned “Henrys Cellar Bar” in Edinburgh and many other venues. Unfortunately scheduled gigs in London at well known and respected venues such as “The Dublin Castle” in Camden Town had to be postponed due to the pandemic. They debuted in March 2019 at “The Skylite Room” in “The Duke” Warrenpoint where they have since returned, not only to gig but to film the video for “Nowhere”. Christmas that year saw them at the “Lough and Quay” also in Warrenpoint where they headlined, supported by another local band Fagash Magee!
Dean and Chapter are made up of seasoned musician Dean Wright on guitars and vocals. Genius sound engineer Jason Varley on bass and “stuff” and the brilliant Padraic “Podge” Farrelly on drums and whiskey! There is one member sadly no longer with us, Colette Rushe. The bands’ manager and Deans’ long standing partner Colette tragically died from cancer last October.
As well as the band appearing in music magazines such as Eighth day and of course here, Dean can often be found playing solo and doing radio interviews around Ireland. He has “done” radio in such places as Derry, Dublin and Dundalk as well as his “home” turf of Newry and Warrenpoint. Indeed, he was on Harbourside radio in the ‘point on Tony “Riser” Smiths’ Banter Show just three weeks ago.
Dean and Colette spent a year touring Ireland in 2018 where Dean performed solo and got back into the swing of things after an almost twenty-five year break from music. All the songs are originals written by classically trained guitarist Dean who then tortures the other two to play the creations! They are recorded at “Jason V recording” in “The Shop” a very modern and well equipped studio in Carlingford owned and run by Jason.
The band have a talented team “around” them including world famous mastering genius Barry Grint at Alchemy Mastering and video and technology expert Richard Osborn from Type 40 Creative and Abbey Road, graphic designer, musician and entrepreneur Dave Duggan, who is responsible for the album cover and tee shirt designs (and this magazine!) not to mention the engineering, photographic and creative talents from Jason. They are fully independent and release their music on the DC Music label, their own record company.
Dean and Chapter have recorded several offerings to date, their music until recently has been decidedly dark with lighter interludes. Firstly a five track EP entitled “Spiritual Suicide” from 2019/20, which was released on a limited edition CD of which there are just a couple left. Definitely on the darker side with titles such as “Friends with the Devil”, “Spiritual Suicide”, a song about letting go of ego and “Street Corners” a take on the Robert Johnson tale of selling your soul at the crossroads for musical ability and success. With three dark songs and two almost “pop” tunes, the summery “Get It On” and sixties sounding “Up To You” it announced the band as versatile, serious, original artists.
That was followed by a stand alone single entitled “Nowhere” which although written, recorded and filmed beforehand is prophetically appropriate for the pandemic. Although, with an almost ska rhythm it is far more upbeat and the video is definitely amusing and witty.
Those were followed by an eleven track album, “Time’s Up”, recorded in 2020 but released in January this year. The title of which is poignant in light of the death of the bands’ manager Colette. It has an unashamedly rock and punk feel to it with titles such as “Devil May Care”, “Hail” and the epic “Mad, Bad, Dangerous and Damned”. It covers subjects such as witches’ covens in the fast paced “Coven Dance” and sleep demons in “Shadows” as well as a few more everyday numbers such as “You Drive Me Crazy” and “Gone”. There is also a quietly released but powerful single “Calling You”. In March they released a special version of the album track “I Hope So”. An optimistic tune about open mindedness, for St. Patricks Day with a definitely Irish feel to it. Featuring Melissa Hayes on fiddle it also includes cello, harp, bodhran and multiple harmonies.
As well as a growing catalogue of songs Dean and Chapter have a few professionally filmed videos on You Tube. “Street Corners” a pulsing rock number about selling your soul, filmed in a ruined abbey in Carlingford Co. Louth. “Friends With The Devil”, a tale of the unexpected portrayed as a card game, filmed at Lily Finnegans pub in Whitestown, also Co. Louth. “Nowhere” an amusing minimalistic video set on a white background as if the band really were nowhere, filmed in The Skylite Room at the Duke, Warrenpoint, Co. Down. A lyric video with a difference for “I Hope So” which owing to being released in the height of lockdown uses stock footage of the Wild Atlantic Way on the west coast of Ireland. There is also a live filmed sampler for the “Spiritual Suicide” EP, also filmed at the Duke on the bands launch night in 2019. All videos are produced by Richard Osborn at Type 40 Creative and are of a standard most bands contemporary to Dean and Chapter find it hard to match.
There is of course a bespoke website where you can find the videos and buy merchandise. As I write the band are back in the studio and I am reliably informed the new songs are a definite step forward for this progressive looking band. Dean and Chapter can be found on all major digital platforms. So, if you like your rock with a slice of darkness and attitude look no further than Dean and Chapter, you can’t go wrong with Mr. Wright!
Dean and Chapter – Nowhere (Official Music Video)