Spotlight on: Catching up with Crystal Swing
A superb rendition of the song ‘He drinks Tequila’ saw Cork trio Crystal Swing become an overnight sensation five years ago. Mary, Derek, and Dervla Burke from Midleton in East Cork have since built on their initial success, and now enjoy a hugely successful musical career which sees them play prestigious venues both nationally and internationally, and appear on key television shows across the world.
Mary, Derek, and Dervla are a unique unit – along with their undoubted singing talents, all three gel together to perfectly manifest that glittering Crystal Swing magic.
Following an appearance on RTE’s Late Late Show, the trio were contacted by American TV host Ellen Degeneres who invited them to perform on her show, and to coin a phrase, the rest is history, with the Band continuing to grow from strength to strength during the past five years.
On their return from Hollywood, Mary, Derek, and Dervla undertook an extensive tour of the major venues in Ireland with a top class, five-piece band and support acts. They have since sold out shows across the length and breath of the country and appeared with stars such as Lilly Allen and Bonnie Tyler as well as most of the home-grown Irish stars of the music industry. In addition they have continued to tour and have featured on numerous TV and Radio shows at home in Ireland as well as Dubai, London, Portugal and The Caribbean.
The Band caters for all settings and all ages, young and not so young, with material tailored for all tastes from the large theatre setting to the family wedding or party, while corporate functions are also catered for.
Comfortable on stage since childhood, Mary is the true professional. She has a wonderful rapport with her audience and a great variety in her repertoire. Musician, vocalist, and musical director in the band, Mary accomplishes all with ease. She insists on good performance, good sound, and value for money. Together with Derek and Dervla, she makes Crystal Swing synonymous with fantastic, professional entertainment.
Derek shares the vocals in the band and is also an accomplished guitarist. He has a great love of the Showband numbers and takes his inspiration from legendary artists such as Elvis Presley, Michael Bublé, and Olly Murs. A rock and roller at heart, he adds a comedic and energetic element to the Shows and is a favourite with audiences everywhere.
While Dervla has a unique singing voice, her rendition of Bonnie Tyler’s famous hit, ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ and the more recent ‘How Great Thou Art’, showcases her impressive vocal range. She has won several awards over the years and has taken on many different roles in drama and singing. With an outstanding singing voice and sparkling stage presence, Dervla is a natural and is, already, a favourite with her many fans throughout Ireland and beyond.
“Life has been a hectic roller coaster for us over the past five years, and thank God we’re still very busy” Mary said.
A few weeks ago Mary, her husband Mike, and Dervla visited Medjugorje. “After our arrival at Dubrovnik Airport, we savoured the absolute beauty of the area on a three hour bus journey to our destination. The love, peace, tranquillity, beauty, scenery, beautiful food, and genuine people, are all a cocktail that you want to revisit again in this magnificent part of the world. At the centre of all of it all is the Blessed Virgin Mary” Mary said.
“During our visit, we got to see two of the visionaries and had a private audience with the main visionary Vicka. She placed her hands on our heads and prayed over us. Word filtered that we were a family band and this gave Dervla and myself the great honour of singing solo at two masses at The Church of St. James. Dervla sang ‘How Great Thou Art’ and I sang ‘Lady of Knock’. Mike and myself renewed our marriage vows in front of a packed congregation at a mass especially offered up for us by a Canadian priest called Fr. Kevin”, Mary added.
Crystal Swing’s latest album was released in March and features ‘Mollie’, a number penned by Derek. At the moment they are busy touring Ireland and are looking forward to travelling to Portugal in September with tour operator Billy Morrissey.
UK fans can also look forward to seeing them in the near future; “We’re also doing a lot of work with The Phil Mack Show in the coming year when we’ll perform in some of the UK’s finest hotels and resorts” Mary explained.
However, Crystal Swing has another celebration to look forward to – Wedding Bells will ring out for Dervla in August, and there’s no doubt that her legion of fans wish her well for her big day and into the future.