Strength N.I.A
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Strength N.I.A

Derry, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Derry, United Kingdom | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Pop




"Eamonn McCann: On emerging new Derry band Strength"

You may not have heard of a band called Strength, from Derry. But you will. They have just made a thoroughly remarkable album that covers League of Ireland football and the ethnic cleansing of aboriginals with equal flair. - Hot Press

"HWCH 2016"

Playlist: 15 Must-See Acts at Hard Working Class Heroes This Weekend

In the Review, it shows video's of 15 of the must see acts of HWCH this year. - Brian Coney

"Hard Working Class Heroes Day Three – Review"

With the final day of the annual Hard Working Class Heroes festival upon us, it’s hard not to feel an enormous sense of pride and admiration for all that the Irish music scene has to offer. From noisy psych bands to gentle singer/songwriters and everything in between, you’d be hard pressed to find a more diverse and unique weekender around. After a more than impressive two days, it’s no surprise that every venue for the final hurrah is packed.

Katie Laffan starts in The Grand Social with a soothing set of gentle indie pop tunes to kick the final night off. Having won the Hot Press ‘Big Break’ competition in 2013 at the young age of seventeen, she has been charming the country with her quirky pop music ever since. Even able to rap, international captivation is surely in store in the not too distant future. ’Bubbly’, a delightfully bouncy acoustic number is definitely worth checking out.

Hard Working Class Heroes 2015 Day One – Photos

Following immediately after is Maija Sofia, who quite quickly changes the vibes to a more solemn, self deprecating one. Singing songs about loss and melancholy, the set is a more intimate and bare one. Subtle yet effective lead guitar work adds another layer of painful transience to the tunes. ‘Cosmonaut’ is a necessary listen for anyone into darker folk sounds.

Moving on, the experimental Strength impress with lo-fi produced tunes with buzz tooth synths and powerful vocals. The brainchild of Rory Moore, the thought process behind the act is to create something beautiful from the utmost basic things, things that would be discarded by others. An interesting concept, and whether you believe it or not, there are some tasty indie pop songs there. Check out ‘Hospital beds and drugs’ on breakingtunes.

Hard Working Class Heroes 2015 Day Three – Photos

The Mercantile now filling up nicely, Neon Atlas move centre stage. Taking the decimal levels skyward, pounding drums and piercing riffs rekindle the energy in the room. ‘I Never Felt So Good’ is aptly named, and does a great job of spreading feel good vibes with a catchy, guitar driven coda and some wonderful melodies. Their warm, fuzzy pop tunes are most definitely anything except generic sounding.

Somehow matching if not further elevating the noise levels, indie folk men Third Smoke maintain the standard with a set of powerful, jangling tunes carried by relentless waves of harmonies and catchy melodies. Probably the strongest singers at the festival thus far, a lot is owed to strong vocal interplay from the frontmen. Check out ‘People Are Messy’ for some nice indie mayhem.

Hard Working Class Heroes 2015 Day Two – Review

Last but certainly not least are the psychedelic heroes that are This Other Kingdom. After a blisteringly good performance at the Reverberation Weekender in August, this headline set to top off the festival was always going to be a hot one. Delivering tune after tune of groovy riffs and otherworldly guitar noises, Del Kerton and the boys simply create new worlds for their audiences. Captivated under walls of reverse guitar lines and Jim Morrison esque howling, it’s hard not to feel a slight out of body experience. While drawing heavily on the 60s psych sound, they add their own unique flair by way of thumping bass lines and garage sounding guitars.‘The Day, Your Day’ and ‘He Controls The Sea’ are exceptional singles from the Telescopic LP and are necessary listens for everyone.

After a nonstop three days of musical ventures, it’s all over for another year. Dublin’s coolest venues go back to being ever so slightly less packed, and all our bands can have a well deserved sit down to celebrate a job well done. Many people will undoubtedly go home with a number of new bands to obsess over, easily being spoilt for choice. After twelve years, Hard Working Class Heroes continues to provide the best alternative festival experience in the country.

Until next year…. - Finn OReilly

"Strength - I like compressions(live)"

Comprised of the likes of ex-Red Organ Serpent Sound member Rory Moore and Donegal producer Conor McNamee AKA Nyt Bloomer, Derry “pop” band Strength offer up a curious manifesto of sorts on their Facebook page:

“I wanted to use pieces of dead machinery: an old drum machine: a broken bass: a vhs recorder. I wanted to use things that people had disregarded or forgotten about, I needed to find the light that was still flickering within these machines. My whole purpose was to create something that would sound good in a crap hi-fi.”

An admirable approach for sure, the fruits of which we will see on the band’s forthcoming debut album. In the meantime, we’ve a new live video of the band performing ‘I Like Compressions’, a track straddling the very fine (and rather fine) line between ridiculously accessible and comprehensively impervious. Knowingly frivolous and gamesome, it wouldn’t sound out of place on, say, Marina Records’ In-Kraut series.

Check out the video below and keep your ears peeled for future stirrings. - The Thin Air


Fronted by Rory Moore the band prove to be an even more exciting prospect live. No doubt leaving newcomers to their sound more than a little surprised, the band are undeniably different. Driven by an often hypnotic combination of beats and bass, there’s a lot of space in their live sound leaving the focus very much on Moore’s lyrics. The whole band takes time to fully build themselves and the audience up but Moore is the picture of confidence throughout. One would certainly have to be with choruses of “Jet skis, jet skis, jet skis” and “I am a man with metal hands, cruel metal hands” delivered in his own way. I overheard one audience member making comparisons to the film ‘Frank’, which has a semblance of similarity. Dedicating songs to the women of Scotland and discussing smoke particles and snowflakes are par for the course.

Both ‘Northern Ireland Yes’, met with a resounding yes from the audience, and ‘I Like Compressions’ are highlights. They are typical of the band’s sound with a mix of bass riffs, keyboards in the chorus, beats and percussion. ‘Farewell To Strong Men’ has them at their confident best. False starts and stops led by shouts of “stop” and “go” preface an uptempo beat. Bassist Eoghan Donegan and instrumentalist Conor Mc Namee dance and clambour over each other throughout an energetic track. There’s no-one in Northern Ireland making music quite like Strength who have a live show to match their bold sound. - Aaron Cunningham

"The first pop songs in the world- STRENGTH"

Here at loosehandlebars we have always appreciated an elite group of invited friends giving up their time & talent to contribute to the blog. It’s a delight to welcome Derry music legend, my great buddy, Paul Pj Mc Cartney, off of Bam Bam & the Calling, to these pages. Paul is going to put us on to one of his hometown’s hottest combos Strength. McCarts talks a lot of sense about a lot of things. Any time he wants to share something with us I’m sure that we will find a space for him.

I had a party in the house in late March 2010 to celebrate my 45th birthday, and some of the distinguished guests (arch-hooligans of the Derry Underground Music Community?) were late getting there because Strength were launching their double A-Sided single (on cassette) – ‘Do Televisions/Frankie Moore Ritual’ – in the Castle Bar on Waterloo Street. My good friend Sean Pemberton (he of Guadapenda Rosindale and Mars Field fame) brought me up a copy and it went straight into the stereo. I was automatically blown away, and knew I would have to get my ass along to their next show, and a few weeks later I witnessed their brave, beautiful and indeed confrontational music first hand and was smitten.

One thing I recall was seeing them not too long after that and remembering most of the songs from the first night and I think that’s a really telling thing. This was Strength Mark 1 – Rory Moore (vocals), John McLaughlin (synthesizer) and David McFeely (synthesizer). I think they played in the Castle about half a dozen times, and it was always an incredible experience that stayed with me for weeks after, and I was totally honoured when Rory invited me along to DJ twice. On a few of these occasions, when they finished a song, there was like a 3 or 4 second delay before the audience applauded. But that’s the magical and seductive whirlpool they draw you into when they play their fantastic songs, they take you on a trip Baby and the last thing you need is Drugs.

It’s not for someone like me to speculate on the actual influences the band have, they kinda keep that to themselves, just go out and let it loose. Their songs and their sound had me thinking of Scott Walker, The Young Marble Giants, Nick Cave, The Silver Apples, Suicide, the post-punk Dub excursions of Adrian Sherwood, Liquid Liquid and The Idiot era Iggy Pop. We are aware of their preference for vintage technology (Betamax videotapes are still on the agenda) , but they do it right and the sheer emotion they communicate when they play is nothing short of thrilling. And to the actual songs – the aforementioned ‘Do Televisions’ and ‘Frankie Moore Ritual’, ‘Disobedience’, ‘Hospital Beds And Drugs’, ‘I Like Compressions’, ‘Evil Part One’ and ‘Northern Ireland Yes’ are all totally different to each other , but form a whole, that has us lucky people looking down the barrel of one of the best Irish debut albums ever in my opinion.

I’m gonna cut to the chase and talk about the songs (in non-chronological order of course), here’s one that has transcended the line-up changes and they play and enjoy playing every night – ‘I Like Compressions’ – In effect, a regional hit, it made a chart of songs put together last year of songs released from bands and artistes from the North of Ireland. The difference here is that Strength didn’t actually put it out as a commercial release. The line-up playing in this video (and you’ve been introduced to Rory Moore already) is Conor McNamee, Neil Burns and Eoghan Doneghan, they are the current line-up. One thing this particular song shows also is that these guys can get pretty darn funky when the groove takes them, and there’s an added bonus here of a chorus you could park three-quarters of Iceland on, and you’ll be humming it for weeks after…as you do.

Next up, ‘Frankie Moore Ritual’, this was on the the cassette-only double A-Sided release from 2010, the other song being ‘Do Televisions’. They bring this one in at over 8 and a half minutes and it never dips as it goes, in fact, it’s all action start to finish. This one got me thinking of the Young Marble Giants when I first heard it, but also elements of early Orbital and the larky elements of the Stereolab EPs and Albums when Sean O’Hagan of The High Llamas came on board. I would say that anyone who liked the ‘Turn On’ project Sean O’Hagan and Tim Gane put together in the late 1990’s will definitely dig this one. And you know the way some records end up opening up for a few minutes, and you think it’s an instrumental the whole way through and then a song happens, well this is one of them songs…don’t worry, I’m not giving away the plot.

“Northern Ireland Yes” is this year’s single. It’s another imaginative, hypnotic addition to their catalogue & deserved the wider attention that it received. The group are currently touring. This week, on the 7th of July, they are playing in Derry supported by our boys the Gatefolds. We need an LP of their tunes, in whatever retro-influenced format they choose. Keep an eye out for further news on their website. These guys are going from Strength to…(you see what I almost did there). - Paul Mc Cartney


Still working on that hot first release.



Werewolf Pop” I think that’s a pretty good term actually! – Steve Lamacq BBC6 music

1956 Olympics is a mad song. Totally awesome !”

What we say

Our sound is Werewolf Pop. It’s woolly and deliberate. We record onto magnetic tape because it gives us the bass frequency we like. Bass frequency is the sound of warm blood flowing through our bodies.


I wanted to use pieces of dead machinery: an old drum machine,a broken bass guitar, a stuttering organ. I wanted to use things that people had disregarded or forgotten about, I needed to find the light that was still flickering within these machines. My whole purpose was to create something that would sound good in a crap Hi-Fi.

I needed to get clear of massive recording consoles and endless digital
options. I wanted to get myself into a space were there was literally nothing left. Strength N.I.A was the aftermath of a nuclear disaster,and all I could find amidst the smouldering rubble was a cassette machine and some other forms of primitive and basic machinery – I imagined myself making the first pop songs in the world again – songs that would connect with people after the disaster – everything in the world had been destroyed so I needed to create something out of the ruin-something tangible that could be felt and played in a makeshift Hi-Fi or car stereo. This is were I would begin…

Band Members