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16 Aug 2022

MacD on Music: Derry punk trio Cherym . . . Weird Ones

MacD on Music: Derry punk trio Cherym  . . . Weird Ones

Cherym ... Hannah Richardson (guitar/vocals), Nyree Porter (bass) and Alannagh Doherty (drums),

Music is filled with legendary three-piece groups ... from Rush, to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, to Sunflower Bean, power trios are a key part of music history.

Here in Derry, there’s a group keeping that proud tradition going. Cherym, made up of Hannah Richardson (guitar/vocals), Nyree Porter (bass) and Alannagh Doherty (drums), are a group that are making their mark, with a year that’s so far included two support slots with international acts (Nova Twins and the Beths), and a number of big festival dates.

This week, I caught up with the group to discuss, among other things, how they came into being and their adventures on the road as one of Derry’s biggest growing exports.

Talking about the origins of the group, Nyree told me: “Hannah and two past members created the band. Me and Hannah knew each other from secondary school, so when the bass player left I was in the friend group and they said they needed a bass player so I tried out and I got the job!”

This line-up was not to last, however, and, as with Rush before them, they found themselves in need of a drummer. This void was filled by the excellent Alannagh, and thus, the group as we know it today was born.

As mentioned above, the group have had a busy year with festivals and opening slots.

Hannah tells me: “This has been a mad year, to be honest. We got the opportunity to go on tour with Nova Twins in February, and then a month-long tour with the Beths in mainland Europe.

"Just before that we were at South By Southwest in Austin Texas as well, and then this summer we’ve just been doing festivals. We’ve done Stendhal, we’ve done 2000 trees, and that’s all been really amazing as well, really positive.

"We’re hopefully going to be playing Electric Picnic soon, so yeah, lots of amazing opportunities, and honestly, we can’t believe it’s happening and I hope it’s just down to putting in the hard work.

“We’ve just been working so hard since the EP (Hey Tori) came out in 2020 and all of this is probably a direct result of that and it’s amazing just to be in this position.”

During our conversation, we also talked about some of their personal highlights they’ve experienced to date. For Nyree, it was at 2000trees earlier this year.

“We went to see Laura Jane Grace and after, we got to have a short conversation with her. Before the band were even a thing we used to listen to Against Me! and Laura Jane Grace was, obviously, a goddess and when we got to meet her it was, like, holy f... this is a bucketlist moment! And then she followed us on Instagram!”

Next up was Alannagh: “Mine was definitely the Nova Twins support slot in the UK. I’m a massive fan of Bring Me The Horizon so when I heard Nova Twins did a song with them I was like ‘I must check these guys out.’

"I heard one song, got absolutely obsessed with their whole catalogue of music and when we got asked to support them it was like a dream come true. It was unbelievable. I honestly couldn’t believe what was happening.”

The tour was a very last minute affair:

“We found out on the Monday, booked the ferries on the Tuesday and made our way over on the Wednesday” and, Hannah added: “We wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

Hannah was next up. She told me: “I loved doing the escape room with the Beths. We had a bit of a slow day in Bristol so we went to an escape room with the Beths. It was brilliant. It was all themed around this Russian spy.”

Alannagh continued the story: “Basically, we had to disarm a bomb, obviously not real, but we had to figure out a way to disarm this bomb otherwise it was going to blow up everything in a 500 mile radius of Bristol.”

Hannah: “It was very exciting. It was just brilliant craic and it was just a nice wee thing to do with the Beths before the end of the tour.”

To close out our chat, I found out a fun fact about each of them.

Hannah: “There’s no food I don’t like. I will eat any food. I like some food more than others but I will eat anything.”

Alannagh: “I’m a tarot reader” and, Hannah said: “Business is open so get your bookings in now.” Last up was Nyree: “I’m actually a comedian, cause I have one really good joke.”

And that joke …“What’s blue and would kill you if it fell out of a tree? A fridge with a denim jacket on it.” And on that image, I leave you for another week.

Cherym can be found on Facebook and Instagram @cherymofficial

Also, follow Nyree’s art page @jigglyboidrawings

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