Derek Clabby (above) in 2018, in #Kingsativa (top far right) and The Bionic Rats (middle pic foreground) and as Del Bionic with ‘Don’t Let Them Get Away with It.
Concert promoter Johnny Keenan (him off the telly) writes:
So many people can go through this life in complete ignorant bliss. Listening to poxy radio with one banal tune after the other. I kind of envy them in the sense they don’t seem to have any real concerns. But I certainly don’t want to live my life like that.
Seventeen years ago I booked the most politically astute band in the country at the time, #Kingsativa, for a venue in Kilkenny. Long before hashtags were all the rage I knew I was dealing with something real and raw and on the edge.
The bass player and main lyricist of these band of reggae soul brothers was Derek Clabby known now as Del Bionic.
Coming out of Kilbarrack this man has being writing killer tunes since he was a boy. Inspired and influenced by the reggae vibes and ska beats of Jamaica, he brings his own Dubland style.
And, it’s fair to say he is the longest gigging and most consistent musician of this gratifying genre on the island right now.
Always moving forward he is now singer and songwriter of Ireland’s biggest secret… The Bionic Rats
It’s a tribute to his spirit and consistency that since he first started performing in 1992 he never faltered or sold out.
However when I hear the anger and frustration in this newly penned piece I am also angry and frustrated. For different reasons though.
As a lover and promoter of music I can’t understand how someone that has consistently soundtracked Dublin and Ireland for 26 years is not known to radio stations in the capital. Apart from Near Fm and a few more mavericks.
When a citizen of our country gives his heart mind and soul by holding a mirror up to society and highlighting the good the bad the beautiful and the ugly, surely he deserves a platform.
I’m sick of seeing frustrated artists blacklisted by corporate radio stations..
And for RTÉ not to have a real music show covering alternative music from Ireland is actually unbelievable.
This battered and broken republic should be dancing to a beat of many alternative tunes.
In the meantime I for one am thankful that serious sound heads like Derek Clabby are there to remind me what it’s all about.