Conor Moore doesn’t look like your stereotypical drummer – instead, he’s boy-band clean cut and a lovely guy to boot.
Having played venues such as Wembley and the 3 Arena, he’s now gearing up for Gorey Market House Festival in August with his new band, Tied to the 90s. “We’re supporting Qween on the Sunday night,” says Conor, who runs his own drumming tuition business here in Gorey. On top of all that, he’s busy taking bookings for his Drummer Summer Camp in early July.
The journey to Sound Out Rhythm has taken him on a recent 21 day European tour with Dancesperados, a show of Irish music, song and dance comprising 12 dancers and a six-piece band. “I think I’m getting the touring bug back!” he laughs. Though he is getting married in August to Maura O’Gorman, so we’ll see …
He scaled the heights of his professional music career with Extreme Rhythm, a high impact Wexford-based drumming ensemble under the direction of Nick Bailey, and Seo Linn, the bilingual Irish/English six-piece band that was formed from Colaiste Lurgan.
But, first, there was Gorey Pipe Band – “I was reared as a pipe band drummer. A lot of my family members were in Gorey Pipe Band. In fact, when I came home with my kilt from the first session, my mother looked at it, and there was her name tag – Sarah Fitzpatrick – sewn into it. The kilt had been hers in 1994!”
Gorey Community School played a part as well. There, music teacher Roisin Dempsey (a former singer with Celtic Woman, Anuna, and Riverdance), introduced him to her husband, Nick Bailey, a world-class drummer (ex-Riverdance, Celtic Woman and more). Nick had set up Extreme Rhythm, a band of percussionists, and Conor joined them for a number of years.
Other gigs followed, including Kelly Clarkson and the X Factor. “Kelly Clarkson can sell out an arena in 10 minutes. Wembley takes 16,000 people, the 3 Arena 8,000 and they were some experiences. The hair stands up at the back of your neck and you just have to relax and enjoy it.”
Not surprisingly, he was noticed and got a call from Colaiste Lurgan to work on the Beo video in 2012. The following year, Conor was invited back to contribute to the creativity and choreography for the Avicii track. “That got one million hits on YouTube in under a week.” A Late Late Show appearance followed, Seo Linn was formed, they needed a drummer and he was off again …
Gigs followed in Boston, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, and Belfast to name just a few venues. “I wasn’t an Irish speaker so I treated this like a classroom and I can hold my own now in conversations with Irish speakers!”
Gorey Market House Festival
And, yet, Gorey is still the best place to perform. At the Market House Festival, he’ll be playing next to friends Stephen Donegan, Robert Brady and Pat O’Neill in Tied to the 90s, blasting out the best of musical icons from the 1990s like Oasis, Blur, Ocean Colour Scene, Stone Roses, Stereophonics. Tied to the 90s, a quaint quartet, perform the definitive collection of indie-britpop hits, gems and ‘absolute’ tunes. “It’s a nostalgic 90s trip, some night say – we’ll be acting the part,” says Conor, laughing. “The motto is: the 90s, no evidence, many memories!” The Market House Festival is the launch pad for the group and they intend picking up gigs at corporate events, festivals, weddings. “There’s a lot of nostalgia for the sound of the 90s in our age group.”
And then, there’s the day job in Sound Out Rhythm, where he provides tuition, workshops, seminars, performance, and advice on all things rhythmical including drums, bodhran, cajon (boom box), djembe, snare drum and all other hand percussion.
A busy man …
Interview: Deirdre O’Flynn