Cottage Sessions Review

Saturday the 25th of February saw the beginning of what I hope is to become an unmissable monthly event in the form of the Cottage Sessions. The idea which has been a collective effort from the Inner City Trust and the #DERRYcreatives group will see different artists and bands perform once a month in the cottage. Reminiscent of an old Irish traditional pub, the cottage which is based in the Craft Village of Derry’s City centre is the perfect location. In a City bursting with talent it is wonderful to see new and original concepts for artists and bands to perform in.

For the inaugural launch night of the Cottage Sessions the audience were treated to performances by Thomas John and The Easy Street Pickings.  As well as the live element to the performances, the production team worked tirelessly to ensure that each angle of the night was covered for future broadcasts. The intimate setting with its adorned interior and splashing’s of fairy lights and candles throughout helped transform the cottage into a picturesque venue

Hosting the evening was Ruth Mc Phillips who was warm and congenial and proved later on in the evening that she is a very multi-talented hostess. Irish singer-songwriter Thomas John kicked things off and despite illness prevailed with a soaring set. A formidable musician within the Irish music scene, Thomas John has built quite the reputation for himself. His song ‘Easy Tiger’ demonstrates John’s ability to craft incredibly melodic songs.


Headlining the event was five piece, The Easy Street Pickings and although from various parts of the country they are currently based in Derry. The band who had an incredibly busy week with the Cottage Sessions being their third consecutive gig didn’t let that deter them from giving an energetic performance.

Unlike some other bands, the Easy Street Pickings don’t like to contain themselves to one particular style of music and I can understand why from their performance. Moving through different genres with ease it ensured that the audience were entertained from start to finish. Despite it being a seated event there were certainly times throughout the set that I wished I could get up to dance.


Lead singer Oisín Magee is very charming, warming the crowd with his banter and exuding charisma.  Joining the band on stage hostess Ruth Phillips wowed the audience with their cover of ‘Little Talks’ from Of Monsters and Men displaying the bands outstanding harmonies. Informing the audience of their upcoming E.P which they hope to release in April, the band have certainly let the audience in on what is to come.

A completely home grown initiative, The Cottage Sessions is a brilliant opportunity for local acts to showcase their talents in an informal environment. I would advise anyone who has the opportunity to attend the next one as it is certainly a treat for the eyes and ears.

Author: Aine Cronin-McCartney

Freelance Presenter BBC Introducing // New Music Journalist Blogger // Vlogger

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