Lennon and McCartney. Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham. Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Throughout history, the meeting of two musical minds has been magic, something that is on the cards for the Drogheda band Temple Annie.
Hen Front Ladies Ciara Callaghan and Amanda Maples reunited four years ago to sing with local combo Fuzz Gigolo, this set off a chain of events that led to a series of original songs destined for an album in the autumn .
Now joined forces with guitar legend Geoff Fey, as well as Gavin Kierans on bass, John White on keys and Ant Keeran on drums, their new band is heading triple-billed at McHugh’s Barrel Venue on August 12. .
“We’re really looking forward to that gig and we’re sharing the stage with two other great bands, The Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra and ArcoArena,” explains singer/songwriter Ciara. “This will be our third big gig, and we are getting a great response in the city and we look forward to showing some more new content.”
Hailing from Monasterbois, music has been a part of Ciara’s life since she was a little girl.
“I remember I was about three or four and sat at the door of my mom’s room, playing all her vinyl records, which were all the Rolling Stones, hot chocolate, Bee Gees and even Demis Russo. And that’s when it all started!” She says with a laugh.
“I first got the guitar when I was 10 and it was a teacher in Harestown NS – Joe Carroll – who really encouraged me to play.
“He would take out loads of instruments over lunch breaks—tin whistles, guitars, violins—and he was a huge influence on me, because we did music as an elementary school subject, which was rare.”
In fact, it was Mr. Carroll who gave Ciara her first taste of the stage, and she hasn’t looked back since!
“I was about eight years old when we had a little concert and I sang “Annie’s Song” by John Denver, which is still one of my favorites, but honestly, it has nothing to do with the name of our new band. —don’t give in,’ says Ciara, whose parents are Monica and Michael Callaghan. “I then started taking guitar lessons at the Sound Shop and the Crilly School of Music, but sadly music was not available at Sacred Heart School for the Living, so it took a back seat.”
Her daughter Aoife at the age of 17 also stopped music for a few years, but a chance meeting with Fran Thornton of local band Fuzz Gigolo in 2015 soon brought music back into the limelight for Ciara.
“Fran asked if I’d be interested in singing with him, and he was wonderful at making me feel comfortable and we ended up preferring Electric Picnic,” she says. “I lived with them for three years, but I’ve always thought I’d love to write my own material, and that’s where the creation of Temple Annie began.”
Temple Annie’s other woman, Amanda Maples, was born in Coolock, Dublin, and was already married to Patrick, with children Noel, Lois, and now Charlie, by the time she moved to Drogheda.
“I’ve always loved music, and when I was growing up, our house was always full,” says Amanda. “I thought Drogheda was great – like a little Dublin with superior musical talent – but I had never been a singer before, so it only started when I joined the gospel choir at the Augustinian Church.”
With a powerful voice and a remarkable ear for harmonies, it was yet another opportunity that set Amanda on the path to her newfound talent.
“I loved going to Briefer Holohan’s Good Thyme Cafe concert, and one night I went with my son-in-law, Taro, who’s from Japan and a great musician, and I said, If you go along and play, I Sing,” she explains. “Fran Thornton was there and he overheard me and asked if I would like to come and jam with the band, and the next thing I knew, I was singing with them, and every minute of it was loving, much to the shock and surprise of my own children! ,
The voices of the two women proved to be a powerful combination, as well as a meeting of musical tastes.
“We both love Kate Bush, so there’s bound to be an impact there,” Ciara says with a smile.
“We both have similar tastes and musical influences, and I love Chris Cornell, Skunk Anancy and Bonnie Raitt — basically anything but free jazz!”
Temple Annie Gig consists of one or two covers of well-known tunes, but primarily, it is original material, with Ciara Scher writing part of it.
“I’ve been working for Louth County Council for 21 years, and maybe some of my colleagues will be surprised to learn that the inspiration to sing can kill me in the middle of work!” She laughs. “A concept or idea can just pop into my mind, and I take a notebook and write it down, and I’ll usually write the whole song that evening.”
Now Mum To Kian (17), he is following in his mother’s footsteps and playing drums, while Aoife plays keyboards and writes songs.
The two women would write their music and lyrics separately and then come together to see what would work as a track.
Amanda says, “I don’t read music, so I play and write by sound – sometimes songs come to me when I’m sleeping and I have to wake up to remember it and sing it to my phone. ” “Ciara will do her job, and we’ll come together and sound off!”
Ciara’s resemblance to Alanis Morissette on stage can’t be ignored, so is she a fan?
“You know, I love her, and that album ‘Jagged Little Pill’ is one of my favorites, but Kate Bush is still a huge influence,” Ciara says. “I was lucky enough to see two of my favorite musicians even before they died – Ennio Morricone and Vangelis.”
Ciara says that she comes alive on stage and this is where she feels most at home.
“I light up and am happiest when I perform,” says Ciara. “I used to be very shy but singing with Fuzz Gigolo got me out of my shell.”
Temple Annie was formed in 2019, and started to hit the local scene when COVID hit.
“We’re still learning our craft together, because gigs are only coming back, but we’re really finding our voices,” says Amanda. “Ciara has a lot of songs so we’ve had enough for a few albums, and we’ll even run some covers that we know the crowd loves.”
Temple Annie, ArcoArena and the Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra will play McHugh’s Venue on Friday, August 12 at 8 p.m.