Nathan Carter’s new folk band Ceol are gearing up to revive traditional Irish music


Nathan Carter’s new folk band, Ceol, are gearing up to revive traditional Irish music.

Cathal Dervan, Matthew Crampsey, James O’Sullivan and Daryl Phillips have come together to bring it back in their unique and enjoyable ways.

The guys recently released their first single “Beeswing”, and they take inspiration from The Dubliners, The Chieftains, Christy Moore and Mumford and Sons. They aim to bring folk music to a new generation.

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Daryl told Dublin Live: “You’re almost scared it’s going to die out, we’re trying to almost bring it back to life, make it appealing to younger audiences and give them a new sense of life.

“If you listen to old traditional music, you won’t attract attention to the music on the radio and television. It’s very delicate, we don’t want to overdo it, there’s a balance to keep with traditional folk and to bring a touch of modernity.

“We have a lot of folk festivals booked for the summer, we are really looking forward to it. We have been practicing since September and are ready to go. We have been preparing for so long, we are working very hard and we are ready for the stage.

The group appeared on The Late Late last month and their fanbase has gone from strength to strength following their TV debut.

Daryl, from Kildare, said: “The Late Late was crazy, absolutely crazy. I come from a small town and there was so much pressure, everyone was watching.

“Locals come and tell me about it so it was great, the response was fantastic and we got so many kind words.

“I have been a professional musician for 10 years. I started playing in bars, I was on Voice of Ireland at 18 and then I did a lot of musical theatre.

“I toured with Celtic Woman in 2018 and that was the pinnacle. I was in a boy band years ago and we backed JLS and The Wanted, but it feels like forever.

“I’ve always been in the music industry and teaching music is my job and I’ve never done anything else. I teach singing and guitar, it’s my whole world, I don’t know anything else. It’s very easy to take it for granted because that’s all I’ve ever known.

“I’ve been on marriage covenants before and you’d be home at four in the morning, so it’s not all fun and games. I’ve missed a lot of family occasions and big events, but I’m so thankful for it every day.

When asked if they were ready for bras being thrown at them on stage, the 26-year-old said: “I don’t think you can be prepared for this. Can you? Personally, I would certainly be prepared for this type of lifestyle.

“I can’t speak for the guys, but I think we all know what we signed up for. If all goes well, that’s the direction we’re going. We’re all in this together, but you can’t plan something like that.

“We are all from completely different parts of the country, we have never met before. I went to an audition because I heard Nathan Carter was starting a new folk band and it’s right up my street. We were called into an audition room and that was it.

Nathan Carter

Daryl and the boys hit the studio for six hours every Monday and Wagon Wheel legend Nathan Carter and tour manager Liam McKenna have a huge involvement with the band.

“Nathan and Liam were there and they wanted the four of us to be together. It feels like forever, but it’s only been since September,” Daryl added.

“We all get along very well and the boys are my best friends, it’s as important as being in a good group.

“It’s very strange that no one has made this kind of music. Liam and Nathan obviously saw the need for this music and it’s going really well, let’s hope it continues.

“Nathan is such a nice guy, he’s very close to us and he has a lot of influence on the group. He gives us the freedom to do what we want musically but he oversees everything.

“He’s a great guy and he’s so talented. We couldn’t have a better person behind us. He definitely has the Irish in him.”

Nathan Carter also said: “The idea (for the band) came to me when I was traveling around Ireland and seeing so many talented young musicians singing and playing in pubs every night of the week.

“I thought there was an opening here for a great young band playing a mix of old folk songs with a contemporary modern twist.

“Within 8 weeks of joining TikTok, they amassed over a million views, making them the fastest growing Irish music artist on the platform.”

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