The beautiful Bugle Babes brought some Christmas sparkle to Antrim last night with a lively rendition of ‘Jingle Bells’ and other festive music included in their mainly 1940s repertoire. The tea dance in the Old Courthouse finished around 10:15pm and the trio were on the road again back to Dublin at 4am today in order to make an appearance on TV3’s Ireland:AM show at 7am (repeated on 3e at 11am).
The former courthouse building has been restored to convert it into a small theatre on the first floor. The ground floor contains a tourist information office and a convenient café. The dressing room area downstairs used to contain the cells!
Derby Browne is from Dublin and founded the Bugle Babes in 2007. Much of their show is based on the songs of the Andrews Sisters, whose songs entertained the GIs during the Second World War. She can be contacted through her website.
Soprano Eileen Coyle told me she comes from Finea in County Cavan. An area I associate with the late John Wilson TD, a former Tanaiste who was also my Latin teacher in school and who came from nearby Mullahoran. She has sung with the Lassus Scholars in Westminster Cathedral. The choral group from Dublin performs Renaissance music, very different from the sounds heard in Antrim last night!
The third member of the ‘Babes’ is Lou Van Laake, originally from the Netherlands, who is now a well-known name on the Dublin cabaret circuit (aka Truly DiVine) and whose latest solo show is a tribute to Marlene Dietrich and was performed in Dublin recently. She says she hopes to repeat it in April.
The Bugles Babes’ appearance at the tea dance was part of the 4 Corners music festival run by Antrim Borough Council and presented by MADD Music. It runs until Monday 2nd December.