Fans of The 4 of Us will know that when you go to see one of their live shows, there could be two members on stage, there might be five – the name never really made sense! One thing you can be sure of though, is that somewhere in their number there will always be at least two Murphy Brothers.
Their latest album Sugar Island was released just over a year ago; a concept album of sorts, with many of the songs recalling their experience of growing up in Newry. It’s a brilliantly subtle, nostalgic look back at 1970s Northern Ireland with humour and warmth, without being a terribly worthy record about “The Troubles”.
The brothers maintain a hectic touring schedule and have become renowned for exciting, high energy shows, combining their early ’90s rock-pop anthems with their newest material and everything in between. Youngest brother, guitar superstar, reluctant singer and all round good bloke is Declan. Get to Know Declan Murphy.
Name: Declan Joseph Murphy
Where you’re from: Dad’s from Mullaghbawn, Co. Armagh. Mum’s from Markethill, Co. Armagh. We’re from Newry, Co. Down
Describe your style in 5 words or fewer: Little behind the beat
Biggest musical influence: Brendan Murphy, Enda Walsh, Peter McKinney and early guitar teacher Donal O’Hanlon
What you’re listening to right now: Otis Redding
Favourite venue: Ulster Hall
Favourite local band/artist of the moment: I’m loving Edelle McMahon’s album: Adventures in Narcissism
Last gig you attended: Ryan Adams, Ulster Hall, Belfast
Best gig you ever attended: Prince, Wembly Arena, Lovesexy Tour, 1988
Gig you wish you could have attended: Bob Marley and the Wailers – Babylon by Bus Tour – 1979
Favourite album of all time: Joni Mitchell – Hejira
Musician you’d love to collaborate with: Ethan Johns
Last thing you do before you go onstage: Ask Brendan if he’s ready
Dream festival line-up: Rolling Stones, James Brown, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Planxty, Public Enemy, Stevie Wonder, Talking Heads, Kate Bush, The Blue Nile, Neil Young, Ian Dury and The Blockheads, Roxy Music, Fela Kuti and The 4 of Us
Most valued possession: My health
You can catch The 4 of Us live during their Northern Irish tour next month. Find details here.