Star Sign
Angelina Jolie
The Commitments
Newman’s “Birds of Southern Africa”
Frank Sinatra to Eminem (en passant par) Green Day and the Silence of the desert!!!
My wife’s cooking, Sushi & Seafood
Namibian Desert and Paris
Pet Hate
Bad Drivers

Derrick Dryan - Lead Vocals & Percussion

Derrick was born in a small village called Ballydrain in Northern Ireland. He began singing in the church choir (doesn’t everybody) ? He was the toast of all family gatherings, but being shy, disliked the attention. However, it wasn’t until he turned 17, and the family moved to the bigger town of Bangor, when he joined his first group as frontman with “The Highwall”. It was a 5-piece outfit with their roots firmly in Soul and Rhythm & Blues. Their biggest success came when they entered the “battle of the bands”, alongside Gary Moore’s band in the finals, and won ! They had an impressive following, sharing the stage with legends such as Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Thin Lizzy & many more. The band members did not manage to keep together, the keyboard player joined Suzi Quatro, the bassist pursued his career as an engineer, and the drummer as a school teacher.

In 1969 Derrick joined one of the top showbands in Ireland, a 7 piece band called “The Newmen”. There he mastered his craft as lead singer to thousands of people in massive dance halls all over Ireland. Those years read like the script from the movie “The Commitments”, the drinking, the women and the endless arguing while travelling in the bus. They recorded their first single in Dublin “Seasons in the Sun”, which quickly hit the Irish Top Ten. By this time they were playing regularly in the Workingmen’s clubs in England. It was here were they were spotted by a South African hotel owner who offered them a 6 month contract to play in his hotel in Durban, …They jumped at the chance.

Soon after leaving Ireland under snow and ice, they arrived in Durban on a sweltering day in February. Their drummer Joe had a broken arm and Derrick ended up in Addington Hospital with a viral throat infection, which baffled doctors for weeks ! It was eventually treated with a gargle of arsenic which he was not allowed to swallow. Anyway the band had an incredible success, and by the end of their contract decided to stay in South Africa, except for the drummer and the lead guitarist who returned to Ireland.

Derrick & Fergie formed Ballyhoo when “The Newmen”split, and in 1981, after the success of “Man on the Moon” Derrick, for personal reasons, left the band and pursued a career in sales & marketing (which he likens to being on stage) ! He did training and gave motivational talks to hundreds of people. He also played a lot of golf (one of his passions), learned to speak French and indulge in his other passion (the bush and 4x4) in particular – Namibia.

“Coming back to Ballyhoo is like a rebirth and somehow having come full circle”, a proof that in Derrick’s and Ralph Martin’s words “anything you can imagine, you can have it, you can get it. If you hold it in your mind’s eye, you can hold it in your hand”…

“There is no highest high than being on stage and entertaining people, and to you all I say – Thank you for giving me the opportunity”.





Wharfdale & Samson