The Priests, the singing Irish clerical trio, sound like the kind of throwback act that would never catch on these days. Think again. This Christmas, two of the Derry-born trio (Martin and Eugene O’Hagan) are returning to the Maiden City for a special performance in the company of fellow priest David Delargy for what's being billed as a special Christmas performance.
The show, entitled 'Christmas With The Priests', will feature faintly ecclesiastical numbers like Ave Maria, Pie Jesu, and Amazing Grace.
It being the season, carols like Ding Dong Merrily On High, O Come All Ye Faithful, and Silent Night will also be in the mix.
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Irish singing group The Priests prepare to tour the United States
Reeling from the cancellation of their US tour this month, the trio - who were set to commence a tour of 1,000 seater venues in the States this week - were forced by last minute circumstances to postpone their tour until the Spring of 2012.
Fr. Martin told the Derry Journal: 'It is our black Wednesday, the reason we had to postpone was the dates clashed with some of our Irish tour. We are all very disappointed but considering the bad weather there, it may be a blessing in disguise. It will give us more time to rehearse though.'
It's time the trio, who have been astounded by their own success since their debut album in 2008, have put to good use. In particular, they have been taking some style and performance tips from the performer who has rewritten the book on them.
'In fact, we watched Lady Gaga at the European Music Awardss (EMA's) so we are thinking of adapting some of her costume changes,' Fr. Martin joked adding, 'particularly Fr. David, maybe we’ll get more avant garde and dress up in red carpet instead of appearing on it.'
Since The Priests launched their debut album they have sold three million records, have received three Classic Brit nominations, they have achieved one Guinness World Record, and played concerts to a global audience.
At the same time all three are still serving parish priests. 'In fact the US tour was to be our holidays,' Fr. Martin explains with a laugh.
The Priests sing 'Amazing Grace':