Downtown Cork Evening Echo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thursday, November 7, 2013
East Cork band Franklin may be relative newcomers to the local live circuit, but they have a wealth of musical experience behind them.
Their drummer, Len de la Cour, is a veteran of Cork rock music having previ- ously played with popular local acts such as Gaslight, Sleepy Hollow and Monk- fish.
As a member of Franklin, Len is focus- ing his considerable drumming talent on performing soul and jazz music. This quintet has now become something of a family affair for Len, as he is sharing the stage with his daughter Melanie de la Cour, who plays percussion in the group.

great songs
'our way'

Mark McAvoy chats with seasoned drummer Len
de la Cour who is now focussing on jazz and soul
outfit Franklin
Len acknowledges that having Melanie in the band creates an interesting dy- namic.
“She plays congas and bongos. About a year ago, Melanie went back studying percussion with a jazz drummer called Oliver Loughnan. Melanie already knew all the samba and rumba patterns and that kind of thing. Oliver was teaching her rudiments and reading. She goes to him every week and practices every night.”
Discussing the musical direction of Franklin, Len reveals: “We’ve just star- ted Franklin with a view to playing great songs on a different scale. Having such a great singer helps. We were lucky enough to find a fantastic singer in Sinéad Cronin, who can nail any song, and that has allowed us to build up a set-list that includes songs from Etta James and Julie London to Estelle and Melody Gardot. There are so many fantastic songs out there that people forget — from rare soul tracks to classics by Bacharach, The Rolling Stones and others, that are such a joy to play and interpret. With the line-up that we have, we try to perform songs our way.”
 “I remember the first time that I ever got into music. It was when Joe O’Callaghan from Hot Guitars was play- ing with a band in the Strand Palace in Youghal.
“Their name might have been The Method. They had no drummer as their drummer had gone on holiday. I think Donal Gallagher (brother of Rory) sat in with them for a while. Next thing, some- body said to them that I could play drums. I used to practice in that hall. So I sat in with them and I ended up going to Cork with them too. So you could say that everything started with Joe O’Callaghan,” says Len.
During his career, Len played drums with the bands Sleepy Hollow and Gas- light, both of which played as support acts to Rory Gallagher.
Looking back on this experience, Len says: “That was a highlight of a person’s life. That guy was just something else. He was a people’s musician and he was one
of the nicest guys that you could ever possibly come across. He was such a genuine character. He was the sort of guy that if he saw you in town, he would cross the road to shake hands with you. That was Gallagher!”
A long-running campaign to rename Cork Airport — Cork Rory Gallagher Airport — recently received the backing of legendary Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr. Len voices his support for this popular campaign.
“It would do a lot for Cork. Renaming the airport Cork Rory Gallagher Airport would actually bring people to Cork. I think the authorities should also erect a statue to Rory at the airport. It would put Cork on the world map for the right reas- ons.”
For more information on Franklin, see



© Franklin 2024