The Plea: The Early Days

Updated: 11th November'13 at 1:49am

Back in the days before they were causing “Nothin’ But Trouble” in their “Dreamers Stadium”, Denny and Dermot gigged in many a pub around a wee town called Moville and surrounding locales, including such places as Hair of the Dog, which was “…the first bar me and Derm ever played in, I was 14,,, what a place…”, Sean Ti, Bar-A-Cuda, Rosatos, Caiseal Mara, and The Town Clock.


The first appearance where I’ve seen The Plea mentioned was Moville’s Foyle Festival in August 2006. On the schedule of events and performers, one reviewer wrote: “Rosato’s has one of the district’s best bands on in The Plea…and that is where I will be that night. The Plea, who play a lot of Bob Dylan, are not to be missed.”

[Sidenote: Still think it's rather interesting that when I played "Jolie Louise" and the tracks off the Coronary Hills CD to Fiance last year, the first words out of his mouth after hearing them were "They sound a little like Bob Dylan". Go figure. Guess back then even when they weren't playing Dylan, they still had a hint of that Dylan sound.]

Then in December 2006, I found that they’d played Rosato’s again, found a fairly lengthy review of the gig at It doesn’t seem to be there on the site anymore, so – please excuse any typos – I typed it off the screen cap that I did of it while it WAS there; click below to read it.

The Plea Thrill Rosato's

The Plea Thrill Rosato’s

Monday, December 4, 2006

Great Set

Local band The Plea played a great set in Rosato’s on Saturday. They recently signed a record deal with a US record label after they were talent spotted playing in London a while back. Usually it’s just the two brothers Denis and Dermot who play in Rosato’s instead of the full band. Denis had been out in Indiana helping with the record deal, so wasn’t available but Dermot played with another member of the band.

High Octane

What marks out The Plea when they are playing just as a duo is the high octane pace that they keep as they belt out their songs which usually include a fair sprinkling of Bob Dylan numbers. Many bands are a lot more mellow and slow the speed when there is no drums to keep them up to speed – but not The Plea. They were actually playing with my mic stand as they forgot their own. I missed a trick there. I should have taken a photograph of them playing using it. I could have flogged it on Ebay if they became famous but I have no way of proving it now.


Once again The Plea thrilled the audience in Rosato’s where they are favourites. Especially in the second half of their set, the end of each song was greeted with claps and cheers (and a bit of hollering as well). As they say in the X-Factor, they nailed it again. They play every 4 weeks in Rosato’s, so that would have them playing again on December 30th. One fears that one day they will be snatched from us, that they wil tell Eddie Harkin one week that they have recording and touring duties and they won’t be able to play any more. But for now, appreciate them while you can.


“The Plea… are arguably [one of] the top local bands and cut down versions (two of them) play regularly at Rosatos.”

Sounds like The Plea, or at least just Denny and Dermot, played Rosato’s quite a bit, if they were there every four weeks.

2007-2009 DylanFest:

“Bands from all over Ireland are taking part in the DylanFest but the best of the local bands, like The Plea among others, are also getting an opportunity to play to a national and international audience.”

“The Plea – Been the best Dylan band about the North East for many years…”

The Plea - DylanFest MovilleOne place where Den and Derm always seemed to be a big hit was at DylanFest, where they played in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Haven’t actually found any video or photo evidence of their appearance in 2007, but they were on the artist list for both Friday and Saturday on one of the Bob Dylan blogs that I ran across,  as well as in the writeup for the 2008 DylanFest where they discuss which bands were coming back for a second year, they DO say that “…and The Plea played once again.” Meaning they must have been there for the first one in 2007. Elementary, my dear Watson. :)

They came back and played in 2008, to great response. Said one attendee:

“The bands/artists were exceptional but if I had to pick one performance it would be by The Plea — two brothers I believe, two guitars and an exceptional sound — worth going for them alone.”

Booyah! Cool

And a comment from the Derry Journal: “…then enjoyed more Dylan tunes in the town’s pubs, with a rare performance from The Plea proving to be a real crowd pleaser…”

Which brings us to their final performance at DylanFest in 2009, which “…was blessed by arguably the best performance of any of the DylanFest, The Plea’s gig in the Town Clock on the Saturday night.” Found a little 29 second clip of them performing Like a Rolling Stone over on YouTube, and brightened it up a bit to post here.


LOTS of reviews and comments regarding this show at The Town Clock. Read on, MacDuff!

“… Simply Fantastic…”

“He brought along his family too and said he had thoroughly enjoyed it, especially The Plea…”

“The Plea were simply fantastic last night in the Town Clock. They stole the entire DylanFest. If there’s a better band in the world at playing Dylan songs they must be mind blowing. They were a last minute booking when someone else pulled out. One more day to go. Steph Buhe, who came over from France to play is playing Rosatos tonight. He was stunned by The Plea performance. “Incredible” he kept saying.”

“…[Bob Dylan] didn’t play Dylan songs as good as The Plea did”

Click below for yet another great review of The Plea’s 2009 DylanFest performance.

The Plea were brilliant in the Town Clock

The Plea were brilliant in the Town Clock

Posted Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Plea

It’s the first time they had played in Moville since the last DylanFest on the Lough but The Plea were back – and how. Many people had them down as the best band in Donegal anyway but loads of people last night agreed that they had improved again. I would say that it would have been the best pub gig I’ve seen in Moville in the six years since I’ve been here and rivalled The Phantom Engineers street gigs at previous DylanFests. They had some sound problems at the start which caused a few heated moments but they got it sorted out and played a fantastic gig in front of the biggest crowd I’d seen in The Town Clock for a long time.


The place was jumping! Earlier on I’d been down at Rosatos and seen Marianne McEvoy and partner Brendan play in a three-piece. They were excellent too. They would be definites next year for the DylanFest if available. I’m told that Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (Sean ‘Highboy’ McLaughlin and Tim) were very good too by the film crew filming them.

Their Night

But it was The Plea’s night. In fact, it was The Plea’s Festival. They were magnificent and they belted out Dylan song after Dylan song in their own inimitable style. I saw Bob Dylan at the O2 earlier this year but he didn’t play Dylan songs as good as The Plea did. He should take them on tour with him.

“…Arguably the best ever gig was never filmed….”

ANOTHER review from 2009. Maybe THIS is why I’ve only been able to track down that one short clip from DylanFest 2009. LOL.

Full original article can be found here:

From 'History of the Moville DylanFest'

…This was the first year of the downturn and the numbers were down a little that year. There was no music outside but just in the pubs. However, it was blessed by arguably the best performance of any of the DylanFest, The Plea’s gig in the Town Clock on the Saturday night. That was the last time that they played at the DylanFest as they went onto national fame and are starting to spread out internationally.

It’s not often that you see people jumping around to Dylan but the brothers Denis and Dermot have a high-octane style. Virtually everyone in the pub was up dancing and bopping around.

Indeed it was so frenetic that the brothers stopped playing as people kept bumping into them and their equipment and one girl grabbed the mike and started singing herself. They are known to have a low threshold and the start of the gig was spiced with some fruity words as they yelled at each other over the performance of the equipment.

I had brought a film crew along to film it at great expense, costing me €500. They needed lights, though, and The Plea had asked for the lights to be turned down. I waited till they had stopped shouting at each other and then asked them if we could have the lights on for a few songs. “Tell the film crew to f*ck off” they told me. “Keep the f*cking lights off”.

Ah well!

Arguably the best ever gig was never filmed.

Afterwards I saw one of them outside and said “That was brilliant. Maybe you could play the street next year as the headline band”. We’re not a f*cking tribute band” he replied.

And that was that!

They have never been back since as they went on to higher things.


Still Talking About Them!

Even to this day, some of the better bands that have been/are playing DylanFest now are still being compared to The Plea.

  • 2011: James McIvor is “perhaps the best singer in the area now that The Plea have vacated the place.”
  • 2011: “I would personally put [String Fellas] as the best band playing currently in the area… Perhaps only The Plea… would be better.”
  • 2011: “People still reminisce about the great bands that they used to get on a Saturday night in the Good Old Days at the Hair of the Dog. One of the bands who played there were The Plea who were very popular and have gone one to greater things.”
  • 2011: “Now if they could only get The Plea to play another gig in Moville – that would be something…”
  • 2012: Mick Dunn “joins The Phantom Engineers, Al Diesan and Pino Toco, The Sick and Indigent Song Club, The Plea and Jacques Mees in the Festvals Hall of Fame”
  • 2012 Brendan Donaghy “especially likes the DylanFest and loves Al Diesan, Jacques Mees and The Plea along with many other acts.”
  • 2012 Mick Dunn must be one of the best performers ever to play in Rosatos or at any of the festivals. When you think of some of the acts that have played there and at the festivals like Al Diesan, Jacques Mees, The Plea and the Sick and Indigent Song Club, that is some compliment.
  • 2013: “… like The Plea they play Dylan in an upbeat style…”
  • 2013: “[The Plea] are thought of, by many, as the best band that ever emanated from this area…”


 A Few Old School Plea Photos:

(Click to lightbox them)


Found a WHOLE lotta articles when I googled ‘”The Plea” “DylanFest”‘ , most from Those folk really LOVE The Plea; even as late as this year, with the band not making appearances there anymore, they’re STILL talking about them and name dropping them in their articles about OTHER up and coming bands.  (Most recently, in October, that first one in the gallery [link to the original post is here.] Yes, *cough cough* ‘someone from Raleigh, North Carolina in the USA’ is indeed me. Thank goodness I sounded at least somewhat coherent when I dropped him that email, lol). Just doing my part to try to keep “Out Like a Light” ranking in the ShoutedFM countdown. [It's dropped a few places as of this week, but is still in the top ten. If you find yourself with a spare mouseclick available, hop on over and give them a vote. :) ]

Check some of them out! (click to lightbox these too)