Swing Commandos / Nomads Showband /
Jim Cantwell Big Band Feature
Photo Gallery -
Band Lineups -
- Audio samples -
Where Are They Now?
Although the Nomads made their
debut on Easter Sunday, 1964, their history actually goes back to
late 1950's when Dave Murphy from Kilkenny formed a series of bands
including the Dave Murphy Sextette, Dave Murphy Orchestra, and in
mid-1959, the Dave Murphy Showband. In 1961, he renamed the band the
Swing Commandos. The band was managed by Syd McDonald. In
August, 1962, the band went on a tour of England visiting all the
usual spots for the showbands including Leeds, Coventry, Manchester
For the next few years, the
Swing Commandos did very well, playing gigs all across the
country. By 1963, the band had changed managers to Kevin Feerick of
Ballinrobe. This wouldn't last long as the band broke up at Lent in
1963 and David Murphy ended up emigrating to England.
In January 1965, the band had
narrow escape when their van went over an embankment into a bog at
Foileadown, about 9 miles from Killarney, they returning from a gig
in the Silver Slipper Ballroom in Kenmare. Newspaper reports
described the band's ordeal: "The accident happened at three o'clock
in the morning and following the crash the band members lit a fire
on the bog and and remained sitting around it and playing their
instruments until morning. At dawn, they went to a nearby house and
were given breakfast by Mrs. Moynihan at Loo Bridge. They changed
their clothes there."
By 1967, the band was being
managed by Harry Holt and were beginning to move in a more pop
direction after the release of their first single, Lough Sheelin.
They had also added a keyboard player for the first time, Michael
In March, 1970 future Tweed
vocalist Brendan Ryder joined the band and they released their
second single, The Singer Sang His Song.
Dermot Delaney (died in July 1993)
after being with Swing Comnmandos, Nomads and Jim Cantwell.
Dickie Tennyson (Swing Commandos
vocals) passed away in July 1988
Jimmy Donnelly was with Swing
1962 Noel Power, Fergus Hogan and
Billy Russell (Callan)
More to come.....
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