BUGLE WONDERLAND


Celebrating the female post-wartime trios that soothed shellshocked nations, The Bugle Babes like to party like it’s 1949…

When it comes to this business we call show, there are many golden years, but few sparkle, shimmy and shake quite like the swing era.

Which may explain why Derby Browne, Lou Van Laake and Eileen Cole have decided to live there.

If only just for a few hours, onstage, and in front of a swaying, jiving crowd.

Coming to back to The Whale on Saturday, November 30th, The Bugle Babes celebrate all that is glamorous and groovy about the 1940s and ’50s, channeling everyone from Carmen Jones and Glen Miller to Fats Waller and, of course, The Andrew Sisters.

Ahead of their encore appearance, we asked Ms Browne to list her all-time swinging favourites, and to reveal just what it was that made her sit right down and form The Bugle Babes…

Musty-scented sheet music found in a piano stool, and old vinyl discs with 1940s and 1950s music from my father’s record collection is what I grew up listening to. Pop music didn’t interested me one bit.

Instead, it was glamourous blondes with pearl necklaces, singing mysterious songs about love and fiancees, and cafes, and parties – and tears and betrayal – to divinely handsome men with shiny black hair and perfect faces, leaning in to light their cigarettes and break their hearts… I couldn’t wait to grow up and be in that world of glamour and gowns, and heartbreak, and being adoringly smitten. Smoking cigarettes in a cafe, while your ex-fiancé dances with a new girlfriend…

Bliss!

And so I did. I became one of those singers, singing in a smoky café, having men buy me drinks, and pearls, and going on dates and impromptu trips to snowy cabins in the mountains in wooly jumpers and pencil pants.
In the meantime, I studied piano and singing in The Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin, and then headed to London, performing in the West End and in smoky little cafés, before moving to Paris in order to pursue the path of Piaf.

There, I ran away with a Frenchman, came back to Ireland, and went down the yellow-bricked road of WW2, with The Andrews Sisters and Glenn Miller, setting up The Bugle Babes, a vintage-coiffed, seamed-stockinged, red-lipped 1940s-style harmony trio that pays homage to three sassy sisters, who kept the soldiers entertained on the Front Line, performing on makeshift stage on the back of a truck or an aircraft hanger…

Once again, bliss!

News

Leave It To Mr O’Brien
As funnyman Danny O'Brien brings his latest stand-up to The Whale, we find ...
Frankie Goes To Greystones
The Swing Cats bring their Kings of Swing tour to Greystones. It’s har...
You Hum It, Son
Ahead of his Mother's Day concert, Paul Harrington digs his rock'n'roll roo...