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Tell me about ... 'Christy's a legend. I need to make songs my own'

March 20th, 2024 11:30 PM

By Dylan Mangan

Tell me about ... 'Christy's a legend. I need to make songs my own' Image
Aslan’s current line-up is Alan Downey, Joe Jewell, Billy McGuinness, and Lee Tomkins. (Photo: Brendan Duffy)

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Lee Tomkins is the new singer with Aslan, who play Cyprus Avenue in Cork on March 22nd

Christy Dignam is an Irish music legend. How does it feel stepping into such big shoes?

Christy is a music legend without a doubt and he can never be replicated because of his unique voice and great stage presence. The only shoes I can fill is my own. I’m excited about singing the bands amazing songs and honoured to get to play with the lads. I have to put my own stamp on things and we have done that and the band sounds amazing so I’m really looking forward to the gigs.

Did you know Christy and Aslan before?

I didn’t know Christy personally, I know Alan’s brother and Joe actually used to drink with my grandfather in the Royal Oak pub in Finglas (we only found this out after a couple of rehearsals)! I am a fan of Aslan and I have been for many years. When you’re growing up in Finglas Aslan is bred into you from uncles friends cousins etc. I’ve spent many a night belting out made in Dublin after a good night out back at a party!

Do you have to put your own stamp on the songs?

I definitely have to put my own stamp on the songs because as I said no one will ever replicate Christy. So I need to make the songs my own. I also play guitar so it’s made the songs a lot fuller having three guitars with the bass drums and keys so the sound is a Rock version of Aslan with all the sing along parts included. We’re doing some songs the lads rarely performed and all the heavy hitters so the shows are going to be amazing.

What is your own music background?

I started playing guitar at 10 years old, played my first gig st the age of 15, I’ve played either guitar, keyboards or sang in numerous bands, travelled all over the world playing music. I was in an original band called DC Tempest as the lead guitarist and we supported Bon Jovi, Razorlight, Kid Rock and the Coronas to name a few. I was also in Bobby Kimball from Toto’s band when he toured Ireland, I played guitar , keys and sang backing vocals for him. I’ve been playing music a long time and wouldn’t change it for the world!

Are you working on new material with Aslan?

The next step after the gigs is to start recording an album so that is exciting.

Can we expect to see you in West Cork soon?

We really hope so, there will be more dates to come but I know the lads are really looking forward to coming back to Cork and to play Cyprus Avenue, it’s their first gig since early August 2022, and it will be my first gig performing with them. It’s going to be epic.

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