Red Deer drummer Jordan Swanson (second from left) is in the Irish indie band Late Night Pharmacy. (Contributed photo).

Red Deer drummer Jordan Swanson (second from left) is in the Irish indie band Late Night Pharmacy. (Contributed photo).

Red Deer drummer finding success with a Dublin band

Jordan Swanson is in Late Night Pharmacy

A Red Deer drummer is setting the beat for one of the “must-watch” indie bands in Ireland.

Jordan Swanson left Alberta for Dublin in 2017 and was welcomed into Ireland’s fabled music scene.

“There are a lot of tourists that come through Dublin, so you see a lot of buskers, and cover music in the bars,” said Swanson.

“There’s also a lot of traditional Irish music being played. One of my favourites to attend is a traditional session, where musicians show up with all types of native instruments…”

Although Swanson got his journeyman electrician credentials at Red Deer College, he had hoped to work as a musician in Ireland. Yet it wasn’t music that motivated him to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

“You could say I moved for love,” said Swanson, whose girlfriend (now wife) decided to complete her PhD in Ireland.

The native of Red Deer and Lacombe has been drumming since age 12. Swanson was previously in the Red Deer hip-hop Midwest Mindset, which was selected into the Top 25 in the CBC 2016 Searchlight talent contest from 2,000 entrants.

After arriving in Dublin, Swanson was introduced to the alternative post-punk band Late Night Pharmacy through social media. He met guitarist Fionn Murray through Facebook, and joined the group in 2018.

Along with lead singer Robert Maguire and bassist Michael Spence, the indie band is heavily influenced by Joy Division, Interpol, Bauhaus and My Bloody Valentine.

While COVID-stricken 2020 proved to be a major downer in terms of performing, Late Night Pharmacy has been charting an upwards trajectory.

The band got great buzz for its 2019 EP Flamingo, and was put on Ireland’s Babylon Radio’s “ones-to-watch list” for 2021.

Last fall, Late Night Pharmacy was one of four bands selected to participate in a professional development offered by an Irish radio station, music venue and college.

And in November, the group was awarded a recording grant worth almost 4,000 Euros (about $6,000) as part of the Music Industry Stimulus Package rolled out by the Irish government to support the music sector in a Covid-stricken economy.

Late Night Pharmacy is using this grant and other prize money to produce and release five singles, to be released every other month starting on April 20.

The first tune, Too Late for the Rickshaws, has been described as a “jangly dream song” with an exuberant chorus.

“Our new music is really high quality, I’m actually blown away how good these sound,” said Swanson. “It’s amazing what help with money can do…”

Red Deer and the rest of the world will be able to watch the music video for Too Late for the Rickshaws after its release by Hot Press magazine in Ireland, “which has followed the likes of U2 and Sinead O’Connor,” said Swanson.

While he longs to play live gigs after the pandemic, he believes the bright side is having extra time now to work on songs.

Swanson said he and his wife miss friends and family, and a lot else about Alberta — “the natural forests, the mountains, camping, camp fires…” — but plan to stay on in Europe.

“Ireland is booming at the minute and they have a great sense of work life balance,” he explained.

“The people and the culture are laid back here…People also have a great sense of humour. I enjoy the ability to travel non-pandemic, you’re so close to so many great spots for a dirt cheap flight.”

Swanson looks forward to touring around Ireland and the U.K.

Whether Late Night Pharmacy ever makes it to Red Deer will probably depend on how many Albertans become fans, Swanson added.

“I think it would come down to if we can get the support to back up the tour.”

Swanson added he will always be grateful to Red Deer “for having such an incredible music scene… I’ve played in a handful of bands through the years, and Red Deer has always been at the core of everything.”



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Instructor Brandt Trimble leads an outdoor spin class at RYDE RD. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Fitness facilities continue to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions

‘It’s really frustrating to be one of the targeted businesses’

Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins (Photo contributed)
Federal budget strangles job growth, says MP Blaine Calkins

‘It is most certainly not a balanced budget’

Kids at Lotsa’Tots West Day Care in Red Deer act out how a caterpillar moves with co-owner and instructor Shireen Sewcharran-Wiebe. Child care providers are hoping Alberta’s provincial government will help fund the national child care program announced this week. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Alberta day care providers hope Alberta will get onboard with national child care program

Some question whether the UCP’s ideology will stand in the way

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney shakes hands with Jason Nixon, minister of Environment and Parks after being sworn into office, in Edmonton on Tuesday April 30, 2019. Town council from the largest municipality in Nixon's constituency is concerned over the province's consultation plans for open-pit coal mining in the Rocky Mountains. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Town of Rocky Mountain House wants better coal consultation

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alta. — Town council from the largest municipality in… Continue reading

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange was in Red Deer on Friday to provide an update on the province's COVID-19 response in schools.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Alberta government aiming for more financial literacy learning in junior and senior high schools

Government providing grants to organizations who will help design financial literacy programming

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks at a television screen as he listens to United States President Joe Biden deliver a statement during a virtual joint statement following a virtual meeting in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘We hope to help a little more’: Biden says he spoke to Trudeau about more vaccines

WASHINGTON — Canada can look forward to an unexpected shot in the… Continue reading

The Mission Correctional Institution in Mission, B.C. is pictured Tuesday, April 14, 2020. A new federal study found that people released from prison were much more likely than the general population to have trouble finding gainful employment, even over a decade after returning to society. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Ease employment hurdles for former prison inmates, federal study urges

OTTAWA — A new federal study found that people released from prison… Continue reading

Governor of the Bank of Canada Tiff Macklem holds a press conference at the Bank Of Canada in Ottawa on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Bank of Canada keeps rate on hold, sees brighter economic outlook

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada is keeping its key interest rate… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. Tam says new information on COVID-19 and variants prompted the National Advisory Committee on Immunization to suddenly cancel its planned update on who should get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
AstraZeneca advice from national panel delayed by new data on COVID-19 and variants

OTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health officer says new information on COVID-19… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks at a television screen as he listens to United States President Joe Biden deliver a statement during a virtual joint statement following a virtual meeting in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pressured to adopt tougher emissions target for Biden climate summit

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under pressure to step up… Continue reading

Passengers from Air India flight 187 from New Delhi wait for their transportation to quarantine after arriving at Pearson Airport in Toronto on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
ICU pressures mount as COVID fells younger people; Ottawa mulls India travel ban

TORONTO — Amid mounting pressures on critical care in hospitals and concerns… Continue reading

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers the federal budget in the House of Commons as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on in Ottawa on Monday April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Three confidence votes to determine fate of minority Liberal government

OTTAWA — A pair of proposed changes to the federal budget put… Continue reading

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland talks with parents during a virtual discussion on child care in Ottawa, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Freeland is calling for patience and “flexibility” in response to questions about the government’s criteria for reopening the economy and border. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Freeland urges patience as business looks for answers on reopening border, economy

OTTAWA — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is urging Canadian companies to… Continue reading

Most Read