If you are woken by Chris Evans in the morning, or, are an occasional BBC Radio 2 listener, you will most probably have heard the debut single ‘Nashville Grey Skies’ from UK country pop duo, The Shires. The band is composed of singer-songwriters Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes and is the first ever UK country act to be signed to a major Nashville label.
This is an exceptionally belated post from a gig in The Oh Yeah Music Centre in March...
I first saw James Bay when he and his guitar where the opening act for Kodaline in The Limelight. I made a mental note to self: 'Jude, you like this guy. Try to see him again. He'll most probably play The Black Box or The Oh Yeah for a few silver shekels.'
When I was asked to photograph some of the Open House Festival gigs, Ciaran Lavery's 'Kosher' EP launch was actually top of my list. With one of my Ipod playlists consisting of artists like James Vincent McMorrow, Ben Howard and Foy Vance, I do enjoy a male artist who can project an emotive voice from behind a guitar and write, really great bloody songs.
Some are saying that his latest EP 'Kosher' is a more commercial offering that previous work. Great stuff I say. I'd love to hear Fearne Cotton play the wonderfully ready for airplay track ' Left for America' over and over. Listen to it here.
A humble performer who has a lovely rapport with the crowd and is sure to go on to great success. Let's hope that the rousing cover of Lionel Richie's 'All night long' can do for Ciaran what 'Higher Love' did for James Vincent McMorrow.
So I'm on a bit of a health kick. The fridge is full of 'clean' food and white carbs and sugar have devil status. After a rainy Saturday morning run in Ormeau Park with Jog Belfast, I headed off to St. George's Market to stock up on greens, fish and nuts. It was great to see that Giro D'Italia fever has reached the market - tourists and regular visitors were there in their hundreds. I knew that Belfast's very own vocal powerhouse, Kaz Hawkins was performing a free gig in the market today with her band. They are gigging all over the place at the minute so this was an excellent opportunity to see them and the mix of blues, rock and roll with some belter ballads did not disappoint. As well as the great music, out came the fantastic dancers from Swing Belfast to get the crowd going. Read a recent review of Kaz's latest single here at giggingni.com.
With our wee city being showcased to the world this weekend I'm very proud of it, and a fantastic free fitness program in one of our great city parks, the lovely mix of happy people at the market and seeing a wonderful homegrown talent just goes to strengthen that.
Turning 18 at midnight tonight the singer-songwriter from Derry SOAK, aka Bridie Monds-Watson is an exceptional talent. As her support act Lisa O'Neill stated, she has forged an immense start to her career in such a short space of time. With Zane Lowe and BBC 6 Music selecting Blud as a favourite track and having just recorded a Maida Vale session introduced by Huw Stephens (find it here) it is a career set to flourish further.
A few links for you for this coming weekend and beyond...