Phew! it's been a long, long time since the shutdown began.
We're all keeping our fingers firmly crossed that the nightmare and great loss and suffering experienced by so many, is coming to an end.
I wish all of you the very best of physical and mental health during this troubled time.
For those of you who have booked me for your wedding, christening,
corporate function and or any other existing booking, I want to put
your mind at rest regarding cancellations.
Quite simply, you will not be charged any cancellation fees.
You can also postpone your booking for however long it takes to get things back to normal and use that deposit for the original booking against the new date.
Feel free to contact
me on any queries that you may have.
My full intention during this crisis has been to use the negative energy created by the virus into a force of positivety.
I've been doubling down on my writing and recording projects, learning to play the guitar better! Keeping as fit and well physically and mentally as possible and generally following the message of; 'Keep calm and carry on'.
I got some great news recently from the highly talented musician Kieran Kiely, whom I have had the honour of working and recording with on many occasions.
He asked me last year to do some vocals for some songs that feature a forthcoming film starring Patrick Bergin and Vanessa Redgrave.
My vocal renditions were approved by the producers and are now part of the films final edit.
The actual release of 'There You'll Find Me' has been postponed for now due to the worldwide events that have befallen us all, but look out for it, when it's out, I'll let you guess as to whom my voice is dubbed over for with the featured songs!
If you stay for the credits at the end, you'll hopefully see my name listed for at least a tenth of a nano second!
My band and I returned in January from a hectic but mega fun packed series of corporate gigs across the globe.
It was a fabulous tour conducted at breakneck speed and involved long haul flights galore from Singapore to Las Vegas, including many failed attempts to resist the temptations of the incredible buffet meals on offer at 5 star hotels! it was without doubt, an experience of a lifetime and simply wonderful.
We were very fortunate to have shared the gigs throughout with a full cast of Riverdance, many with whom we shared meals, jokes, funny stories, soundchecks and rehearsals with throughout.
These remarkably talented dancers had both the manners and personalities to match their expertise on stage.
It was an honour to share the same billing with them.
I was delighted to see that a cover version of a song I wrote back in the 90's 'Never too old to love', has been released again on a 10 cd box set from Foster and Allen.
As coincidence has it I'm in the middle re-recording a modernised version for my next album.
I'm always flattered when someone covers one of my songs and I'm grateful that so many artists have done so and thankful that they continue to do so.
It's been 35 years since I released my original 'The Thatcher Song' album.
In it's original format it was initially released as an album cassette and vinyl LP.
In 1988, after the rights and catalogue of Crubeen Records were sold to the now defunct Prism Leisure label, an enhanced version of an album (with some tracks omitted and newer ones added) under the same title, was put together that included two of my most successfully covered songs, 'Never too old to Love' and 'De valera'.
The brilliant sleeve design was by the people who worked on 'Spitting Image', this artwork actually cost more to produce than the total budget for the actual recording of the whole original album, which was a very low budget affair to say the least!
It also featured some new tracks including 'Mother Englands Giro' and a freshly recorded version of my 'Drumshanbo Exile'.
To coincide with the 'Thatcher Song' anniversary, I wrote, recorded and released a little ditty about our current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Well done Bojo for getting through your recent encounter with dreaded virus, I wish you continued recovery to full fitness.
The current version of the track is available via all normal streaming and download platforms.
The 'No Hard Border Song' single has now been deleted from the standard platforms, but features on my new compilation album that I released last month.
Back in March, the St Patrick's celebrations for my band and I had been in full swing prior to the big day itself, when suddenly both of our gigs were cancelled on the big day itself.
No complaints there though, first things first and doing whatever's needed to play our part in the current crisis is paramount.
We had a whale of a time at the Hyve group event in Paddington on the Friday prior and a hearty thanks to all of the staff there for joining in with the craic and making it such a memorable night.
The Saturday gig in Bromley went even better than last years, thanks to all the staff there too.
To mark the 35th year since the release of 'The Thatcher Song' album, I recently released a brand new recording of the song.
It's a bit different to the original, slightly slower in tempo and I've replaced the middle instrumental with a trad arrangement of 'The Sally Gardens' and added a verse about the current occupant of 10 Downing Street.
I've also released a track from my forthcoming album, that should be finished and on generakl release by the end of the year, enititled; 'Neath a Cold Irish Sky'.
I wrote this song about 35 years ago and an alternative version entitled 'The Derry Bogside' was released on the first version of the 'Thatcher Song' album.
I'm also delighted to have recently released a new compilation album
enititled; 'The Collection 1985-2020' which also includes that track.
It features some of my popular singles from the 80's and 90's that haven't been available for many years, including 'Free the Six*' and 'Jackies Army', 'Grace', 'Valley of Knockanure'.
*Considered controversial in its day but ironically was part of a very short list of my own compositions that actually got played on BBC radio.
The album also features my own versions from the 1980's of 'Kevin Barry' and 'Spancil Hill'.
Many thanks to the crowd at that cracker of a gig in Drayton back in February.
It's unusual to come on and do a spot after a disco but it was a great success and my apologies for not being able to do an encore, the hotel has a strict policy on stopping the music sharp at 12.30.
We'll do it again sometime and once again, a million thanks for having me along!
I did a highly memorable funeral mass gig in Birmingham in the early part of the year.
As with London, it's a city that was once a great heartland of Irishness.
Brum's Irish contingent has seen its better days numbers wise, but I'm very pleased to say that the Irish community up in the west midlands, be it less of a collosus thesedays, is very much alive and kicking.
I was singing at a farewell service for a prominent and much beloved member of the Irish community up there and the church was packed to the rafters, it was moving and evocative.
Thanks to all at the recent gig in Addiscombe too, my fidder and I had a great night of songs, tunes and dancing with the party crowd there and it was wonderful to meet up with some old faces from my days at that great old Irish pub in Lewisham (sadly no longer there) the 'John Morden' and a couple of fellows from the old Croydon 'Tug of War' club.
'Jealous of the Angels' is a beautiful song written by Jenn Bostic about bereavement and I have had plays on it from across the globe and my Itunes sales have surprisingly been mainly in the USA, which of course is a great compliment.
Country songs such as that are predominantly the domain of US artists.
It's now pretty much a standard request for me to sing at funeral services, which is something that I'm doing more and more of thesedays.
The other 9 tracks on the album were all written by me and have all received healthy streaming figures on the main platforms as well as respectable sales of both the album and individual tracks, especially 'Circle of Love'.
You can hear this album in full also on YouTube via the following embedded player.
My football team are Millwall and we've had a real seesaw season in 2019-2020 that's culminated in us currently sitting 3 points away from the highly prized 6th spot.
The crisis brought our beloved football to a stop for a while.
We're back playing again, all be it in empty stadiums.
Best wishes to all the players, fans and staff at all clubs across the land in this difficult time.
I love getting along to see and cheer my team along whenever I can, home and away.
Hopefully we can all get back to the Den asap.
A great win at Charlton last week and we're still playoff contenders. It will take quite a twist of fate to pull it off, but it's not over until it's over.
Come on you Lions!