If everything goes to plan (touchwood!) and the return to live gigs takes place on 21st June, I'll be ready and raring to go!
I'm getting a lot of enquiries at the moment as well as emails and calls from several bookers who had their weddings and family parties postponed due to Covid.
If YOU had your booking postponed from 23/3/20, you can reschedule without any loss to your deposit at a date to suit.
St Patrick's week was peculiar and the first time I haven't performed live on the big day since I was 18 years old.
I did several live streaming shows on Zoom and similar platforms throughout the week including Saturday March 20th.
I'm very grateful to all of you for the bookings and I enjoyed meeting you all in cyberspace via Dublin, Liverpool, Glasgow and Cape Cod in Massachusetts.Here's a sampler video featuring excerpts from of one of my live streaming shows.
My 1990's tribute to the late, great Jackie Charlton's magnificent contributions to the then, incredible achievements of the Irish national soccer team, has been by far my most played track across all streaming platforms since his sad demise. May he rest in peace.A true legend in his lifetime and beyond.
Have a listen here.
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 soon and we're all delighted on the exciting and rapid deployment of the new vaccines.
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.
This option has been in available for all bookings since the official government closure of venues on 23rd March 2020 and will stay in place for the duration of the pandemic.
You can also postpone your booking (no later than 7 days prior) 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 pleasure 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 back in January 2020 from a hectic but mega fun packed series of corporate gigs across the globe.
Little did we know of the looming pandemic that would soon affect all of our lives in such a collosal way.
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 very 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 Prism Leisure label, an enhanced version of an album (with some tracks omitted and newer ones added) under the same title, was put together including two of my most successfully covered songs, 'Never too old to Love' and 'De valera'.
The brilliant sleeve design was put together 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 single release last year, I wrote, recorded and released a little ditty about our current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
The current version of the track is available via all the usual 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 year.
I'm around 75% finished with my new album and I'm hoping to release it at the end March or beginning of April.
Here's a sneak preview of one of the tracks, this is a simple unplugged version of 'The Irish and the Choctaw'.
The studio version has violin, 12 string guitar and mandolin.
I'll be releasing further videos featuring unplugged versions of my own songs over the coming weeks.
They're going to be very simple productions, accompanying myself on acoustic guitar and without any other backing tracks, session musicians, or backing vocalists.
The next in the series will be 'Michael' which should be live on YouTube later this month.
I intend following up with 'The Drumshanbo Exile' and 'De valera' along with several of the most popular songs I've written over the years.
Back in that fateful March of 2020, the St Patrick's celebrations for my band and I had been in full swing prior to the big day, when suddenly both of our gigs were cancelled for 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 2019, thanks to all the staff there too.
Last year marked the 35th year since the release of 'The Thatcher Song' album, In March 2020 I 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.
It's going to be deleted at the end of March but it'll still be available in album format.
I'll be releasing another version with all of the original lyrics in April.
I've also released a track from my forthcoming album, that should be finished and on general release later this 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've been delighted with the success of my latest compilation
album enititled; 'The Collection 1985-2020' which also includes the
original cut of that track.
It also features many 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 last year.
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 had 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 earlier 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 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.
I'm currently remastering the album to include my own recently recorded version of the Hank Willams classic 'I Saw the Light'.
The other 8 tracks on the album were all written by me and include several new songs including an updated version of 'You're Never Too Old To Love'.
I'm anticipating the release date at around mid March.My ever popular 'The Thatcher Song' is also available in full to hear via the player below.
The covid crisis brought our beloved football to a stop for a while.
We're back playing again, all be it in empty stadiums.
I love getting along to see and cheer my team along whenever I can, home and away.
Hopefully we'll be able to get back to the Den asap.
Let's keep our fingers crossed on that one.
Our recent good form seems to have hit a few bumps in the road lately and dreams of the playoffs are fading fast.
But for me, being in the championship when the crowds are allowed back will be fantastic!
Great win against Boro recently but the defeat to Swansea is pretty much the end of our slim outside chance of reaching the playoffs.
Not a problem and just great to be in the Championship again next season.
Come on you Lions!