HERE’S TO A NEW YEAR
So I found out today that Larry Gogan died. Today is a sad day. That’s the second Irish broadcaster in a week that’s left our shores. Marian Finucan and Larry Gogan were incredible Irish broadcasters who both had a profound effect on me over the course of my teenage years and young adult life.
I wasn’t to know back then that I’d be a musician, or, that I’d get to meet these personalities down the line; personalities as it turned out that just happened to be people. Sadly, within a week of each other they had upped sticks and crossed that immortal sea. Life as the saying goes goes on, but it is safe to say it is far too short.
Who was Larry Gogan you might ask? My answer will aways be, “an absolute gentleman and a legend in his own lifetime”. He was a man who wore the craziest of shirts and played records ‘til the turn tables ran ragged. Larry was the real deal. He loved his music and was a super cool kind man. It was this man who gave me my first national radio play and always called me over for a chat in the RTE canteen (Radio Telefís Éireann – the national Irish broadcaster). Larry even continued to play my songs against the run of playlists and behemoths that control today’s airways. He did so much more for emerging Irish music.
Steering my way into another year and yet another decade, Monty Python and the meaning of life springs to mind. Or is that the ‘Life of Brian’? In a recent chat with my friend Adrian Coleasa, as we got down to the nitty gritty, Adrian commented, “life is like rowing in sand”, and he’d be right. “But you got to keep moving” he affirmed. Absolutely! Give me sand and I’ll make sandcastles! Life is hard and the music industry can be harder sometimes… excuse me while I moan for a minute. Larry you gave me hope. You still do. So I want to say thank you. Thanks for the music. For the space you held. You will be missed. See you sometime for the next “just a minute quiz”.
Thanks also Marianne, for teaching me there was more than many ways to resolve an argument, and, with words you could put your point across politely. The mother of the Irish airwaves. Knowledge as they say is always understanding, and understanding goes a long long way. We need it more and more these days. Go dté sibh slán a dhaoine uisle.
NEVER A BETTER TIME TO SAY THANKS
There’s never a better time to take stock, to look back and plan for the future, indulge yourself and maybe rewrite your rulebook. Reset! I love it and I love the freedom of thought and expression that a new year brings. You can shake of the shackles of the past twelve months. You can almost be forgiven for misgivings and poor decisions, bad mistakes. We’re all in the same boat; literally speaking. Let’s just hope we’re wearing our waterproofs. The water is rising.
Looking forward I want to thank everyone back there in 2019. On a global scale it was a pretty mad year, sure aren’t they always. But it was a great year for me, for my music and the other avenues trod. If you are reading this yes I am also thanking you… for the support and good will you have shown me throughout the year, whether I be solo or with the ‘The Host’. If you haven’t supported us yet, well there is always this year. Thanks for all the good will and goodies, from festivals to small concerts, weddings to funerals. Outdoor gigs to indoor gigs that sometimes were upside down gigs; some even washed out. For the sofa’s and the floors – hotel rooms and open doors. It has been incredible.
For the “craic”, laughs and lofty linguistics, invertible gymnastics and vocal Olympics. We’ve hit some markers that’s for sure travelling the length and breadth of Europe and a little more beside. We even lost some soldiers along the way (namely Hamburg). But the gods have been good and fair, and you’ve got to learn from the learner’s right. Make those big mistakes small. Take the rough with the smooth. Grow a beard and get yourself out of the way. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. Ladies, I probably avoid the beard. But I’ve done it and in doing so I’ve met some great people, made the mistakes and learned loads. Long may that continue!
DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN
Keep keeping on. No matter how course the sand seems, row like the bejaysus and fuck the be-grudgers. They will always be there, to flock and feast and like magpies, stealing ideas and hatching eggs upon their breasts like all cuckoos who invade nests; by way of kind words warmth and gesture. In hatching they feed us, more than they know. They will in time inevitably fall away, and so too will that ‘schweinehund’… that negative voice and devil on our shoulder.
Be it angel or devil; shut them up! Look the other way and move swiftly or slowly, however you like. Just grow. Turn the other cheek where you can, and if you have to, seek advice from those who care. They’re out there. True friends don’t judge. Imitation only flatters.
SO WHAT’S NEW
Rumour has it this is going to be a good year. New albums, new sounds and new songs are coming down the track. Big shows too. Having already recorded my Irish album, and with a little help from my friends, all thats left to do here is add some additional tracks and arrangements and she’s done. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! It is set for a soft release in February 2020, where it will be available to order online and at shows. The idea is simple. Me, myself and a guitar, singing the Irish songs that have influenced me and my writing. Also included are new self penned Irish ballads influenced by my tradition. Songs ‘as Gaeilge’ (in Irish) and English.
The eagerly awaited ‘Host Album’ is coming soon too. We have sixteen new songs in the mix and eight, nine, maybe ten will make the cut. Schau ma mal. This album is set for a 2020 summer release. More information to follow soon on how you can be a part of it.
YOU TO HOLD (A new song from the new album).
WRAPPING IT UP – THE OFFICIAL STUFF
Thanks to those who had my back in 2019. Nicole and crew at Fusion Bags (you know it!). Shadow Guitars (Bernd and Thomas you legends). Elixir Strings, Jeff at Sad Opera (you “Burn’d” it). Harry & Christina – You served us better! Fair Play Concerts, Share Me Transporters for the lift when we needed it. The Vienna Songwriting Circle for support. Logjam Stomp boxes for the beat. Jameson and Nina for keeping it neat. Klangfarbe, Hotels and Heuregens everywhere. Castles, Beisels and Buschenschanks. Lakesides, long drives, back gardens and front gardens. Tents! North See, Ost See, Irish Sea and the river Liffey; the Mediterranean and Atlantic.
Too far, Sofar, Sofaconcerts and the likes. The Kneipes, Farms, Churches, Parlours and Harbours, and for the loan of your bikes. The cities of Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Munich, Graz; Amsterdam, Palma, Prague, Frankfurt and Linzer platz. Cologne, Belfast, Bucharest, Sofia, Vienna, Dublin, Zagreb, Albstadt, Allstadt, Tavrna and Tallaght – to name but the ones I remember right now. Mirs and the magical Hollandaise curry sauce… What! Sure the list goes on and I’m tired thinking (please excuse me if I’ve missed you – remind me). MUlguim! The Host – Claudia, David and Emily. We’re on the rise kids so keep your eyes fixed firmly on the horizon. My family. Ireland. Last and always first, my commander in chief, Sabinski! My Pleiadies and that beacon of light that shines brightest to guide me always home. Let’s round up the wagons baby and move ’em on out!
So here’s to a new year. Wishing you all a plenty in 2020. Walk more.Talk more. Help each other.
Faoin grá agus grásta