Tour notes from Tony.
‘After a few days away in early August I arrived back home, looked at the gig schedule, the regular weekly spots plus the specials coming up, Culture night, Guinness Amplify… Time to revisit Belfast too I decided. Having played Northern Ireland three times already in 2014, really enjoyed the gigs and made great friends I felt a pull, a need to go back again. I contacted the legendary Ronnie Purvis who runs the Society Sessions in the Empire and said September 24th. looked like it would be a good day to play there again, Ronnie agreed. I felt the start of a World Tour of Belfast coming on. The American diner, City Picnic, would have to be on the schedule too. I’d played it solo in July, first live music there, it went great. So I contacted Gavin who runs it, told him it was his lucky day and that I was coming back again in September, Gavin said yeah. Things were coming together nicely. The great bluesy singer, Rhiannah Warm from Bangor, has often performed with me and recorded on some of my songs also, yep, she’d have to join in too. Rhiannah said yep. Back at the Dublin Musicians & Songwriters collective Dermot Reynolds and me had been doing a lot of work together so it seemed natural he’d come along too. Dermot said yeah.
Now that we had a sort of ‘band’ for the tour I thought that maybe some recording would be a great way to bookend it. Made enquires, did some digging and as fate would have it Beat n Track in Rhiannah’s home town of Bangor was booked.
On the morning of September 24th. Dermot and I convened at Connolly station and boarded the train for Belfast. The adventure was coming to life. Arriving in Belfast we booked into the hotel and then headed for the cafe under the famous Good Vibrations record store. Great sandwiches, great coffee, sat back relaxed and waited for Rhiannah to join us. After a while the three of us headed down the street toward City Picnic. Said our hellos to Gavin and Arthur and set up by the window. Now I can’t be sure whether it was us or hunger that drew the crowd but the place filled up nicely and we played an hour and a half of our original music. I can honestly say it went down great and of course I had to sing Belfast City Of Life twice. And of course Rhiannah and Dermot were powerful with their own unique sound and wonderful songs. A great treat for both us and audience I believe.
Having then tired Dermot out with some musical sightseeing around the city we had to retire to the hotel for a short recharge….
At about 9 we hit the Empire. Big smile from Ronnie, met some old friends, made some new, heard some great music. Me and Rhiannah did a set culminating in Belfast City of Life, of course. Dermot led the second set with his unique blend of Dublin Caribbean Groove. Things really don’t get much better that this. About one in the morning it seemed time to hit the hotel, although I have to say I would have loved to been playing a third gig….
Thursday 25th….. The excitement continued, we were heading to the studio in Bangor to record some live tracks… Out of this session the group ‘Acoustic Earth’ would be born. ‘Postcard From Bangor’ is the debut release. We spent about an hour setting up, playing and recording and about an hour mixing/mastering. If it sounds very relaxed and easy, it was…. Watch this space…. ‘