Recently I have been lucky enough to attend the gigs of three of my favourite Irish singers, John McNicholl, Nathan Carter and Derek Ryan. I grew up listening to Irish country music, Mam says I was trying to sing long before I could talk and used to pull myself up in my cot to wiggle to the music, long before I could walk. My uncle was in an Irish Showband and after playing in Birmingham on the night of my christening, the whole band arrived at my parents flat and played all night.
I was always singing around our home, my parents used to ask why I couldn’t learn my schoolwork like I could learn the top twenty. I suppose I just loved songs and singing. Visiting my family in Tipperary as a teenager, my cousin and I were allowed to the dancehall in Dundrum to see the Irish Showbands on a Friday night. Tony Kenny, Red Hurley and my absolute favourites, Gina, Dale Haze and The Champions. Once home I would pretend I was Gina, I sang to their records, bought a tambourine like Gina and our lounge was my stage.
When I was 19 an Irish music promoter telephoned to call me for an audition but my parents didn’t tell me, for three years!!! I was mad as hell but looking back I can see they were looking out for a very niave young girl.
As life moved on, I grew away from my roots and started to go clubbing, I loved dance music and dancing but I hardly ever sang. I lost touch with the top twenty, with my roots, my culture. Life was work, work, work and dance music. Dancing on a Friday night released the stress and pressure of the week. Housework was done to dance music, that trance beat had an euphoric affect on me and still does. A little bit of Swedish House Mafia is good for the soul.
Three years ago I joined the choir at Mass. I love it, it has compleltely enriched going to Mass for me. I always enjoyed singing the hymns but being part of the choir is just awesome. Around the same time, Mom was reading the Irish paper and seen John McNicholl so we decided to look him up on YouTube. Within a flash I was right back to my roots, I think it was lying asleep, like Sleeping Beauty, ready to be awakened by a handsome man, John McNicholl was that man!!
From there we discovered the other new, exciting and fabulous singers and now we listen to Irish Country Music all the time. We watch Irish Country Music shows on TV and when I can I attend the dances and concerts when our favourites are in town.
Last year I decided to have some vocal coaching, to see if I do actually have a voice. I love it!! I love it with a passion. Singing and songs have again taken over my mind and with life as it is currently, this is a huge escape from the anxieties, stresses and worries of the day. I have learnt so much about pitching, resonance, different voices, breathing…I am once again dreaming of being on that stage singing my heart out.
Below are some pictures of me with my gorgeous Irish music stars, I think you’ll guess my favourite 😉 Look their music up on You Tube, they are so talented, each different to the other and all brilliant.
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Making dreams come true 💖