Win Don’t Stop This Now by Finbar Furey
Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with BMG UK to offer three lucky readers the chance to win ‘Don’t Stop This Now’, the new CD by Finbar Furey.
Inspiration can come from many places. For Finbar Furey it came from dying, 3 times. Now at the age of 71, and following the near-fatal heart attack, the veteran Irish musician and storyteller is signed to BMG (Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Morrissey), is releasing his new album ‘Don’t Stop This Now’ and will soon embark on a UK tour, his first for 10 years.
The legendary Irish singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, storyteller and actor (his credits include Gangs Of New York) has never been more creative. In the wake of his heart attack Finbar was driven by an insatiable desire to write, to capture the sights and sounds that were now bigger, more colourful, more important.
“I couldn’t sleep,” explains Finbar. “I’d be woken up by words and melodies every night. I had to get out of bed and write them down. It was a strange feeling; I felt driven, I felt so peaceful inside yet so driven and, since I barely survived the trip to heaven and back, I was different somehow. I was more inside my music and my confidence to write and to sing and play grew.”
The album was originally released in Ireland as ‘Paddy Dear’ (topping the charts), and has been repackaged for the UK to include new tracks and a live concert DVD filmed at Vicar St, Dublin in May 2017, where Finbar performs classic hits such as ‘When You Were Sweet Sixteen’, ‘The Lonesome Boatman’ and ‘The Green Fields of France’.
Finbar is a supreme storyteller, and the songs, which are close to his heart, were inspired by his love of his native Ireland. New songs featuring on the UK release include the title track ‘Don’t Stop This Now’.
“I was going to retire, or at least take some time off, but I thought this is ridiculous timing and wrote this love song”, ‘Annabelle’ – “Old Annabelle was a friend of my mothers,” says Finbar.
“I’d often be with them as they’d share a bar of chocolate sitting on the roadside in Dublin in the 50s”, the eastern groove sounding ‘Co-Exist’ – “It’s about greed,” and the bluesy ‘Hail, Rain Or Snow’ he sings with his daughter Aine Furey, who also joins him on ‘The Taxi’s Waiting’.
In ‘Sweet Liberty of Life’ Finbar sings about freedom and peace, “Liberty, life and freedom are words that capture the true spirit of humankind in every imaginable way – even in today’s global and tangled democracies”. ‘We Built a Home’ is the tragic story of a Famine family, and ‘I Remember You Singing This Song Ma’ is a classic Finbar love song.
A versatile and multi-talented artist, Finbar also plays pipes, whistles, banjo and guitar. The album is co-produced with Peter Eades.
Finbar is truly a Renaissance Man. Celebrated around the world as one of the great folk icons, Finbar’s playing was recognised by John Peel when in 1972, when he and his brother Eddie were awarded Single of The Year for the original sound of the pipes and the whistles.
At the forefront of musical change, Finbar’s successful career and extensive touring introduced a whole new audience to his music and instruments, and he advocated for changes to allow pipes to become more accessible to young musicians.
‘Don’t Stop This Now’ follows on from his successful albums, ‘The Slender Promise’ in 2015, an instrumental CD of pipes & flute, and 2013’s ‘Colours’ which reached Number 1 in Ireland with the beautiful ‘Last Great Love Song’. In 2014 Finbar was honoured by the City of Dublin, Lord Mayor Christy Burke praising him for “Bringing life and laughter to many homes in Ireland”.
Finbar will be hitting the road in the UK and Ireland this spring.
* Photographs by Ruth Medjber
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The Wonderful Story
of Donna Taggart
Donna Taggart a 31 year old mother of two, from Omagh Northern Ireland has captured the attention of the world with her emotive online music video ‘Jealous of the Angels’. What has transpired in the following months has stunned the music industry and transformed the modest Irish Woman’s life.
While on maternity leave from her job in the NHS as a children’s autism therapist, she posted her music video for the song to Facebook, which has now been viewed over 150 million times.
The Facebook video post has 2.8 million shares and 171 thousand comments to date. The popularity of the song seen it go to No. 1 in 8 different countries in the iTunes easy listening charts and led to a sold out multi-city debut tour in Ireland and has created huge demand for her to tour the US where the song was particularly popular and reached no. 42 in the us iTunes charts. Donna’s album also went to no. 1 in the U.S Billboards world catalogue album for three weeks. It has been a remarkable journey for the 31 year old particularly given that her meteoric rise has largely been achieved through social media and without a record label.
This is an extraordinary success story and achievement for Donna who is an ordinary lady, wife and mother. She has funded her own albums over the last 8 years whilst working full time in NHS and raising her young two young children (Grace aged 4 and Matthew aged 2). Prior to Donna’s song going viral she had never headlined her own concert, now she is a sell out live performer across Ireland and the UK and will be visiting the States next year.
Donna acknowledges that its been difficult to put into perspective the magnitude of her recent success which has completely transformed her life “A few months ago I was a busy mum on maternity leave from my job in the NHS. In the intervening months I’ve had a song chart to No. 1 in 8 different countries and sold out my debut tour to packed audiences, its been incredibly humbling and puts into perspective the power of music and that of social media. The song has a special resonance and connection with anyone including myself, who has lost someone they love. It is incredibly healing’.
The song written by Jenn Bostic, Zach Runquist and Jimmy Fortune has become an unofficial anthem for the bereaved. Donna Taggart is an Irish singer/songwriter, who has had a meteoric rise to international fame and is now one of Ireland’s most prolific international stars. With Number One records in 8 different countries including the United States and with 150 million streams of just one of her songs, Ireland’s songstress Donna Taggart is set to take the World by storm.
As Donna hits the UK with a nationwide tour she will also release a double A side single which features her smash hit internet sensation ‘Jealous of Angels’, which went viral on social media and catapulted Donna to worldwide international stardom. In just one week the song reached 25 million hits online propelling her to No. 42 in the US iTunes charts, No 1 in the iTunes Easy listening charts in 8 different countries and No. 1 in the US Billboard World Album Catalogue for 3 weeks. The song presently stands at 150 million hits right across social media platforms.
‘Jealous Of The Angels’ is the perfect introduction for Donna to the UK and showcases her hauntingly beautiful vocals and sensitive interpretation of the song. Completing the double A side is ‘Guiding Light’, which was written by Northern Irish singer songwriter Foy Vance and featured Ed Sheehan on the original release. Donna’s new album will be released later this year. She will also be touring.
Watch the Video for Jealous Of The Angels
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Nick Heyward Releases The Stars
Nick Heyward is back with ‘The Stars’, an exclusive Record Store Day single release, out now via Gladsome Hawk.
Taken from his critically acclaimed seventh solo album, ‘Woodland Echoes’, ‘The Stars’ – described by Mojo as a top 10 single and the best track on the album – it’s Nick Heyward first exclusive for Record Store Day.
The song’s echo of itchy pop-funk recalls his early days as frontman of new wave group Haircut 100, a foundational part of the 80s pop explosion.
The 10” clear vinyl will include the brand new track ‘Everyone & Everything’ on the flipside, which brings a swirling psychedelic 90s vibe to the release.
Nick Heyward has also announced a UK tour from May to July. Taking in 12 dates starting on 24th May at the Concorde in Brighton, the tour will touch London on 25th May at the O2 Academy Islington.
Last year’s live set at The Great Escape Festival praised by Drowned In Sound as, “One of the finest we heard all weekend, his second coming is imminent” and his recent full band headline show at 229 was received with rave reviews by the likes of Metro.
‘Woodland Echoes’, his first record in 18 years, “Can’t be called a return to form for Heyward because he never lost his form; it just went unheard for years,” as written by All Music in their four star review.
“Call it a welcome return instead, because the world of pop music always needs music this smart, tuneful, and unabashedly romantic.”
Nick Heyward – as perfectly described by Louder Than War is still “a songwriter of the highest order.”
Prior to his hugely successful and prolific solo career, Nick came to prominence as the frontman of percolating pop-funk new wave group Haircut 100, a foundational part of the 80s-pop explosion.
They released four UK Top 10 hit singles, with their debut album ‘Pelican West’ reaching Number 2 in the UK album charts and Number. 31 in USA’s Billboard 200.
It ended up being certified platinum by BPI, with Nick gracing the cover of pacesetting style magazine The Face.
Nick Heyward’s UK tour 2018 starts on 24th May at Concorde in Brighton, taking in 13 dates including 02 Academy Islington in London.
For concert tickets click on http://nickheyward.com/gigs/
Find out more on Nick’s Heyward’s website at http://nickheyward.com
Watch ‘The Stars’ Video
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Squeeze Release Video Starring Simon Day
Squeeze have teamed up with fellow South Londoner Simon Day (Fast Show, The Life of Rock with Brian Pern) for the brand new video for single ‘Rough Ride’.
‘Rough Ride’ is taken from their 15th studio album, The Knowledge, which has received universal critical and commercial success. On this album, Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford felt something needed to be said about the British welfare crisis.
A sombre note of austerity echoes across ‘Rough Ride’, lamenting the struggles faced living in the capital, its hopeful message enriched by performers from South London, namely the Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir and Thorntree School Choir.
Featuring choral arrangements and a Freddie Hubbard-esque trumpet solo, culminating in the biting question “Austerity, austerity, is that all you have to give to me?” this is Squeeze at their most socially conscious and musically ambitious. It also shows an evolution in Squeeze’s songwriting, with Glenn taking up the lyrical mantle for this particular tune.
Chris Difford says, “As I listen to this now I can’t get over how well the band are sparking, it’s a well-tuned engine at its best. Glenn wrote this one and I’m pleased that he did, it’s something I would have found difficult to convey with such accuracy. Simon plays some wonderful drums on this while Stephen leans to the soul of the song.”
After adapting the lyrics to 2015’s ‘Cradle To The Grave’ during a live performance on The Andrew Marr Show (attended also by Prime Minister at the time David Cameron) Glenn wrote a piece for The Guardian Online stating, “Cameron was talking about knocking down sink estates and rebuilding “affordable housing”.
“I have four children, and I despair at what has happened to the economy and to UK house prices. It has got to the point where people are no longer able to live in the areas where they grew up unless they have some sort of financial help. I think that’s a result of a system of values that have been encouraged by this government, which is completely wrong – and it wasn’t helped by the previous government either”.
Produced by Glenn, Andrew Jones and Laurie Latham, ‘The Knowledge’ was recorded at 45 RPM Studios in Charlton, and finds Glenn and Chris once again in the company of drummer Simon Hanson and keyboard wizard Stephen Large, plus a couple of new faces; Yolanda Charles on bass and Steve Smith on percussion.
Watch the Video for Rough Ride with Simon Day
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Vinnie Jones Stars in Video with The 27
Perfect guitar-pop band The 27 have released their fabulous new single Tell Me, with national treasure, Vinnie Jones starring in the music video.
Actor and British ‘hard man’ Vinnie Jones goes back to his roots, wearing overalls and working in a warehouse in his role in The 27’s latest single. The former footballer, turned actor, is seen battling and whizzing around the warehouse for the attention against the band for the attention of the new girl.
Vinnie played as midfielder from 1984 to 1999, most notably for Chelsea and Wimbledon before relocating to the US to start his film career, debuting in Guy Ritchie’s comedy ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’.
The group, who were recently given the seal of approval by no less than Beyoncé, have surpassed themselves with the glorious forthcoming release, balancing the sunny optimism of the music with a tale of desperate longing for an out-of-reach love.
With their glorious nods to late 60s California and the close harmonies of The Byrds and CS&N but with a hip, modern twist, the band are winning over everyone who hears them.
They are of course no strangers to hosting guest appearances. The promo for previous single Call Me A Friend, filmed in Amy Winehouse’s former home in Camden, featured page three model Rhian Sugden making her pop visual debut.
The new video sees them making ends meet by working in a warehouse, trying to overcome the drudgery of the day and deflect attention from one of their conceited high-flying colleagues, the one and only Vinnie Jones, to win the attention and affection of the new girl on the staff.
“It was definitely one of the longest and most surreal days of my life,” says Henry Parker. “Working with Vinnie was a true pleasure though and most amusing. I do hope that even with my questionable acting skills that it’s an enjoyable three and a bit minutes for everyone viewing.” Henry Parker
Guitarist/singer Henry Parker, David Page (bass/vocals) and Tom Michell (guitar/vocals) have recently been finishing off their debut album in Los Angeles and it was as they were doing so that they ran into Beyoncé and Jay-Z, with Queen Bey declaring the band “cool” during their brief encounter.
The 27 have long been drawing accolades for their raw (proudly without autotune), honest and soulful performances with one reviewer praising their “gutsy hard rock with a retro bend”. But despite the archive influences, theirs is a sound which also feels wonderfully of now, and their accomplished playing speaks of real talent breaking the stranglehold of uber-groovy producers churning out glossy, meaningless conveyor-belt pop.
Watch the Tell Me Video
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For more information on The 27 click on www.the27band.com
Summer Music Festival
Top Guests Perform
at British Summer
Time Hyde Park
Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park builds its sensational second weekend line up as very special guests for Paul Simon (15th July), Bruno Mars (14th July) and Michael Bublé (13th July) are announced.
Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park has a monumental show lined up for Sunday 15th July. Paul Simon will close the festival for 2018, which will also be the final UK show of his last ever tour, ‘The Farewell Performance’.
Johnny Flynn is a folk singer, guitarist and poet. Since rising to the spotlight, Flynn has four successful albums under his belt with his band Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit. They’ve been on the road and collaborated with artists such as Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling. Johnny is also a familiar face in the acting world, best known for his lead role in Channel 4 and Netflix rom-com series ‘Love Sick’.
Tom Chaplin fronted pop-rock band Keane, before making waves as a solo artist with his striking vocals on debut album ‘The Wave’ in 2016, he has since headlined his own national tour. Hyde Park is in for a treat.
Also on the line up for 15th July is BST favourites Ward Thomas, three time Grammy winner Shawn Colvin, Callaghan, Night Flight, Sarah Darling, Jesca Hoop, Blueprint Blue and more to be revealed. Previously announced are James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt.
One of the biggest popstars of the 21st century, multiple BRIT and Grammy Awards winner, Bruno Mars is taking to the Great Oak Stage on Saturday 14th July, fresh off the back of his 24K Magic World Tour.
Heating up the stage for Bruno Mars is DNCE. Assembled by frontman Joe Jonas in the summer of 2015, DNCE have shot to success with their debut single “Cake By The Ocean”. Since then, they have become one of the world’s most buzzworthy acts, winning ‘Best New Act at MTV Video Music Awards in 2016 and releasing their self titled double platinum album the same year.
The legendary Charlie Wilson (A.K.A Uncle Charlie) is a musician, singer, songwriter, producer, multiple Grammy nominee and the former lead vocalist of The Gap Band hailing from the states. He received the BET ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ in 2013 and his star pals include Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake, for whom he featured on the summer anthem ‘Signs’ in 2004. Hyde Park can’t wait to welcome such a superstar.
Also joining the mega line up for Bruno Mars is cool trombonist and singer Trombone Shorty, London rapper Yungen, gravel-voiced singer-songwriterTom Walker, New York based duo Sofi Tukker, pop poet Liv Dawson, soul singer songwriter Alex Hepburn and DJ Rashida. This line up promises an entire day of funk, soul and summer tunes. Already announced is Khalid.
Michael Bublé’s classic voice, endearing charm and sheer panache have helped him carve a unique place in the hearts of fans around the world. His Hyde Park show is a UK exclusive performance of 2018.
Joining Mr Bublé on Friday 13th July will be fast rising Irish pop-country star Catherine McGrath, who is making a welcome return to Hyde Park after her outstanding performance last year, and Country-pop trio The Adelaides, who have gone from strength to strength since wowing a hardcore country audience when they played at the Country Music Fest show in October 2017.
Also added to the bill is TOWIE turned Country music star Megan McKenna, Nottingham-based singer songwriter Rob Green, alternative folk duo Gypsyfingers and Indie Brit-pop trio The Tailormade. Already announced on the line up are Van Morrison, Bananarama, The Feeling and The Shires.
With many more guests to be announced for the first weekend, the headliners for Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park 2018are: Roger Waters (6th July), The Cure (7th July), Eric Clapton (8th July), Bruno Mars (14th July) and Paul Simon (15th July).
Ticket prices from £65.00
For details www.bst-hydepark.com