The Nicky Kealy Christmas show in the seven oaks Carlow.

Christmas is coming apon us once again and this year I am delighted to be hosting my very first Nicky Kealy Christmas show here at the Seven Oaks hotel Carlow on Friday 7th of December.

Appearing with me on the night will be Louise Morrissey, The Benn Sisters, local priest Fr Liam Morgan, John Kelly, Padraig Darcy and current Glor Tire contestant Adrian Ryan.

Doors open at 7:30 with the show kicking off at 8:00. All ticket enquiries can be made to the hotel or through this website. As I am a Guide Dog owner and have been a supporter of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind for many years, I am having a raffle on the night with lots of great prizes for the festive season. All proceeds from this raffle will go to Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Announcing details of my new show on Thursday 17th of May

Well, its finally come to the time where I am able to tell everyone about my brand new show which will kick off here in my home town of Carlow on Thursday the 17th of May. Its taken a little while what with one thing or another but we are finally well on the way to what will hopefully be a great night.

After being lucky enough to win Glor Tire 2011 it was always my intention to try and fulfill a dream I had always had. This dream was to do a series of shows around Ireland to introduce myself to people and have a band with me. I have been singing and playing music and doing my own one-man gigs since 2000 and my first recording was a 4 track tape in 1997. God! I can still remember recording that now as I write. We spent a couple of Wednesdays in the Studio and it was recorded in John Street studio in Enniscorthy in Co. Wexford. I was still in school at that time and this recording was done during the summer holidays. It was all very exciting at the time for me and all I wanted to do was to be able to get myself played on radio and to possibly be able to look forward to leaving school when I had done my leaving cert and be able to consontrate fully on a musical career. That was only the start though and I did have to wait another few years before I could start properly devoting more time to gigs and doing my own shows myself, just me and my keyboard.

On the 17th of May I will launch a brand new show which will kick off at the Seven Oaks hotel here in Carlow. This will be a completely new step from the one I took all those years ago when I went into studio for the first time. My aim with this show is to introduce myself and the music I like to sing to as many people as possible. This is my own independent production. I want to get my own name out there and I am thrilled that I have some friends in the business that are going to come along and support me on the night and sing a few songs. Appearing with me on the night will be my long time friend Mary Darcy. Mary has been so influencial in terms of my musical career. I remember going to see her when I was small and listening to tapes of Twos Company which was the duo that she was a member of with Eamon McRory. My parents took me to see them many times and we formed friendships with both Eamon and Mary. I later worked on an album with Eamon before he moved from Ireland to where he now lives in Australia. Mary has been the one person over the years that has been able to give me that little bit of confidence or point me in the right direction when it was needed. All I would have to do is pick up the phone to her and she would be able to advise me on the best way to approach things whatever the situation. It was due to her that I started playing and singing on the Gertrude Byrne All Star Irish-American Cruises. She also took me to New York twice with her for gigs and has opened doors for me to other opportunities also. I am delighted she is going to come and be the MC for the evening and to sing a few songs also. Also appearing with me will be Trudi Lalor who I worked with for Glor Tire and who I have been friends with now for over ten years now. We have always enjoyed working on different tours together and especially when we got to work on TV for the Glor Tire competition. Des Willoughby is a fantastic singer and a guy that I have great respect for. I am delighted that he is coming along also. Adrian Ryan is the brother of Derek Ryan who is making a big name for himself on the country scene in Ireland and in Britain at the moment. I have known both Adrian and Derek for many years and remember them as the Ryan Brothers and what great work they did with each other in the music scene years ago. I am delighted Adrian is able to join us on the night. He is bringing out a new album of his own and I am also delighted that he has ask me to come along and support him later in the month. Unfortunately Derek can not be with us this time but hopefully he will for a future show. Teresa And The Stars are a wexford based group. Again I have known these guys for quite a number of years now and Tony Kehoe will be known to a lot of people in this area for his programme on Southeast Radio in Wexford. I am delighted they will join us on the night. also, I am delighted to have Damien Bowe coming along. I have only gotten to know Damien over the past while but have enjoyed appearing at a few different functions with him and like all the other people coming along he is an extremely nice guy and its always important to have people like that in this business. My MD on this occasion is going to be Ollie Hennessy and myself and Ollie have worked on many different projects. I enjoy sitting with him and listening to his creative ideas and it really is great to work with someone like him. I know that he is putting together a band of great musicians at the minute and it promises to be a great night. I do hope that both Ollie and myself can create a show with some little surprises and also with songs that people will all know and love and will want to sing along too. There are one or two little songs that I want to do and I have been having great fun with Jennifer as she tries to guess what they are. I know though that there are going to be a few songs that I am going to do that she is hopefully going to like.

Shows like this one can’t happen with just myself. I am so lucky to have the help and support of my family and its going to be all hands on deck from here on in. Tickets are going to be on sale later this week at a cost of €15 and I am tweeting and posting to my Facebook page as to the places that they can be purchased in. People can always email enquiries to me also and I will be happy to get back to them that way. Only time will tell and I have had an amazing year where music is concerned and people have been so good and supportive. Hopefully we can raise the roof here in Carlow and get things off to a great success.

Leinster Entertainment Awards

Its been a little while since I wrote in here but musically there hasn’t been too much to tell you all about. I have been busy working on different things and in ways not getting far, or as far as I would like but, at the minute I think I can finally say things are starting to take shape.

A few weeks back I got a call from Liam Kett who presents a show on Kfm which is a radio station in Kildare to tell me that I had been chosen to receive an award at the Leinster Entertainment Awards. I was surprised and delighted at this news. I had heard that the awards were taking place but didn’t know much about them. This is only the second year that they have been running so they must have just slipped me by last time round. The awards were to be held on Monday last the 16th so I selected the songs that I wanted to perform on the night and got myself ready for the big day.

Last week was a nice busy music filled week here in Carlow with the Pan-Celtic festival taking place in the town. This festival is made up of all the different celtic regions coming together for a week to play music and dance and show off their different traditions. Find out about this years festival which has just ended by visiting the Pan-Celtic website and it will probably explain it all much better than I will.

Anyway, Darragh, who you will have heard me mention here before decided to come down on Saturday to play a few tunes and join in some of the sessions that were taking place in some of the pubs in the town. Jennifer was coming for the weekend and so it worked out nice that they could travel together on the train to Carlow. We left him get more or less straight to the music when he got here and spent a while chatting and took ourselves to a local Indian restaurant where we had a nice meal and then went in search of him afterwards and enjoyed listening to a session he was playing in. More tunes had to be played in another part of the country so it was up early enough for Darragh on Sunday morning and we just relaxed for the rest of the day and spent some of it with my family before going to see the Hunger Games in the cinema on Sunday evening. Both of us read the book and are now on the second book of the three in the series. Jennifer kindly came with me to see it as she had already taken her nephew Jack to see it in Derry about two weeks ago. It was nice to get to see it but I do prefer the book and some of the characters were not how I would have imagined them to be played.

Monday was like any other day really except I was not working and Jennifer was still here. I remember her commenting to me that she had been talking to someone on the phone and they wanted to know was I excited about the awards and she told them I was “so laid back you’de think that nothing was happening at all that evening”. Well, I wasn’t thinking about it all too much but yes, of course I was very pleased about it all but slightly nervous also. This was the first time that Jennifer actually came to a live gig with me that I was performing at so I was hoping she would enjoy it.

I think that I was number 8 to perform and the audiance were superb. Liam had asked me to consider singing Noreen Bawn as he really liked my version of it for Glor Tire. I was totally surprised and really happy when the audiance stood for me at the end of the performance and having been only asked to originally sing two songs I was asked to finish off with one more. It really was a brilliant night and there are some pictures on my Facebook page for anyone to see. I am glad to report that Jennifer did enjoy herself and it was fantastic to have her there with me. She is, and always has been very supportive to me during our time together in all I do where my music is concerned. I would also like to just thank the organisers of the Leinster Entertainment Awards for putting on a great show and considering me for “male vocalist of the year”. It really was an honour for me to be able to accept the award.

A very much musical start to the month of March

It must have been November or maybe a little earlier that the exciting news came through that Bruce Springsteen would be coming to play in Ireland in the Summer. I think that when I had heard about it dates hadn’t been confirmed but I knew that I wanted to go and see him. I had wanted to go before and I couldn’t just get to go at the time. I have never seen him live before and I knew that this time I wasn’t going to let the chance go by. Also, Jennifer is a big fan so we discussed it and I told her that I was going to make sure and keep an eye out and I had already arranged for my brothers wife to get them as my brother has always been a huge fan and the four of us would go together. The tickets finally went on sale on the 1st of December and the first show sold out in minutes. They then added a second show and we got tickets for that and we will be heading to see him at the RDS on the 18th of July. I’ll never forget ringing up Jennifer that morning to confirm that I had the tickets. She was delighted and immediately started blasting out Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Bruce’s version of course) down the phone at me. I am sure that we are going to have a great time at that concert. I am looking forward to it and I am starting to hear of more and more people that I know going also so I am bound to bump into someone that I know there. Anyway… to bring all of this up-to-date as far as this weekend is concerned. The Album Wrecking Ball came out just a few days ago. Having heard quite a bit about it recently and seen some online clips and stuff I was delighted to be able to grab it on Itunes yesterday morning. I have only listened to it twice and am not going to go into too much of what I feel about it here as I am still getting into it but track 5, Death to my Hometown is my favourite so far. I should say that I really like the album for the most part but I wouldn’t consider myself to be a great reviewer. Maybe Jennifer will do a much better job at that than me on her blog. I am sure she will not forget to mention its releace at some point. :)

Listening to the radio sometimes and in particular a show that I wouldn’t usually listen to can sometimes have its rewards. On the Tuesday night just after coming back from the Cruise I was listening to a local station and an ad break came on. I heard, or thought I heard an ad advertising Nanci Griffith to play in Kilkenny on the 3rd of March which was last night. Being sort of half asleep I thought that I must check that out over the next few days and also I wanted to try and get someone to come with me. By the time I had got arrangements made for people to come it was Thursday and there was only two days left to the show. I was sure it would be sold out when I rang the theatre but I was informed that no, there were still seats left.

The show kicked off at 8:00 sharp. Her support group were a husband and wife group called The Kennedys from New York. They were quite good. The husband mostly did backing vocals and the wife did the lead parts which in my opinion worked very well. They talked about their different musical influences and featured for the most part all of their own material which is great cause I had never heard of them before and I love to get the chance to hear new stuff and be surprised by an unknown group like that. They told us stories about different songs and one that stands out was about a song that they wrote after going on one of their first dates. This date happened to involve visiting a grave yard to pay their respects to Buddy Holly. Hmmm, who says all dates have to be of a romantic kind haha. For their last number they wanted to do a tribute to Davy Jones from the Monkees who passed away earlier this week. They sang Daydream Believer and Nanci quietly came out on stage and joined them and sang the song with them to great cheers from the audience.

There was a small break after the Kennedys went off stage and without any fuss or fancy introductions Nanci came out on stage and with a strum of a guitar just immediately started chatting and broke into song. Of course I was looking forward to seeing what she would start off with and it was Speed of the Sound of Loneliness by John Prime. It was delivered slow and steady and she had the crowd in her hands I think from that first number. She chatted in between each song and just made herself at home with us all. The theatre seemed to just lose all of its formality and it was just a really intimate experience for me. Then there came that point in the show when I heard a guitar being tuned down to a certain key. Something in my head just told me what was coming next and then there it was. With the voice sounding a bit strained or aged, she still managed to deliver From a Distance in a very powerful and immotional way. I really love the sentiment of that song. Its strange that when it was written it was rejected by so many people until Nanci was given it and asked her opinion on it. She states that she owes a lot of the success from it to the Irish since it was recorded in 1986. That was followed up with Trouble in the Fields which is another great song of hers and some people will know it from Maura O’connell who Nanci mentioned from the stage. It really was a fantastic night and really just gave me some sort of lift. Hearing good music does that to me. You just get some great feeling. The only way I can describe how I felt after it is to say that it was like being in a dream and not wanting it to end and when she went off the stage for the first time at ten past ten I just couldn’t believe it had got to that time already. I certainly would love to see her again and who knows, maybe I might get to meet her sometime.

Back from the sea

This is really a take 2. I did think I had written a perfectly good post last night and uploaded it up here but I didn’t check it after I had done that and it all was messed up so here goes my second attempt.

It is really high time I wrote on here and let you know whats been happening over the past while. In particular my adventure on the cruise which I blogged about just before I set off on my travels.

Well, it all began later in the early hours of the morning of the 12th of Feburary when my brother in law drove myself and my parents who were accompanying me on the cruise to a local bus stop where we would take a bus to Dublin Airport. I hate all the rushing around and stuff wondering if I had packed everything or was I leaving something behind but thankfully I didn’t leave anything of any great importance behind that I needed. Shur as someone later said to me, once you have the passport and the money and tickets with you nothing else matters and well, that is sort of true for the most part.

Having left Carlow at half 2 in the morning we got to the airport sometime around 10 past 4. For that time in the morning the place was busy enough. From conversations going on around me I think that a lot of people were heading off on skiing holidays. One or two friends have tried to persuade me to go on a skiing holiday before but I am not entirely sure if I would really like it or not. We had to kill some time waiting around for the ckeck-in desks to open at 6:00 so some tea was consumed and we just sat around waiting for the rest of the time. I was also hoping to meet Jennifer as she was going on her travels that morning also to Thailand with her family and she would be returning back to Ireland two days after me. It was just coincidental that our flights were leaving at roughly the same time so we had arranged it so that we would meet for a while at the airport. We checked in and went to get breakfast and I had a little chat with Jennifer and her dad. To read all about her holiday in Thailand why not visit her blog where she has written an account of some of the things that she got up to while she was there.

After two different flights we arrived in Fort Lauderdale in Florida around midnight Irish time Friday night. It was a long days travelling but I was sort of getting a second boost of energy at that stage and so when we got to our hotel and got rid of our cases we went down the road to find somewhere to eat as the buffet in the hotel wasn’t up to much. I was all over the place and didn’t really want anything big to eat but at the same time I was sick of just eating silly things like plane food so I had a burger and a few beers. The beers helped me get a nice sleep afterwards.

Having spent the day just going round the local area on the Saturday and visiting a local shopping centre and managing to buy a pair of headphones and then losing them before I could even get to open them from their packet we eventually boarded the ship on Sunday afternoon. The weather had been mixed since we had arrived in Florida. It was more overcast than we would usually be use too. By Saturday evening it had cooled right down and on Sunday morning we were waring jackets. Luckily for us this was short lived as by the time we got out to sea it started to gradually heat up again.

We set sail on the Sunday evening. We had 2200 passengers on the cruise this year and we have travelled on this ship before. For the first day or two it was a slight bit rocky and not at all what we would be use to in Caribbean waters. Both myself and other artists that were on the ship would have different timetabled gigs to play during the week in the various bars/lounges situated on different decks on the ship. There was also a theatre where some of the more high profile artists would perform each evening. This year we were joined by Daniel O’donnell. I had never met Daniel before and I must say that it was a pleasure to meet him. I found him to be very nice and relaxed and a complete gentleman. It was very nice of him to take some time to spend a few minutes with me for a chat and he certainly taught me a thing or too also when I met him.

We arrived at our first Island stop on Tuesday morning. We were sailing in the Eastern Caribbean and the Island we first called at was Grand Turk Island. It was a nice small friendly Island and we got off and had a nice walk around. My only purchase on there was a hat to keep the sun shaded from me. I tend to burn quite easily so applying a suitable amount of sun cream was also very necessary. Unfortunately for me by the Tuesday afternoon I was coming down with a bad cough and my throat was becoming very uncomfortable. I had to do a long gig that night as another artist had unfortunately taken sick and could not perform. Thankfully he was ok later in the week but I couldn’t back out of this gig at this stage and just didn’t know how I might manage it but with the help of the two lads on guitar and keyboards who were playing with me I managed to get through it.

On Wednesday we arrived at the Island of St. Thomas. I have been to this island probably twice before and was looking forward to it cause I do know that it is a good place for shopping. Ok, if you know anything about the place at all you will know that it can be expensive but you will find some things like perfume at reasonable prices. And, perfume was what I was after. It was going to be Jennifer’s birthday on the Saturday so I had decided to purchase a nice gift set for her there. I was hoping she would like the one I choose for her and well, I am happy to report that after giving it to her last weekend it did meet with her approval. :)

Thursday we stopped at St. Martin. This is an interesting place. The people are very friendly and it was nice walking around the town of Philipsburg and making a few small purchases. You could bargain here in a lot of the shops also and, they would also except euros if you wanted to use them.

Friday, like Monday was a day at sea. Sea days are not so bad really. People might think that you would get a little closterphobic but there is lots to do on the ship. Music is the theme of the cruise and its all mostly Irish. In the afternoons at sea a band would perform on deck and you could relax on a sun chair or have a beer or swim in the pool while you listened to all kinds of everything Irish being played for your enjoyment. I did three gigs while I was there. I played on Sunday night and Tuesday night. Thankfully by Friday afternoon I had sufficiently recovered my voice to do another spot in a gig on deck with a band which was put together for the occasion. We had great crack just doing some off-the-cuff numbers and I must say that the audiences all during the week were fabulus.

Saturday was our last stop at a private Island owned by the cruise line company called Half Moon Quay. I decided to chill onboard with a book and not get off here. Later in the afternoon we had rehearsals for the final theatre show where all artists were getting to perform and say farewell to everyone.

And then it was Sunday and unfortunately another cruise was at an end. I am very grateful to Gertrude Byrne Promotions for having me on yet another All Star Irish American Cruise and while i am not cruising again next year I do hope to be back again in the future. Do pop over and visit Gertrude Byrne Promotions for information on the 2013 cruise.

Off to sea again

It only seems like a short while ago since I came back from my last cruise in Bermuda but later tonight I set off on my travels again. This time I am heading back to the Caribbean. I have been fortunate to have been a part of the Gurtrude Byrne All Star Irish American Cruises since around 2000. I have not been on the bill for every trip but have hugely enjoyed the ones that I have been on and I think this will probably be my seventh one. I am very grateful to Gertrude and her team for inviting me back again this year. I will be privileged to be able to get to sing along side some top entertainers that Ireland has to offer in different genres. Mostly it will be country music and Irish folk music that will be played through the themed cruise. As I consistently say on here I never like to take anything for granted and am just always grateful for the kindness shown to me by other artists in the music industry and also the kindness that is shown to me by the other passengers that travel with us. I am very much looking forward to seeing some old friends that I have made during my previous trips and meeting new people and chatting to them. I will hopefully blog on my return and let you all know how the week was and if anyone is reading this that will be joining us on Sunday do feel free to say hi to me at any time during the week if you see me around.

Hello 2012

A big happy New Year to you all.

Christmas was nice and a little quiet at the start. I had a nice Christmas day with my family and went to see my brother and his wife and little girl Ailbhe with my parents and sisters afterwards in the evening. For me its all about kids at Christmas and I have great memories of us when we were small in our house and getting up very early to see if Santa had come and what he had left for us. Did he manage to bring what we wanted and how quick could we just get into the sitting-room or the hall and just get those presents open. There were a few years where we were up at around half 3 or 4 and my brother was probably the first one up most years. Now that is all gone. Christmas is a lot quieter and stuff but having a young person in the family makes such a difference. and although Ailbhe is only just nearly two years old its great to see the enjoyment that they have when they get all their presents. Uncle Nicky was very organized and had her present got with about three weeks to spare. As she gets older it will be more fun and talking about Santa coming and the excitement of what he will bring and stuff like that. The rest of the day passed off fairly uneventful. I had a fundraising gig to perform at on the Tuesday night and I am happy to say that it went off very well for all concerned. It was a sad evening all the same and evenings like that I don’t forget too easily but all credit must go to the people that helped to put the show together.

I went off on Thursday to Donegal to see Jennifer. I had some what I hoped were nice presents for her. And well, if ya can’t treat that special someone in your life to a good present or two at Christmas what can ya do? My mother and sister had kindly offered to drive me to the Airport where I was able to pick up a bus to take me most of my journey before I would have to change again to finally get to where I needed to go. I had an absolutely brilliant time in Donegal. Shur the people are wild mad up there. Oh, everything is class too. Honestly, wild and class are two words that they use quite a bit up there haha. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the kindest to us while I was there but we made the best of it. I managed a pint or two and between meeting some friend’s of Jennifer’s and stuff we had a nice pleasant and relaxing weekend.

I sometimes do not like New Years Eve. It’s the sort of day you don’t know whether you can like or not as if you haven’t had the best of years you just don’t know what you are meant to be celebrating but then again, if you are a person with the glass always half full you are wanting, or feel you should want to celebrate the beginning of a new and hopefully perfect year. This year I was in great form for it I must say. How could I not bee. I have had really such an amazing year. I have been able to achieve so much in my life between music and just other personal things which I won’t write about here. I was kindly invited to a nice party where I had a great night and couldn’t have been looked after better by Jennifer and her family. I couldn’t have asked or wanted to be in a better place to give 2011 a good send off and welcome in 2012.

And so, all good times must come to an end for a little while anyway. With the Christmas holidays over it was back to work with me yesterday having travelled home on Monday. I am just so grateful as I have said for all the good things that have been able to happen for me in the last year. What do I want for this year? I just want more of the same. Everything is just great at present. I am a little uncertain about work at present as I am not sure if I might be getting a bit restless in my job and I am pondering ideas in my head at maybe some developments I might like to try in dipping my toes into the music business a bit more but hopefully I can just take my time and if opportunities come up I will be able to assess things and make the right decision. Apart from that everything is how I like it. Lets hope I will be writing much the same as this if not better next year. I really hope that everyone that reads this will also enjoy great happiness and success this year too. Follow your dreams, take those little chances, grab any opportunities that come your way and enjoy every minute.

Glor Tire Final and Christmas

Well, Christmas is finally here. I have so much that I could probably write about in this post but I will try and keep it as short as possible. Now, if I could do that when I am having conversations with people that would be great but well, I can’t try and do everything right can I?

The last few days have been a bit mental for me. At the start of the week I was getting ready for my final appearance on Glor Tire which I have wrote about already here. It was just so nice to be able to get to the final week and to have the support of so many people. Last week I was lucky to be voted into one of the top two positions which meant I was safely through to the final show. If I had been in one of the bottom three positions as there were only five people left in the series I would have had to wait on a decision from the judges as to whether I could go forward or not but thankfully this did not happen. As you may have read, this did happen the week before so the level of support that I received in the following few days after that was just incredible.

Wednesday was just a real enjoyable day from the time I reached Galway right to the end of it. The voting lines for the competition closed at 12:00 so I knew while rehearsing that everything was done now. I was just going to do what I know I can do which is sing and if it wasn’t going to be for me then that was just life. That was my attitude all through the competition and I know people around me just couldn’t understand why I was so laid back about it all but what is the point? I could feel tension there some of the weeks with others but I am not into all of that and maybe I don’t do the competitive thing very well. If something good happens for me I just see myself as being lucky and I just should be thankful for it. Anyway, the rehearsals went well and I was happy and all good to go. For the final show we had to sing a Christmas song together and while I wasn’t entirely happy with it as a song choice I just went along with it and it went better than I thought it might. I had a great crew of people travel down to support me which was also good. A few people could not be there which was a big pity but what with Christmas coming up so near and work commitments it just couldn’t be helped. I was delighted to have whole family there including my granny. I did think that it was going to be a long day for her but I know she enjoyed herself and she was one of the first, if not the first person to get herself up to congratulate me. The show was more relaxed than other weeks also and we sang two songs each. Now, I will always be my own worst critique but I was happy with how I performed on Wednesday. Thankfully enough viewers liked what I did over the whole series and I was declared the winner. A friend told me on Thursday when the result was declared I looked as if I was on a delay system or something or someone was translating to me what had just happened as it took me about a minute to react. I was surprised. I had not built myself up to any sort of hype about it thinking I was going to win. In fact, I was a little wound up about it all on Tuesday night and someone made the mistake of phoning me up and well, god love them. When they didn’t kill me or something I don’t think they ever will.

Ever since Wednesday I have had nothing but lots of kind messages of support and good luck for the future. People are so nice and I am really grateful for all messages and phone calls and stuff like that. I am a quiet person when it comes to myself. I don’t like much fuss and probably need to just relax a little concerning all of that but that is just the way I am. I just get a little overwhelmed with it all but it is lovely of course when people are so kind.

So, Christmas is finally here. I am going to pop down town in a bit after writing and sending this blog post for one last present and then all I have to do is sit back and enjoy the Christmas. I am looking forward to it now. In some ways it can be a sad time of year as it does have some sad memories for me but when it gets to this time I do have to say that I like it and enjoy it. I am heading away after Christmas to celebrate the New Year with Jen and I am looking forward to that. Have a bit of stuff to carry but might figure out a way of getting Ralph to have a back pack or something haha. I do hope that everyone that reads this has a lovely Christmas. I hope that whatever Christmas means to you it is a good time. I would like to thank anyone that has helped me in any way over the past year and to all people that have taken an interest in my music or have just taken the time to have a chat and a bit of crack with me. I would just like to single out one or two people. I would like to thank my good friend Digital Darragh for his great and fantastic support particularly with Glor Tire and also earlier when he got the ball rolling and organized along with my sisters a small birthday get-together for me. Myself and Digital go back many years and went to school together and he is a great guy to know. Since that time of my birthday which was in May lots of good things started to happen for me and the rest of the year has been absolutely brilliant. I would also like to thank Jen also. She listens to me and talks to me about everything and even though I have to drive her mad at times with my nonsense she is just great. She says I do be funny a lot of the time but I reckon she is just being too nice. She has also introduced me to some great music in the last while which is great also. People like Joan Ann, Emma and Cathal have been hugely supportive to me also and I don’t mean to put them in any particular order. These are just some close friends that have always been there to help out or to just listen to me and at the end of the day that is what friendships are all about. So, until I write again here which will probably be in the New Year. Have a great one and enjoy yourselves.

Glor Tire, getting to the final show and other happenings

I really can’t believe that I am writing this post and also that it has come to this time already. Three weeks ago I wrote telling you that I was going to be on the first of the four final shows of Glor Tire for this year and hoping that I would get to do well. Well, I am really so happy to be able to write now and thank everyone for all the support I have received in the last three weeks and to be able to write on this final week and let anyone know that reads my blog that I am indeed in the final. There are a few people such as family and close friends that I should thank but I am not going to start putting down names either. People I am referring too and who read this blog will know who they are themselves. I did not get a chance to write last week cause I just got distracted with everything going on and trying to keep up the campaign both on twitter and facebook for people to keep voting and supporting me. Show number two was a close shave. Unfortunately I was in the bottom three in terms of the voting and only one contestant can be selected from the bottom three in the first three shows to go through to the next one. The judges selected me to continue on and thanks to all the people that got behind me this week I was called out number one to perform on Wednesday last in show three. This meant that my way to the final was secured and I could sing knowing that I was going to get the chance to sing in the final show where only the votes of the public matter. The judges will not have any influence on the final decision. There are three of us left in the competition. All I can say now is the best of luck to the other contestants and hopefully if I am lucky enough I may win but if not then I know that I did all I could and I will have enjoyed my time taking part in the competition.

To give myself a little distraction from it all today I went Christmas shopping. I have done some of it already but needed to pick up more bits today. We are doing a Kris Kindle or Secret Santa in our house which means we are only buying for one person each. I just can’t decide what I want to buy my family member that I picked out yet and will need to give it a little more thought. Put the finishing touches to another very important present earlier also. I love the amusement that I get when I bring up this present to this person cause they try or they were trying initially to guess what it was but they are giving up now. Now, I won’t tell them but its hard cause I am hopeless at keeping secrets at times but the build up to this is so much fun and its not long more to go now till they get it in their hands although the one thing I would say is that they will need both hands free to hold it.

Friday was the annual office party. I don’t know why but in the days leading up to it I wasn’t overly looking forward to it. I have some lovely work colleagues and I always have great craic going out with them and this party was no different but for some reason I just wasn’t as up for it as other years. Maybe it was also to do with the fact that I haven’t been going out much lately. Anyway, the night was great fun and we went to Kilkenny this year which was a change from staying in Carlow where the office is. Fair play to the two organizers Clare and Louise who did a great job. I was absolutely wrecked yesterday though but I think that is cause I am just out of practice with the going out and drinking stuff. Last night I am just not going to talk about cause that was just a bad finish to a good day but ya have to move on and just try and forget about it as things happen at times that you just can not do anything about.

So, once more and for the final time on this blog can I just appeal to all my readers that if you like my music and have had an opportunity to hear me sing then please think of giving me a vote or two for the final show. The voting lines will close on Wednesday at noon Irish time. The show will go out on TG4 at 10:30 on Wednesday night and as I have stated above, there is only one vote that matters this week. Please vote glor 7 to 53307 in Ireland or in the north or UK vote glor 7 to 81108. Thanks so much for all your support and I will blog later in the week to report on how it all goes on Wednesday.

One down, three to go!!

Well, it looks like I get the opportunity now to perform in week two of the eliminations of Glor Tire. In truth, I am taking each week as it comes. That is being totally honest. I am delighted to be able to get this far and I do have to also say that last Wednesday I did really enjoy my performance. I think I am just getting more into it as I go along. Once I get into a routine with the cameras and all that stuff that I am not always use to then I am fine.

We arrived in the city of the tribes people just before 2:00 on a wet Wednesday afternoon last. By a pure co-incidence we ended up eating lunch in the same caffay that we were in the last time. That was the one I wrote about in my last blog post. I rather like that place now. I didn’t hear anything musically that jumped out at me this time but its nice there. I got to practice with the band just after 3. Slight technical difficulties meant that things were running slightly late but everything did get back on track and we did have plenty of time before the show was recorded to get all things done. It was great that I had lots of support with me. I had some people from work and a bus load of 34 people that also came to support me. A big thanks to all the lads who were involved with the banners and stuff that were displayed by way of supporting me. That all means a lot to me. I know that the type of music that I am doing on this show is not to everyone’s taste but its wonderful that people are supporting me and encouraging me. The song that I performed “Morning Sun and Memories” is a song that I first heard maybe as far back as 15 years ago. Its one that has not been recorded by many people but I do like it. I haven’t had the chance to meet the person that wrote it yet but I do hope to meet him in the future and I do hope that he liked my version of his song. I always like to do a good job on a song and I try to remember that it has been written by someone and to try and be mindful as to not be in any way disrespectful to it if say you need to tweak things. This song doesn’t require any tweaking at all really. It just flows the way it is in my opinion. Anyway, it was good to me this week.

This coming Wednesday is week two of four. Voting lines are open till 12:00 Wednesday afternoon and I still need your support. You can vote for me by texting glor 7 to 53307 in the Republic or glor 7 to 81108 in the North and in the UK. Hopefully I can last another week.

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