Fishing, Music & Food...
For as long as I can remember August has always meant one very important thing for all of my family and I... Our annual trip to visit my grandmother in Ireland.
Ireland has always been an extremely significant place for my family and I, particularly amongst those of us who are creative - which is pretty much everyone on my Mother's side. Musicians, painters, photographers... Most of my family are doomed/blessed with knowing only how to make a living through the creative arts. Ireland, specifically it's landscape, is undeniably inspiring along with much of it's stripped-down, somehow simplified way of living. Don't get me wrong, Ireland has changed a lot since I was a 7 year old running down the road to pick up a loaf of bread for 10 pence... To fill up a basket of food from the supermarket nowadays is likely to set you back the best part of €50. Euros disappear like Monopoly play money. Apart from that, Ireland (particularly in rural areas) has somehow managed to stay unspoilt, earthy and mesmerisingly beautiful...
This country's beauty, for my family and I, has been the source of many a written song, poem and one of hundreds of paintings by my hero and uncle Michael Wright. My cousin Steve (Michael's son) is also a musician and one of my favourite people on this planet - Music he has written has undoubtedly been affected by Ireland and time spent there throughout our lives. This song 'Birds on the Line' in particular written by Steve and performed by his band FeelGood Culture is, in part, inspired by the hundreds of jackdaws that sit on the electrical wires all around the town where my grandmother lives in West Cork.
The forthcoming album will undoubtedly have references to Ireland and I have been taking sound bites over the years from various places and bands that I will be working into the album.
Fishing has long been a tradition in my family, passed down by my great grandfathers, immediate grandfathers, to my great uncle Mick, immediate uncle and my father to myself and my brother, sister and cousins. One of my favourite things -ever- is to return to my Great Uncle's house with all the family sat around the table with our catch laid out after a days' fishing.
My Uncle Mick (my grandmother's brother) passed away in 2010. He was an integral part of the family and we were all extremely close to him. In his memory The Uplifter 2013 vinyl release features a pencil drawing by Victor Maristane of Uncle Mick fishing off the back of a boat on the bottom left of the cover artwork.
We did a show up in the Brecon Beacons at a Didgeridoo Festival after returning from Ireland. It was brilliant and the crowd and organisers were a really lovely group of people. They want to book us for next years' festival - we thoroughly recommend this small, intimate, family friendly festival .