Wow...how busy have us dandies been?!?
We had a fantastic summer playing at all sorts of festivals. Body & Soul, Foyle Folk Festival, Sunflowerfest, to name just a few! We hit Autumn running with gigs in The John Hewitt, Belfast , every Sunday during October. We expanded our merry little band with the talented Marty Malone joining us on drums and the very cool Rodney McKinney joining us on double bass. They debuted at The Hewitt and went down a storm. Let's hope they have us back. ;)
Late October we went back into the studio for a rest. Hehe... We have just spent a fantastic week in Millbank Studios recording our second EP. We had the opportunity to work with the creative Richard Elder and Michael Mormecha. Just need to get all the tracks mixed for early release next year now. So exciting!!!
It continues to be a frantic time for the band with an ever increasing gig calendar. This is reflected by the lack of a regular update to the blog. April saw us in Castleward playing a lovely Sunday afteroon gig in beautiful surroundings to a very appreciative audience. We also took a trip down to Derry to record a video for the Jammhouse Sofa Sessions. The resulting video will be up on this site soon. Speaking of videos we also made our very own offical video at the begining of May for the song Dancing on my Own. It was a collabrative effort with everyone doing their bit and we are so pleased with the resulting video. It was a total hoot making it and a very big thank you to Naomi, Ciara and Eimear for their help. Last week saw us doing a a support slot in the Black Box for the brilliant Indigo Prime at the launch of their single 'No blacks, No Dogs No Irish' and a gig at the North by Northwest festival in Derry, both of which were very exciting to play at. We have also recieved confirmation that we have been given a slot at the brilliant Body & Soul festival in Westmeath in June. We cant wait to get on the road to that one. Several other dates for festivals have been confirmed but we are keeping quiet about them for the moment. How much excitement can you take all at once eh...? Sadly after fifteen months playing Monday nights, our residency in Lavery`s Bar is coming to an end with our last gig due on Monday 3rd June. We have had a great time playing in Laverys and met many wonderful people. A big thank you to all the management and staff who made us feel so welcome and ensured everything ran smoothly week in and week out.
The Dandy Horses have been very busy recently promoting our self-titled EP. Released at the end of January we have had regular airplay on Radio Ulster and Downtown Radio, with Tommy Sands describing the sound as 'fresh and energetic.' We have also appeared in the Andersonstown News and North Belfast News. Both papers have been spreading the exciting news about our new EP and promoting upcoming gigs. We continue to perform in Laverys every Monday night and have also added Head Records, Ann Street to our list of venues. You can also buy our EP here. Furthermore, we have wedding functions coming up where we will playing our lively blend of traditional, folk and acoustic music during both wedding ceremonies and receptions. The Dandy Horses were also delighted to perform some songs acoustically at the Belfast Nashville Festival, with one dandy also performing as a solo artist. This week we perform at the Empire with some other excellent live acts as part of The Society Sessions, Acoustic Showcase Northern Ireland. We are also really looking forward to our gig at Sunflower Folk Club on the 14th March and the Basement Bar on St Patrick's day. We are also working hard on loads of new material which is coming along just nicely. More plans are afoot and we dandys will keep you up to date with everything!
Late November saw Santa come early to the band, as we took charge of a custom made Nava mandolin, a three series Taylor guitar and a stunning Pat Olwell flute. Needless to say we are all very pleased with our new instruments which sound fantastic. As well as our weekly Laverys gig, early December saw us recording...... debuting our original material at the Empire Music Hall. Our songs were well received by the audience which was a great confidence boost for us. We also got an opportunity to play at the Belfast Christmas Market which was a lovely pre-Christmas gig. As the date to begin recording our first Ep moves ever closer, pre-recording rehearsal has been intense but has gone well. We are all eager to get started
The Dandy Horses have taken a number of bookings for wedding functions this year. We are available for a range of corporate events, pub gigs and weddings. Irish traditional music and enchanting folk songs can provide the perfect atmosphere for any event. Although based in Belfast, we are willing to travel throughout Northern Ireland. We can perform as an irish traditional session grouping for wedding and events, or as a full live band providing atmospheric music with a celtic flavour. If you are looking for Irish traditional musicians in Belfast, or indeed in any part of Northern Ireland do not hesitate to get in touch via our e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
The Monday gigs in Laverys Bar continue to be an enjoyable and popular part of our weekly bookings. A big thank you to the management and staff of Laverys who continue to ensure everthing runs smoothly each week. At the moment we are being inundated with enquiries for weddings and private functions for 2013. Dates are filling up fast , so if you are thinking about making a booking, contact us sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment. With the studio now booked, work on our original material continues at a pace. Things are progressing well, with one of our main issues being which songs to include in the recording and which ones to leave out. The decision is going to be tough! We will be heading off to Donegal at the beginning of November for several days of intensive rehearsal and maybe a glass or two of well earned wine...
Well what a busy month September was. As well as our weekly Monday gig in Laverys bar, we also played at a wedding in the beautiful Ghan House in Carlingford and celebrated Arthurs day in fine fashion with a gig in the Pavilion bar. We also had several photo shoots at the beginning of the month. Over the coming weeks you'll be able to see the results on the site.
We also hope to be releasing our first recording in early 2013 and the preparation for this has begun in earnest. Of course, this means extra rehearsals and prep work at home, on top of everyone's already busy schedules. So far things are sounding good and no-one has dropped with exhaustion... yet! Roll on October.