OMAGH born singer/songwriter Ciaran McElhinney has been chosen by promoters of the HORSLIPS concert at the Ulster Hall in Belfast to open the show. Ciaran, 40, who is a lifelong fan of the band said he was “honoured” to be selected to support the Irish music legends on Sunday October 26.
The singer, whose influences include everything from rock, metal, blues, bluegrass and country to Americana, Irish and folk, will open performing a set of popular covers and original music.
Also on the bill is U105 star Johnny Hero’s band The Ex-Producers.
Ciaran said: “Horslips defined an era of music not only in Ireland but across the globe. When I met Barry Devlin and Jim Lockhart in Belfast at the launch of the event last month I was absolutely in awe.“They say you should never meet your idols for fear you will be disappointed but the guys were down to earth and great craic. We had a great chat about the music and they were just as interested in what I do as I was in them. If that wasn’t surreal enough, to be asked to open the show for them is something I will never forget.”
“It is absolutely staggering to think that just one month after I was born the band played one of their most famous concerts in Northern Ireland touring with Dancehall Sweethearts at the Ulster Hall in October 1974.”
Ciaran, who now lives in Belfast, is currently working on his debut album due out early 2015.
And he claims some of his ideas for the album were influenced by Horslips and what they did back in the day.
He explained: “Horslips throughout their career have been well known for being prepared to experiment with different sounds and musical textures to create a unique sound.
“One of the things I would like to take away from their music is the ability to incorporate so many varied instruments that might not necessarily be associated with the type of music I do.
“I’m hoping that through using various producers and recording studios for the album I will be able to show just how different other people’s perception can be of one artist.”
The Ulster Hall has great significance for Horslips. 34 years ago, almost to the day, they played their final show in the venue with no announcement to the fans on October 12, 1980.Jim Lockhart said: “Everyone one knows the Ulster Hall is special for us. Our last ever gig was there, well we thought at the time it was our last ever gig.
Barry Devlin added: “We finished in 1980 simply because we were knackered. We’d done 10 studio albums and two live ones in just under eight years and we’d played about 1700 gigs.
“We are looking forward to getting back into the Ulster Hall again and I still have the programme from the 1967 Queen’s Festival. So I’m delighted to be linking up with it again through City Of Rhythms Promotions.”
Special guests of the show are Belfast band The Ex Producers. U105 Drivetime star Johnny Hero is the drummer of The Ex Producers.
Horslips will play Belfast’s Ulster Hall on Sunday October 26. Tickets priced £35 (fully seated concert) are available from ticketmaster.ie ulsterhall.co.uk (028 9033 4455) or direct from Queen’s Festival belfastfestival.com.
Ex-Producers – facebook.com/exproducers
For more information about Horslips log onto horslips.ie