Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cyber Punk, Synths and Arhthur's Day: Bressie Flies Solo

Whichever way you slice it, Mullingar's Niall Breslin i.e. newly solo pop hunk Bressie, is a busy man. As the front-man of The Blizzards he helped blaze a pop-rock trail through the charts, student unions and numerous live venues across Ireland. The group disbanded for a career break at the end of 2009 while Bressie headed to London to work as a songwriter for hire and to beef up his production and song-writing skills.

Photo courtesy of Ronan Healy

After an extended break from the public eye he returned in May with Can't Stay Young Forever. An 80's inspired Snow Patrol-y ode to the good times it's become a slow burning radio hit, notching up some serious airplay miles. While The Blizzards where a formidable live presence, constantly on the road, Bressie's live shows have been noticeably fewer. A sold out Whelan's gig, an Oxegen slot and a place on the bill at the recent Corona's Marlay Park have been well recieved but his next high-profile slot is as part of this year's Arthur's Day celebrations (a nationwide tour follows). 

The now-annual event brings a veritable feast of domestic and international acts to Ireland. The celebrations take place on the 22nd of September and the line up is undeniably impressive. Scissor Sisters, Stereophonics, Paloma Faith and Calvin Harris will be visiting Irish shores while local acts Cashier No. 9, Ash, Royseven and Ryan Sheridan join Bressie in flying their Irish flag while people countrywide sup on their pints.

Bressie's album, Colourblind Stereo is due 16th of September ahead of a nationwide tour and  before that is second single Good Intentions. At the launch of Arhthur's Day last week in Whelans, I caught a few minutes with Mr Breslin to get the lowdown on the new single, his new sound and his Arthur's Day memories.

Although Bressie admits that the second single uses "the same sound" as the previous he points out that lyrical content itself is quite different. "It came from literally an array of girls who I kept meeting" he begins, that "refused to believe that all men weren’t bastards." Becoming more passionate he continues "Just because some lads are bastards doesn’t mean they all are." The song, Bressie says sets out to "tell this particular girl who’s been battered her whole life emotionally, that not all men are like that and some men do have good intentions". He says that "it's not really a love song" but that it has "an uplifting positive approach". You can watch him perform it live below:

Speaking about the album itself Bressie says that it's takes it's cues from 80s pop such as Tears For Fears and Duran Duran that in his words is "really well produced" but also admits that "I like the cheesy Whitesnake stuff and the power ballad stuff." Again, he warms up joking that if "Here I Go Again comes on and you’re not smiling forget about it, just go live in Tasmania under a tree or something".

Although Bressie prides himself on his pop roots he has found himself taking on a slightly more serious edge with some of the subject matter on the new album. Pointing out that some of the song are "cyber punk" he notes that one track Animal has because a live favourit. He reckons it's because it touches on the the "things that have happened in the last 2 years" and "how badly we were treated it" and "how we’re gonna come back". 

Despite his brooding-hunk status Bressie cuts a quiet but confident figure as his obvious passion for his new project bubbles to the surface. As we wrap up he discusses his memories of the first Arthur's Day, when The Blizzards followed Dizzee Rascal which he points out shows you how "it's so eclectic". This time around he says he's most excited about catching Scissors Sisters and Ed Sheerhan. His nationwide tour kicks off after Arthur's Day and with Bressie saying "the live show means the world to me", it's sure to be a treat for fans of The Blizzards and Bressie himself. 

For more on Bressie visit his website. Colourblind Stereo is released on the 16th of September, Good Intentions is released on the 9th of September. Can't Stay Young Forever is out now. For more on Arthur's Day click here. Check out Sony Music Ireland on Facebook.