Well folks, it’s spring in Ireland and the daffodils are once again poking through the grass and getting ready to brighten our gardens, laneways and roundabouts! With the success of our charity card project these past couple of years (having raised just over £500 by the end of 2022), I’ve decided to to it all again this year!! Thank-you so much for your continued support and generosity. As many of you know, the end of life care from the team at Marie Curie is invaluable. Cards are available to order direct from my on-line shop and also from the following outlets:
“Come with me to the feast of Lupercalia… and draw my name from the sweetheart’s urn”
Irish artist Wendy Jack releases new single
(from her critically acclaimed debut album Sunsets!!!)
Since first bursting onto the scene in 2011 critically acclaimed County Tyrone bred artist Wendy Jack has turned plenty of heads with spellbinding tales of love, loss, myth, legend, world issues and woolly jumpers. After taking a short hiatus, 2019 saw Wendy return to the world of music with the release of her retrospective album ‘Sunsets’ (named after the song that started her journey). This magnetic opus has re-introduced the fiercely talented musician to music lovers worldwide, while also earning her a wealth of new followers. Featuring eight tracks, the album sees Jack tackle many genres and moods with her characteristically fearless spirit. In late 2020, Wendy was back with a new folk-power-pop track called ‘White Bicycle’ much to the delight of her growing fanbase. This track has been well received throughout Ireland, UK and indeed worldwide… featuring on RTE Radio 1 Recommends list & as one of BBC Radio Ralph McLean’s top songs of 2020… This has helped cement Wendy’s reputation as one of Ireland’s finest singer-songwriters.
Wendy is currently undertaking a musical retreat on Rathlin Island. To follow this exciting new phase in her musical adventure connect with Wendy via social media and sign up to her mailing list via www.wendyjackmusic.com
Previous praise for Wendy Jack “Wendy Jack is the real deal. Her songs tell stories and pull you in with their honesty and soulfulness. White Bicycle is her finest track to date”. Ralph McLean (BBC Radio Ulster)
“White Bicycle is heaving with heart, soul and seriously good hooks.” Edwin McFee (Sunday Life, The Big List, ex NME)
“Jack’s inimitable croon creates worlds and stories you could get lost in.” Hot Press magazine
“[Sunsets is]…a strong and infectious debut from Wendy Jack. Good lyrics, melody and hooks, strong performance, the emotion is there too, and high production values.” Liam Merriman, The Green Room on WLRFM.
“Wendy’s music and lyrics are so poetic, they will leave you wanting to hear more” Paul McDevitt, Monday Night Sessions, Highland Radio.
Valentine also appears on Wendy’s limited edition EP available from the SHOP
Wendy Jack is back with new track White Bicycle which will be released worldwide on Nov 20.
Rathlin Island-based critically acclaimed singer, songwriter and real life award winning adventurer Wendy Jack returns with her new single ‘White Bicycle’ on Nov 20. Taking its cues from the titular mode of transport, the waltzing track brings listeners on a trip that you’ll want to take again and again. Written in tribute and dedicated to her late friend and fellow musician Gavin Mee, who sadly passed away in 2018 aged 42, this touching tune tips a cap to The Beatles, Joni Mitchell and David Bowie during its spell binding four minutes run time. Meanwhile Wendy’s tender vocals reaffirm her status as one on the most magnetic storytellers in Ireland.
“I wrote and performed ‘White Bicycle’ for an event which was specially curated to remember Gavin during The Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival 2019,” says Jack, whose previous work has been shortlisted in the hugely prestigious International Songwriting Competition.
“I subsequently decided to record and release the song as a single both to keep his memory alive and to encourage new people to seek out and listen to the musical legacy he left behind.
“I wanted to fully bring the song to life, and sonically to a whole new level, so I aspired to build a folk-power-pop recording with Gavin’s good friend and producer Duncan Maitland (PictureHouse, Pugwash). Duncan was equally enthusiastic about the project, so we worked together to create what we hope is a fitting tribute to our mutual friend.”
The single takes its name from a book called ‘White Bicycles: Making Music In The 1960s’.
“This memoir from legendary music producer Joe Boyd describes-in vivid technicolor-the musical lives of artists such as Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention, and Pink Floyd among others,” explains Jack. “In 1967 a psychedelic group called Tomorrow, who played at Joe Boyd’s UFO club in London, had a theme song called ‘My White Bicycle’ which was a tribute to Amsterdam’s radical ‘free’ bike scheme. This was the musical world Gavin sought to inhabit.”
Praise for Wendy Jack
“Wendy Jack is the real deal. Her songs tell stories and pull you in with their honesty and soulfulness. White Bicycle is her finest track to date”. Ralph McLean (BBC Radio Ulster)
“White Bicycle is heaving with heart, soul and seriously good hooks.” Edwin McFee (Sunday Life, Hotpress, The Big List, ex NME)
“[Sunsets is]…a strong and infectious debut from Wendy Jack. Good lyric, melody and hook, strong performance, the emotion is there too, and high production values. In my experience, these are the kind of ingredients that help jump you up the airplay queue in radio land…” Liam Merriman, The Green Room on WLRFM.
Thank-you to The Arts Council Northern Ireland & The Department For Communities NI
Last week I received notification that I have been awarded funding through The Individual Emergency Resilience Programme. It has taken a huge amount of work by our local arts officers, music champions and industry activists to deliver this lifeline. This year our creative industries have been dealt one heavy blow after another… most work has been cancelled and live music has effectively been banned. I feel very fortunate to know that my contribution to the arts is valued. This vital funding allows me to continue working on my music in the months ahead building on the success of my digital album ‘Sunsets’. I am incredibly grateful.
Overview of the announcement:
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland on behalf of DfC and in collaboration with Future Screens NI, has announced details of 1089 individuals, working in the Creative Economy, who are set to benefit from £3,852,000 of emergency funding as part of part of the Individuals Emergency Resilience Programme (IERP).
More than £3m of this funding is coming from the £29m Executive allocation that was made to the Department for Communities to support the arts, culture, heritage and language sectors which have been severely impacted by Covid-19.
The IERP is designed to support those working in the Creative Economy including freelancers, musicians, actors, artists and craft workers during the COVID-19 crisis. The IERP, worth £3,752,000 from the Department for Communities and £100,000 from Future Screens NI, offered individuals the opportunity to apply for grants of £1,200, £3,000 or £5,000 each.
IERP provides much-needed financial support and employment, a lifeline to individuals working within the wider Creative Economy, at a time when essential elements of the arts sector have been decimated due to venue and gallery closures, festival and event cancellations and the disappearance of live audiences. The IERP builds on the initial, Artist Emergency Programme (AEP), a fund that was opened by the Arts Council in April 2020 and was heavily oversubscribed.