Adrian Markey
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Adrian Markey

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Singer-songwriter Adrian Markey bucks the trend for musicians in the newry and mourne area, writes Gareth McCullough.
While most immerse themselves in rock and roll bands with their friends, Adrian has gone the solo route and is fast making a name for himself as one of the foremost talents in the area.
The 22 year-old from Warrenpoint is part of the huge fif taking place at the bank on Sunday (May 6th)
Adrian tells how he got into music and what possesed him to take up the lonely path of just him and his acoustic guitar.
"The guitarist in my dad's band, Legends, lent me a guitar and I taught myself.
"Me and a couple of mates formeda punk band. We were pretty awful but it just got me started. I started supporting Elation, who are now the Beat Poets, in Katy Daly's in Belfast, Armagh and the Sqaure Peg in Warrenpoint when I was about 16.
"I wasn;t really doing anything for about a year and a half and then I got back into doing Thursday nights in the Brass Monkey and after GIN Promotions got me a gig supporting These Charming Men, the Open Mic sessions began in the Square Peg and everything snowballed from there"
Some might say that it takes a brave person to bare their soul onstage with nobody else to back you up, but Adrian feels that it's what he was destined for.
He said, "I prefer it to the band thing. I've done that but with this it's all my own responsibility. You can do what you whant and improvise a lot more rather than hoping that three people behind you will catch on you what you're at.
When I started off doing my own solo shows it was definately nerve-wracking and with every mistake you thought it was 10 times worsethat it actually was but now i just get on with it and have no bother getting on stage and putting on a performance.
I played the Spirit Store a couple of weeks ago and I was a bit nervy before the gig but once I got up and began playing the nerves weren't a problem. The venue's reputation preceeds it."
Aside from his own music, Adrian organises nights for up and coming singers at the Square Peg in Warrenpoint and Grounded Espresso Bar in Newry and encourages new artists to try them out.
"The Open Mic sessions are brilliant for seasoned musicians. I use it as a practise a lot of the time; an opportunity to try out new material. But for someone who has never played any gigs before, I would say for them to just come up and give it a go because it all starts from there," urges Adrian.
"I've seen people playing at the Open Mic and subsequently booked them to play in Grounded. That's how I'm doing a bit of scouting aswell. You always get a good reception in the Peg. There have been people down who haven't been very good but the crowd are always polite. It's a good starting point."
As he talks about the massive show at The Bank, it's clear that Adrian is excited at the prospect of being the opening act on the night. And while he will refrain from playing his well-known cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, he knows just what to do to warm up the crowd.
"I plan to do all original songs, it's just a matter of preparing the set to start off with room to build the set up and climax with a real rocker at the end. Hopefully that will get a bit of energy going and set it up for the other bands to keep the momentum going." said Adrian.
He has strong feelings about the standard of the music scene in the local area and feels that it is up to the artists themselves to get their names out there, not just in Newry and Mourne but futher afield aswell.
"Newry and Warrenpoint have a great local scene and maybe it isn't getting the recognition it deserves at times. But then again, it's up to the artists themselves to go to Dublin and Belfast and let everyone know they're from around here and show it off.
"There are bands round here that are equal,if not better to bands from those cities. It can be very parochial at times around here and everybody seems to like the clique that they are in a lot of the time."
While a lot of music fans tend to confine themselves to watching live bands rather than singer/songwriters, Adrian is confident that his songs can trancend those barriers and hit the right note with music lovers of any genre.
"With regard to the stuff that I do, it doesn't really matter what type of music you are into, whether it's emo, heavy metal or whatever. I like to think that my music is somewhat universal.
"A good song is a good song. Sometimes people don't like certain tracks because they don;t like the actual band. For example, a lot of people don't like Razorlight but their single, America, is a cracking tune. So I would like to think they will like the songs because they are decent rather than just because I'm a singer/songwriter.

Adrian Markey will be appearing at The Bank on Sunday (May 6th) alongside The Beat Poets, The Pictures, Heathrow Yesterdays and Short Lived Joy. Doors Open at 9pm and Admission is £10
To check out the man himself go to www.myspace.com/adrianmarke - Newry Democrat


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Bio

In the past year, Adrian Markey has risen through the ranks of singer/songwriters in the Newry and Mourne area to become one of the most accredited and well known performers around. Mixing between solo and band line-ups in his live shows, Adrian constantly surprises and captivates his live crowds.
Adrian recently played for a second time at Rostrevors Fiddler's Green Festival as well as at the 1st annual Big Day Off Festival. After performances in Dundalk's Spirit Store and acting as host to various Open Mic Nights, Adrian has gained huge local media attention from numerous radio stations and newspapers. When Adrian is not performing or writing he runs AVM Music, a local music promotions company, as well as taking songwriting workshops with young musicians looking to get a foot up in crafting their compositions.