Noise Annoys: Rory Nellis on There Are Enough Songs In The World
Belfast singer-songwriter Rory Nellis quizzed on his new ‘drip-fed' album
REGULAR readers of this column will already be well aware of the imminent release of the second album by Belfast singer-songwriter Rory Nellis.
Cannily, the sometime Seven Summits frontman has been releasing There Are Enough Songs In The World online one track at a time over the past 18 months.
However, now that all 10 tracks from the follow-up to his excellent 2015 debut Ready For You Now have been 'dropped', the record is officially released on Monday and will be getting a big push in the form of a couple of impending live shows – including an official album launch gig at The MAC in Belfast tomorrow evening (tickets from £12.50 via Themaclive.com).
To celebrate this momentous occasion, Noise Annoys questioned Mr Nellis about his new magnum opus via electronic means.
You’ve been releasing your new album There Are Enough Songs In The World online one track at a time. What’s it been like 'drip-feeding' the album to people in this way and why did you decide on this approach? Will there actually be a physical version for people to buy on vinyl/CD at gigs an via Rorynellis.bandcamp.com?
I thought that doing it that way would help build a bit if momentum and for the most part I think it worked. There are so many great musicians about and you really have to shout loud to try and make yourself heard.
Yes, the album will be available in a presentation box with each track's artwork printed on cards with the lyrics on the back and the songs on a USB stick. The artwork (by Michael Eaton) is fantastic and ties the whole thing together brilliantly.
How was the experience of recording this album compared to your first solo record and indeed your previous studio efforts in general?
Myself and Phil Watts d’Alton, who recorded and mixed both my albums, have a great relationship in the studio. Phil’s pretty straight talking and his input is invaluable.
I really like the song Gas & Air, which is about parenthood. Would that be one of the most genuinely joyous songs you’ve ever written?
Yes, I think that’s fair. There is a lot of emotion in there. We’ve only played it live once so far, at Gifted in The Empire, but it was a great experience. Good and LOUD!
Do you have any particular favourites on the record?
I’m really happy with how both Not Allowed To Be Broken and Wild turned out. When the mixes came back, I was blown away.
Is there any particular theme to this collection of songs?
There isn’t really one theme, no. Some are about parenthood, some are about politics and some are just about being in your 30s.
Are you looking forward to the album launch show at The MAC on Saturday and have you anything special planned for the occasion?
Well, Owen Lamont’s supporting and it doesn’t get much more special than that. Phil Watts d’Alton is going to do a few songs in my set as a special guest too. I’m really looking forward to it.
You’re also doing The Atlantic Sessions next week, and have been doing various shows further afield in the run-up to the album release. It must be harder to play out now you have family responsibilities – does that make the shows you do get to do more ‘special’ in some way?
I think with family or other responsibilities it gets harder to justify going further afield to gig, which is a big part of why I do this in the first place. You just have to pick and choose, I suppose. It’s a beautiful balancing act.
You’ve praised your bass man Herb Magee’s Arvo Party project and he did a great remix of Crossed Out. Would you ever consider attempting an all-electronic project like that yourself, and what would it sound like?
I would never say never, but I think I’m a guitar kind of guy. Arvo Party really is amazing though.
What’s happening with Seven Summits, if anything?
Nothing is happening right now, but we have a few songs that we’re really happy with and we’ll get around to polishing and recording them at some stage.
I’m looking forward to making a really big noise with them again.
If you could erase one song in the world from existence, what would it be?
Harsh – but fair, I think.
As mentioned, Rory is one of the 60-odd acts who will be playing up north next week as part of the annual Atlantic Sessions festival in Portrush and Portstewart from November 16 to 19 at a selection of different venues. He will join fellow troubadours Joshua Burnside and Gareth Dunlop to play three full band sets at The Atlantic Bar in Portrush on Friday November 17.
Other headliners at this year's festival include Ports, who will perform with Prima Quartet at the Anchor Complex in Portstewart on Thursday November 16. Newly minted Xtra Mile recording artists Brand New Friend will play alongside The Holy Innocents, Emerald Armada, Ryan Vail and Iain Archer at Kiwi's on Saturday November 18.
As ever, the final day's showcase gig comes in the form of a Sunday Brunch show curated by BBC Radio Ulster man Ralph McLean, who will introduce Mandy Bingham, Malojian and Paddy Nash at Flowerfield Arts Centre from 12pm.
This will be followed at 5pm by a live performance by author Glenn Patterson and composer Neil Martin.
There will also be free Music Trail gigs each day featuring local musical talent including Tom McShane, VerseChorusVerse, Wanderers, The Wood Burning Savages, Amanda St John, Amy Montgomery, Michael Mormecha, Matt McGinn, Anthony Toner and more.
Tickets for headline shows and full info at Atlanticsessions.com