Bill Withers



I wished this guy a Happy Birthday recently through a cover of ‘Use Me’ here

Bill Withers’ music grabbed me first and when I read into the guy it developed my appreciation for his ethos. Finding musical success later in life than most, at 32, he has said he was socialized as a ‘regular guy’ who had a life before the music, so he did not feel an inherent need to keep recording once he fell out of love with the industry. He famously walked away from it all. You can read more here

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Who is Rory Lavelle?

I’ve had a lot of queries recently about who I am, where I’m from etc. All very flattering but I rarely feel comfortable talking about myself so there’s little info out there to be found. I put that down to being from Co Fermanagh where humility is in the tap water! Besides, if I disclosed too much I would have to kill you. Here’s a titbit.

I was born in a time and place that afforded me a wealth of life experiences, both good and bad. Being from Northern Ireland I witnessed the effect of “The Troubles” both from a distance and up close. To the rest of the world “troubles” was a broken boiler or on a personal level a bad case of indigestion. Only in Northern Ireland could 30 years of civil unrest and wide-spread violence be referred to as “the Troubles”!

As an 80’s child I had to rely heavily on my imagination, luckily mine was huge. My friends and I would spend all our spare time coming up with new and inventive ways to make our drab surroundings as dangerous as possible. Hut-building, tree-climbing, go-karts and death-trap zip-lines were all the rage.

When Marty McFly arrived in 1985 a hundred old roller-boots were ripped apart and the wheels attached to slabs of old floor-board. The yokel skateboard was born!

We were lucky enough to have a customs station at the bottom of our estate where heavy goods vehicles would declare their stock and head on over the border into southern Ireland.

Unbeknownst to the drivers they could have up to four 8 year olds trailing behind  and hanging on for dear life a la Marty McFly whilst brazenly waving at shocked grannies as we rocketed through town. We got months out of that one and with barely a grazed knee between us. Thanks Mr McFly!

When I was a toddler my brother and I were introduced to Simon and Garfunkel through our then baby-sitter Majella McCusker or as we called her “Jelly and Custard”. I fell in love with the harmonies and the warmth of those old records. My tastes would evolve over the next 10 years covering Michael Jackson, Buddy Holly, John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, Cream, The Beatles, Zeppelin and everything 60’s related. Growing up in a small border town in Ireland there was little to do but nurture this already burgeoning obsession. A hum and a foot-tap led to a voice and a guitar at around 11 years old which in turn led to my first foray’s into what would become a life-long career in music.

From opening for Ian Brown to a packed Ulster Hall to spending long cold winter nights sleeping on the floor of a Ford Transit van, at this stage I’ve done most of it if not it all. 

After my long-held position in Indigo Fury and side project Sparks Fly(of which I’ll go into more detail in the future) I witnessed the music industry and subsequently the music scene go through massive changes that effected me and the music community I played along-side. This all ran parallel with the dawning of the internet era. 

For myself and a lot of my peers in the early to mid 2000’s who were used to fly-postering and word of mouth to advertise our gigs it hit hard that having finally perfected the song-writing and performing side of things we now had to start investing most of our time to selling our wares on-line to people who may or may not want to know! Fuck! I gather things were easier in the 70’s. 

Anyways, like so many others I adjusted, adapted and persevered. I experienced local successes with bands Indigo Fury and Sparks Fly, toured all over Ireland and further afield all the while improving my playing, singing and writing. The results I hope you’ll find on my debut album “Waves”. You can check that out here – Waves – Rory Lavelle

All These Horrors



I’m not sure if you’ve stumbled across it yet but I’ve included the video for All These Horrors below. The video was made by the very talented Belfast animator Richard Davis.

You can also get an insight into myself and my music and in particular the meaning behind All These Horrors through a recent interview with Music Musings and Such –

“Around the time of the post 9/11 Iraq war, I shared a house in Belfast with three other guys; one of whom was obsessed with the twenty-four-seven news coverage. I was working long continental shifts in a horrible plastics factory and would arrive home to my friend’s passionate update on what the troops had been up to. I conveyed my fears to him regularly and joked that they’d find me surrounded by a wall stomping my grounds with a double-barreled shot-gun. Nobody gets in, nobody gets out.

As we all know, things haven’t improved much since then so the images and the lyrical content built up over the years – and fell out when the right riff fell into my lap.”

Full interview here

Again I’d love to hear your feedback/comments.

Stay safe and happy and thanks for the support.

Rory Lavelle.