Former RTE 2FM legend, Mike Moloney, worked for a little while on Sligo & Donegal's Ocean FM. He had a Sunday evening show called the Irish Album. He wasn't there all that long , but in that brief stint Mike uncovered some real gems. One such song was called Apologise by Celine Carroll. Such was the quality of that song , I had to buy a copy straight away. I tried all the usual places (HMV, Virgin, Amazon etc) with no success. So I wrote a speculative email to info at artiste name dot com - and I got a reply. I gladly parted company with a tenner and the album (entitled : Itch) was mine. This was followed a couple of days later by an email asking what I thought of it. Now you won't get that sort of service from U2 !
It didn't take long for me to return a few words , the album was uncomplicated and easy to get into. A couple of tracks were already beginning to emit that play-it-again demand and I wanted the world to know that I'd managed to get hold of a quality album.
I decided to contact Chester's Dee 106.3, one of my local radio stations - and on Sunday 18th September 2005 on Gavin Matthews' Request Fest , Apologise got its first UK hearing. However, although I was thrilled at the time for myself and , more importantly for Celine, my particular quest to help Celine Carroll get due recognition had only just started. But a couple major family health issues put paid to that activity for a while.
Throughout our personal trauma, Celine was very supportive. And without getting too carried away, that support will always be greatly appreciated.
We weren't exactly confined to quarters during our son's illness. We've popped over to Dublin to see Celine live , and she has visited us in the UK. Indeed, health matters have much improved and this state of normality seemed to coincide with the release of her new album Such A Beautiful Light.
I will always treat Itch as a favourite album , like Celine, it's part of the family. However, in both songwriting terms and in the quality of studio production, Such A Beautiful Light is years ahead. Indeed, there is even a theme running through it. It's a "Love" album , not luvvy-duvvy stuff, but it addresses all aspects, from the happy go lucky summer sound on Sweet Heart of Mine through to the wintery cold of loneliness in I Remember a Time.
The release of this album signals the re-launch of my own quest to get more recognition for Celine's music. And to that end Celine posted me a copy of the first single from the album - Sweet Heart Of Mine with a view to getting UK radio airplay.
After much deliberation, I posted it off to Billy Butler on BBC Radio Merseyside. Our cheers on either side of the Irish Sea were so loud when Billy played it in July, I'm certain that we launched the Isle Of Man off its moorings.
Airplay in both Ireland and the UK led to several live appearances on various radio stations, the most significant being on Ireland's national station RTE Radio 1, where Celine and her band performed on the legendary Pat Kenny Show.
Here in the UK , Roger Day (BBC Radio Kent and other networked stations across the southern counties of England) and Aled Jones (BBC Radio 2) both played her current single. But it was BBC Radio Merseyside's Billy Butler who featured her regularly and on the afternoon of Friday October 2nd, Billy's audience witnessed Celine's first live UK performance.
That weekend saw Celine make a cameo appearance at Crystals in Birkdale on October 2nd followed on the Saturday by her first solo performance at O'Connors in Orrell Park, Liverpool. Celine's weekend finale was at Telford's Warehouse in Chester(see the video).
Celine recently appeared at the Cherry Tree, Walkinstown, Dublin on Saturday December 12th , the same night as the final of X-Factor. How nice it was to have a full house on her own patch. I flew out just to be with them all .... read it here
Recent links to this blog : [Roy Norry][Mike Wilson]
Had it not been for that follow-up email in 2005, I shudder to think what would have become of Celine's musical career. I would have still been in posession of a musical masterpiece in the form of the album, Itch. Our family would have one less friend and the musical world would be missing out on a fabulous follow-up album . .