Sunday, April 3, 2011

G'DAY mate!

G'day! What a brilliant couple of weeks Ive had. To be honest when Sharon asked me to take part in the promo work in March, I was very hesitant. Simply because I had a lot to do myself and that taking, essentially a month out to go back promoting Celtic Thunder wasnt on my schedule at all! However, the thoughts of having the craic with Neil for a couple of weeks on a bus alone and a trip to the Southern Hemisphere was too hard to turn down. I also knew that I would be able to get the majority of what I needed to get done, done whilst on the road. The rest could wait!

When first we started the trip in Seattle, it was evident from the get go, that I was going to be the quiet one of the pairing on air........NOT!! Neil and I, were like a good cop, bad cop combo! He was calm collected and chatty, whilst I was like a raging lunatic, desperate for people to pick up the phone and pledge. I was also a man who had no boss no more, so was totally up for having a laugh on air. Honestly, Im not sure what some of the presenters thought. A lot rolled with it, others were very scared! Either way, we both had a lot of fun going from Seattle all the way across to the east coast. It was also a great chance to catch up with many fans. I also enjoy the banter with the fans and often feel it would be great fun to mix it up with a couple of bottles of wine at the stations! Could you imagine! PBS would never be the same.
Whilst out and about a lot asked and wondered about what my plans were. I was delighted to be able to tell all about my pending album and plans for some gigs in the Autumn. One thing I said was that as soon as I know anything, ye will know everything!

In the throws of going from one PBS station to the next, I was off to Boston for a very special gig! On the 16th of March I was asked to perform the American national anthem in the world famous TD Gaaaaden! Although I had performed anthems for a number of countries to large audiences on many occasions, this was different. Im not sure why. Maybe it was because it was my first major appearance in America on my own, or maybe it was because I hoped it symbolized the beginning of some fun times ahead. Either way, before I walked out on the court to perform, I was more nervous than I had been for a long time. It was at this point I realised that there is definightly a chemical imbalance in my head. Why in Gods name would anyone in their right mind want to walk out infront of 10's of thousands of people and sing a countries national anthem. No normal person would want to do that. To stand with a big spotlight on you, like a scene from Basic Instinct, and have all these faces looking at you waiting. Waiting for you to perform something they had all grown up saying nearly everyday of their life. Something that, if messed up, would be totally unforgivable. Something that, after a certain Super Bowl performance, was now at the point of people just wanting it to be sung as written and meant. All these things were running through my mind At a million miles a minute! Then I was announced and I was on my own. Heart thumping and stomach churning. When all of a sudden I was half way through it, and absolutely loving it. The adrenalin was pumping through every vein in my body, the crowd was cheering, the vibe was electric from the crowd to myself and back at them. I sang it like it was my own anthem. With pride and passion, and I didnt care if anyone liked my version or not. I just gave it welly! Then at the end, the place went wild. At which point, I realised exactly why I do what I do for a living, and wouldnt change it for a moment. I was buzzing after it. Definightly a highlight in my career. Hopefully the next time I go to do it, I wont be as nervous, and will give an ever better rendition. Never, straying from how it was written though. This I can promise you! Word is, I will get that shot for game one of the playoffs......ooohhh yea!

The following day, I was already back in NY for the St.Patricks day celebrations. I had a lunchtime engagement on the Adrian Flannely radio show in the city and then was free for the remainder of the day. Its hard to put into words the celebrations in New York on this day. Ive seen nothing like it ever. Everyone is bloody Irish, and half are drunk but lunchtime! Fun times for a lot of people, however part of me dislikes the fact that us Irish are associated so heavily with drink. I myself enjoy drink and a good time, within reason. However, I also know that drink has a very dangerous side, and has turned many a good person into a wreck of a person. Alcohol should be enjoyed, but respected. It can be quiet a dangerous thing when not respected. Some of the scenes I saw that day were hilarious, but one or two sad scenes too. I hope that for some of these people, it was only a once off event. Although my senses tell me different. Ireland is a wonderful country. Full of culture, music, literature and history. I hate that so many associate getting drunk with the Irish. But no amount of ranting by some tenor in a wine bar (ironically) is going to change that! Either way, we had a lot of fun in New York on Paddy's day, and one where I was proud, and VERY proud to be from where I am. It makes me smile and beam that so many that are not Irish, want to be. That for such a small country, we have spread the shamrock far and wide, and that so many are doing so much good for our little nation. We are small in number, but large in heart!

With that pride, I boarded a plane to New Zealand to promote Irish music in the Southern Hemisphere. I had never been down there before, but many of my friends and some of my family had been and I was hearing nothing but great things about the countries and the people down there. When we got to New Zealand, all I wanted to do was go meet the Maori people. They are so steeped in history and culture I just wanted to sample some of it. So I rented a people carrier and drove a small group of us 3 and a half hours out to meet them. This was one hell of a day. Great laugh and great sites. The one thing that occurred to me was how similar it was to Ireland. Truly green and full of sheep and cows! Although the moo from the cows had a different accent!
After four days we headed to Sydney, and I couldnt believe the fact our hotel was right by the harbour. I was going to do as much as I could in the short space of time I had off. The schedule was going to be full on as the buzz and excitement from the tv and radio stations down there was impalpable. They all wanted a piece, and we were totally on for giving it to them!
On day one I showered quickly and grabbed my camera and ran out the door. Then went back to the room to get dressed......I was that excited!! First stop for me was to go to the Sydney bridge. Then when I heard you could climb it, there was no stopping me. It was $200 to do it, which I thought was very OTT, but I felt it would be a once in a lifetime experience and that I would regret it if I didnt. Needless to say when I reached the top, I was delighted and proud of my achievement. I was in a nice group of ten climbers, but oddly enough, one was afraid of heights! I thought, darling, have you not read the memo? What are you doing up here!??!!! That being said, she was very brave and got up and back without a panic attack.
Later that evening, Emmet called my room and suggested we go to "The Barber of Seville" in the Opera House. I love Rossini, so thought, brilliant, lets do it! Needless to say, there were no other takers on the offer, so off the two of us went! AMAZING is all I will say on this.
After a couple of days of touristy things it was time to work, and work we did. We met many presenters and hosts and all were really fun and so laid back. Very similar personalities to the Irish and exact same sense of humour. All they do is take the mic outta each other, much like us. It made the whole experience so much fun.
As the trip was winding down, I knew it could be a long time before I saw the boys again, so a night on the town was on the cards. Needless to say we had some great laughs, and right in the middle of it all was Sharon. She maybe the boss of CT, but she is also a friend and some good times were had with her over the last month or so. She works very hard for Celtic Thunder, and I am delighted it is paying off for her.

The flight back was going to be long and one I wasnt looking forward to. Especially when I saw an infant sit two rows in front of me. I knew from the way he looked at me, that he was not happy about being on a plane. Then for 14 hours, he would often let us all know how unhappy he was. Frustrated as I was, I was also sympathetic to the parents who tried everything to keep him happy. Its a tough job being a parent, so those of us who are not, need to give them a break sometimes and just get on with it, in the hope than one day I will travel with a minnie me, and that those around will understand how tough it is.
After nearly a day and a half of travel, I got back to New York and back to the one I love. Im also back to start pressing those who have promised much and are yet to fulfill. No more mister nice guy. its time to get Byrom out there!

Love you all, and appreciate all your support. Please dont ever give up on me

My Loves
My Doves
My Eggs!



  1. Had to laugh at the woman in your group that was afraid of heights. I am as well but climbing the Harbour Bridge is still on my bucket list anyway. So sad I wasn't able to get up to Sydney to meet you guys at the Morning Show. But my daughter got to meet you all so I'll live vicariously through her until you guys come back to tour :) xx

  2. Excellent as always, Paul! I wish I had been able to know my great great granddad who migrated from Ireland as a 19 year old lad... but no one seems to remember any of the stories he used to tell. Hopefully one day I'll be able to visit and hear stories that would be passed generation to generation that someone failed to remember to pass on!

    Anyways, I am excited for you on you solo career! Much luck to you!
    Amanda (ahighhouse)

  3. I think it is wonderful that in just one blog you are able to make my heart swell with pride, make me laugh out loud and bring me to tears. Thank you for all that you do.

  4. Love the update Paul, I'm glad you enjoyed your travels... I am looking forward to hearing your solo album when it is released...

    I wish you luck in all you do
    Heather (unrulyemu)

  5. Paul thanks so much for the wonderful blog. I'm so happy you were able to take the step back into CT land for a bit and create a bunch of new memories in the process. Doesn't mean I don't want you to pursue your own career, but it was really lovely getting to see you again after the initial sadness of your leaving had worn off. I'm terribly excited about the progress your solo career is taking and can't wait to get your new album and of course, see you on stage all on your own in front of a packed house. Your babes will be there front and center I can assure you.

    Sounds like you had a grand time "downunder" as well. Thanks so much for sharing some of it with us in pictures and this blog. Had to laugh at your last comment about the "minnie me". Love that your attitude is softening toward children & travel. Will try to work on mine as well.

    btw, saw 1st episode of Camelot last nite. It's really good. :)

    Hope to see you soon,

  6. Paul
    Love the blog ..I loved the part that you the hope than one day I will travel with a minnie me...God help you ..A minnie you think about Paul...
    Thanks again Paul for your blog ..I enjoyed it very much...I hope all your dreams come true...
    God bless you always..

  7. Wonderful blog, Paul! Watching you walk out to the floor and command the tough Boston audience that night at the Garden was a highlight for me! You sang the anthem the way it was meant to be sung....with respect and power! The audience never quiets once the cheers begin, but they did for you...."and the rocket's red glare" had them right there! Bravo!
    Looking forward to seeing your solo show this Fall. :)

  8. I have to say that from the first PBS promo video we saw, we all knew there was some fun afoot at the promos. Nice to see that again. And, as always you have kept us hopping with your pictures and tweets from down under.
    Have to say you are looking great, and very happy with that twinkle in your eye.
    I'm sure the near future will bring much success to you and we will be supporting you all along.
    Give up on you....NEVER!!!
    Thanks so much for the update.

    Anxiously awaiting news on your new solo CD and a tour.

  9. Paul!! As always, it's a delight to read your stories. You seem to get the max enjoyment out of everything you do. I feel a bit exhausted after reading this blog, so much going on. And THANK YOU thank you thank you for the superb rendition of our national anthem - it's a rare thing nowadays to hear that song performed respectfully and with such incredible talent. Onward to the next challenge, the next experience :)

  10. Ahhh, Paul,
    You write a mighty fine blog! I felt as if I were there in the Gaaaaden cheering you on! A brilliant night, we will look forward to the next anthem! Yes, Neil is such a warm and friendly man, always lovely to us fans. A perfect counterpoint to your gregarious personality and very enjoyable antics at the promos!
    The trip "down under" sounds as if it was so much fun! Caught a few of those radio spots, seemed as if the Q & A were kind of repetitive. I suppose its difficult for us to fathom that Celtic Thunder needs to be explained! ;-0!
    Excited that you will be touring. Please don't pass Philadelphia by, as we have terrific venues for an artist like yourself. Not to mention many, many fans who would love the opportunity to see you onstage again!
    Take care and much success in your new endeavors.
    No, Paul, we will not give up you. Can't you tell by the feedback you receive? Once a Paul Byrom fan, always a Paul Byrom fan!
    Maggie Costello <3

    Thank You so much for taking us along on your travels, especially NZ and OZ. You sent us pictures and tweeted so we could follow you and what a trip it was. So happy you had the chance to do it.
    Your version of our National Anthem was, as my husband said, The way it is supposed to be sung.
    I still cry every time I watch you sing it. Bravo!
    We cannot wait to have your new album out and hopefully some dates and places. Besides trying to get you on the radio or TV, is there anything else we can do to help.
    You are one marvelous young man who is so good to his fans.
    Your blogs are always so informative.
    Your true Byrom Babes will be with you always. Besides, when you are very famous, we will be able to say we knew him when. We will do whatever we can to get you there.
    Take Care of yourself and your beautiful girl. THANK YOU

  12. I have to say I was laughing almost the entire time while reading this...and I HOPE you were joking about the little "fast shower" episode!

    I always enjoy reading your blogs, and this was no exception! You seem to have loved your time in OZ and NZ.

    We WILL get you out there! You have the full support of all of us and more!

    Take care,

    Iryna D

  13. Mesmerizing much, Mr. Byrom???

    "Pending album..." . . SQUEE!

  14. Thank you, Mr. Byrom, for the fine recap. Your Seattle antics were felt across the city!! Now about the unhappy baby on board - Don't you think a lullaby sung by you, with or without the other lads, would have solved the trick? Music sooths the savage beast, you know :)
    Waiting with great anticipation for your impending CD & especially your tour.
    Love & Hugs

  15. Hi Paul,
    thank you for that detailed blog and thank you for sharing all your adventures! I especially laughed about the quick shower - running out the door - getting back to dress story!! ;)
    I'm glad you had such a great time with the gang.
    I can't wait to have your new album in my hands! Good Luck with everything you are doing! You have my support, ever!
    Love from Germany

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  17. Paul - Thank you so much for taking the time here and when you were travelling to communicate with us. You write well and convey well what you're thinking. It's almost like we're there with you! (Wouldn't that be a sight?!)

    Anyway, I'm so glad you got that one last trip with the lads (less Damo) and am seriously looking forward to catching one of your solo gigs this fall in New England (I hope!).

    Keep up your good humor - and please continue to stay in touch.

  18. Hey Paul,
    Your blogs are always so much full of your them...and thank-you for taking the time to write them as we know that you are busy. Thank-you too for tweeting and sending pics while down are so kind let us know what is going on and let us enjoy some of the fun along the way...certainly hope you will be singing the national anthem one sings it like make us and Dom take care and know that your fans are right here behind ya......sally

  19. Thank you Paul! A great blog. But then I knew it would be. Give up on you? NEVER!! We love ya!!! ----Shelties

  20. I agree with you people do associate heavy drinking with the Irish. I am a Irish American. I was born in America to both Irish parents and two sets of Irish grandparents who were born in Ireland. America has a wagon that the police call to pick up people they send to jail and the call this wagon the Paddy wagon. You can guess the correct meaning. I do like a drink every now but never in access. I mean to visit Ireland and look up family, right now I am saving for it. I am proud to be Irish. I love the United States, I grew up here

  21. Don't you worry, my friend. We will never, EVER give up on you! Keep at it, Paul... and you will accomplish all you set out to achieve.

    We love you in Seattle and would love to see you perform at the McCaw Hall or Paramount Theater.


    Lisa Moody

  22. Paul...what can I say except you are a gem! Love all your blogs and how you take the time to write so beautifully. And all the info you give us....WOW. Looking forward to hearing what you have in store for us fans here in the states who are anxiously awaiting YOU. Thanks again! Your friend and fan from New Jersey ...Karen Caprio Flynn

  23. LOVED the new Heritage performance, though we had to tape it near 5 times to get all of it here in North Texas due to technical difficulties -- send PBS Mo' Money -- they seem to be short-staffed!

    Last time I talked to my 73-year-old mother who's always loved country music more than life itself, she told me CT had ruined her for all other music & she has a hard time listening to anything else now. ;-)

    Please tell me when you sang the National Anthem & thought of Basic Instinct, you didn't have on your kilt & you remembered to cross your legs.... :o)))

  24. Hi Paul,
    I wanted to both thank you & say hello. I should also apologize for the length. My daughter always says, "if you want a short version, don't ask my mom!" :-)
    What a wonderful website! In reading it I believe just about every emotion ran through me. You've quite a wit about you! How kind of you to share so much of you with us. Your performance of our national anthem was so stirring & beautiful! I don't recall when I last heard it performed with such strength & so well! Thank you.
    I'm new to you all. I was introduced to you all about a month ago from your PBS promo in Seattle. I was very taken by the beautifully moving Heritage show. What a treat! You all have such individual strengths, yet you all come together & harmonize so beautifully! It touched me so, that I found my way to the CT site to send a message to you as to its affect.
    Shortly after that I became ill & have been home about 3 weeks now. I mention that, because as I had no voice I spent quite a bit of time online the past few weeks. The strength of all of your talents in Heritage, spurred me on to a 'crash course' in all of your many talents. I delved into the CT website & your individual sites. Hey, no laughing, it was healthier than nibbling the treats & chocolates that well wishers brought by. LOL In my reading, I fairly quickly came to feel that you all are also great friends & supporters of each other. What a gift for you all. Damien's blog on the CT site regarding how important you are to him, the difference you made in his life, is just one touching example. It was also easy to see how kindly & well you are all thought of by your many supporters. The respect for you all that the majority of them have is wonderful.
    You Tube introduced me to all of your, & the other lads, many other talents, this prompted me to purchase what CD's & DVD's that were available for CT & the solo efforts that I could find. Yes, Amazon loves me! What a treat they all were! You all are so multitalented!! I'm of the age that grew up with musicals & variety shows of the 60's; Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Gene Kelly, Fred and Ginger & many others. How fun to see musical events that in many ways mirrored those, with such amazing voices, not to forget the very moving traditional pieces. The songs leave such a deep impact on those who hear them. The stories are so beautiful.
    The sharing of your talents, as well as your very gracious sharing of your individual journeys' towards your goals with those who support you, is so generous of you all. I know that you are all men, but how proud your parents must be of the fine men you are. I certainly hope that we all respect each of you, your loved ones & your privacy. We all need a little of us that is saved just for those closest to us.
    Tomorrow I go back to my reality, a full time job at a children's hospital that feeds my heart & a part time job that takes care of the rest. These & my volunteering for children leave me little time for online fun like I've enjoyed the past few weeks. I'm sorry to have missed the opportunity to hear you in CT, but I’m looking forward to following your solo journey. I'm sure a new CD & tour is in your near future! I will be at the CT Fall show here in Seattle. I'm looking forward to hearing Heritage live. I'm certain that the strengths of their voices will be stirring as they tell the stories. You will be missed, but dreams & goals are meant to be followed!! I wish you & your lovely Dom Gods Blessings & all the best that life has to offer. I know the years ahead will be filled with memories to keep you warm in your golden years.
    I do have one question ... what does "My Loves My Doves My Eggs" mean? Having seen snippets of your humor & wit, I can only imagine?! :-)

    Wishing you all the best!
    big HUGS to you and yours!

  25. Sounds like you had a great time! Not gonna lie, though, I'm pretty jealous that you got to see "The Barber of Seville" at the Sydney Opera House! Alas, now I have Figaro's Aria stuck in my head.

    I quite hope you get the opportunity to sing at game one of the play-offs. That would be quite the gig!!

  26. Paul,
    Although you will be missed terribly with CT, I am so excited for you and very anxious to hear your new stuff! You have a voice that brings shivers and bumps. I wish you continued (and much) success. I will be listening!!
    Always keep your sense of humor as well. Life is too short to be unhappy! Hope to see ya at a Steelers game soon!!
    May you always be blessed!
    Kelly =)

  27. Im a huge fan. You should come to Wenatchee! :P
    Sonja B.