Updated: Friday, 13th December 2019 @ 4:30am

Manchester Irish Festival: Singer-songwriter hopes to emulate heroes Oasis while headlining blues bonanza

Manchester Irish Festival: Singer-songwriter hopes to emulate heroes Oasis while headlining blues bonanza

| By Josh Nicholls

Singer-songwriter Sean Taylor hopes to put on a show like his Manchester music heroes Oasis and The Stone Roses as he headlines at the blues section for the city's Irish Fesitval this weekend.

The critically-acclaimed musician is playing at m19 bar in Levenshulme as part of the Manchester Irish Festival, an 11-day extravaganza celebrating the culture and heritage of the emerald isle.

Citing the northern soul his father grew up listening to in Manchester, the rise of dance music during the days of the Hacienda and the enormity of bands like The Stone Roses and Oasis, Sean was full of praise for Manchester’s diverse music scene.

But there was one Manchester band that he reserved special praise for.

“When I first started to play guitar Oasis were the band, there was a real buzz around them and there was such power in their lyrics,” he said.

“Noel Gallagher I believe is one of the greatest songwriters ever and Oasis did what all bands should do and convey a story and melody and make it all work.”

Although his mother was from Liverpool, Sean’s father was born in Manchester and despite admitting being, ‘caught in the middle somewhere’, was happy to wax lyrical about Manchester’s musical heritage and his experiences of gigs in the city.

“Manchester is one of those places like Brighton or London where there’s just so many people who are in bands and when you get the chance to play there you’ve really got to up your game,” he said.

It’s been an interesting journey for Sean, who states his first trip to Glastonbury as a 16-year-old one of his biggest influences into a career in music.

“I’d been to day festivals but when you are away for four or five days and you are living and breathing the experience it is incredible and that is when I decided, ‘this is what I want to do, I want to make music’. So that was my big moment,” he said.

It was a decision that paid off and Sean has gone on to make six albums in six years and will play in Manchester as part of his European tour which will see him perform in Spain, France, Holland, Finland and Germany as well as in the UK.

On top of that his latest album, Chase the Night, which was recorded in Austin Texas, has been well-received by critics and recently earned a four-star review in Mojo.

Like any artist, Sean welcomes the plaudits his work receives but always tries to maintain a sense of direction.

“It is good (to be praised by critics) but it is not the reason I make music,” he said.

“You need to focus on the music and be very clear about what you want to do. You can’t worry about what every single critic says because at the end of the day a review is just one opinion.

“So when I do get good reviews I try not to get too carried away with the praise but at the same time it is very flattering.”

Something in the recent reviews of his album that Sean was happy to accept were comparisons between himself and legendary singer-songwriters John Martyn and Van Morrisson.

“I love John Martin he’s one of my heroes and along with Van Morrison,” he added.

“When you hear their songs they do not sound like anybody else they are totally unique and that’s what makes them such great artists.

“So I’m more than happy for these comparisons to be made it’s better than being compared to Justin Bieber anyway!”

Sean returns to his roots this weekend at The Irish Blues Festival, which Sean is no stranger to, having played at three previous Manchester Irish Festivals

“I’ve played the Manchester Irish festival three times before and it always really good fun, this year there’s a really great bill of artists and I’m really honoured to be headlining it.

“The crowd is usually pretty rowdy but a good rowdy, the crowds are full of people who are up for having a good time.

“The Irish festival is always a good atmosphere and people are loaded with Guinness and enjoying themselves.”

Sean likes every performance to offer something different, and promises this weekend’s to be no different.

“I always say every gig is like an empty canvas every time I play, something happens that is different,” he told MM.

“You always try and feed off the audience, I have never had a set list in my life I always change it around and it is very much a case of feeding off the audience because different audiences react differently to different songs.

“I try to make every performance different and in comparison to last year the songs are different I will be playing quite a lot of new songs, so I would say expect the unexpected.”

London-born Sean’s penchant for spontaneity was perhaps best demonstrated when a member of the audience at one of his gigs got on-stage with him and began playing the harmonica.

Although confessing he was slightly taken aback by the incident, Sean still harbours fond memories of the gig.

“I wasn’t really sure what was going on at first,” he admitted. “But the guy was great on the harmonica so I just rolled with it and ended up playing with him on stage.

“That’s what I love most about performing, the danger that you do not know what is going to happen when you go on stage.”

For more information on the Budweiser Irish Blues Festival, click here.

Image courtesy of Sean Taylor, via YouTube with thanks.