This week we spoke with local singer Billy Cusack. Billy has been playing the local scene for over 25 years. Starting out as a two piece with Tony Moore, who later went on to become owner of “The Meeting place”. Tony got very busy so I started doing a few gigs on my own until I meet up with Padraig Parker,
John Donoghue and Waxer Mulcahy and we used to play a lot of gigs locally. I was on bass guitar at that time I remember we used to play Clancy’s from 4 to 6 then from 9 to 11.30 we would play the Clock as it was known and from about 12.30 to 2am we would finish up playing in the Rugby club that night.
I asked Billy about his now famous posters which adorn any of the venues he plays in, they are a hand drawn caricature of him, and some would say flattering others not so. I was playing in Spain and this artist used to draw outside the place I was working in and I decided to get one done for the fun of it. When I got home I started using them as posters. Ahh sure there fine, the one thing I found is that there is a lot of talk over these posters, some say they even frighten children but it’s all in a fun way.
I asked Billy if he had seen many changes over that time in the local music scene. Yes,there have been massive changes, in the last few years things have suffered greatly before that young bands had great opportunities but with the current climate the venues are not as plentiful. There is always a call for music but
it’s down to the groups to make the changes needed to play these venues. Because of this groups are expected to perform a wider range of songs with a better sound which is not always easy, sometimes I get people asking me to sing Abba songs which is fine but I am only one guy on my own not a four piece band with female singers. But we do the best we can, there are songs which I have been singing for a long time now and they will always be on the set list and every night is different so we learn to adapt and change our program for each venue. If you take the song Brown Eyed Girl from Van Morrison, well you can sing that anywhere.
I found that wherever you go music travels well, I spent a few years playing Spain, Portugal etc and the songs would be the common link to any audience. The big change nowdays is that people can access whatever song they want on the internet, there is a wider verity of music on offer. Singers starting off now can record an album at home and even make the CD, in our day we had to use the old tape recorder and then go into the studio to do an album etc.
Speaking of albums I asked Billy had he anything in the pipeline and he answered with a smile “I will be doing one this year, I have had a lot of requests for something on CD so I decided it was about time I actually recorded one. So that will be out this year. You can contact Billy on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can phone on 086 3560477.