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21 Jan, Monday
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Get to Know: Tony Wright

You may know Tony Wright in one of several guises. As founding member of rock instrumentalists, And So I Watch You From Afar, as his solo project VerseChorusVerse or latterly as one half of the more blues inspired duo The Tragedy of Dr. Hannigan.

Tony Wright has been part of the fabric of Northen Irish music for over twenty years. Get to Know Tony Wright.

Name: Michael Anthony Wright, but you can call me Tony

Where you’re from: Portstewart, Co. Derry

Describe your style in 5 words or fewer: Inquisitive?

Best thing about the Northern Irish music scene: That it exists

Digital music, CDs or vinyl: Digital vinyl

Biggest musical influence: The Beatles

What you’re listening to right now: Mos Def

Favourite venue: The Sunflower or The Empire

Best local band/artist of the moment: Now that’s not nice…   “Best” is divisive and there’s a lot of great ones at the minute.

Last gig you attended: WASPS and Mosmo Strange, The Menagerie. Loved it!

Best gig you ever attended: Beastie Boys, King’s Hall. Mainly because it was my first.

Gig you wish you could have attended: Fugazi, Nerve Centre Derry – early 2000s

Favourite album of all time: I always return to Automatic for the People by REM.

Musician you’d love to collaborate with: Annie Clarke (St Vincent).

Last thing you do before going onstage: Leave the offstage.

Dream festival line-up: How long have you got? Ok, well artists I’ve never seen… The Beatles, St Vincent, Sequoyah, Tiger, Public Enemy, Janelle Monae, Nirvana, Tom Waits, Fugazi, James Brown, The Clash, Saul Williams, Frank Sinatra, Janis Joplin, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Gene Pitney, Dr Feelgood, Leftfield, and just so I could play with them all too… my first band – PepperBook.

‘Stranded’ is an intimate weekly BYO event featuring music, comedy, cabaret and theatre in East Belfast’s beautiful Strand Arts Centre. Friday 16th March sees an evening at the Strand with Tony Wright. Tickets, priced at just £6, are available here.

Writer for Gigging NI. My tastes are varied; began listening to the folksy standards of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell and indie favourites like The Cure and The Smiths, all of which permeated my formative years in the 80s. My first gig was Prince in Cork in 1990. The 90’s also included The Trip to Tip in ’91 & ’92, and gigs by Van Morrison, David Byrne, The Verve, Counting Crows, John Prine, Morrissey, Chris Smither and many more. The noughties brought James Taylor, Squeeze, New York Dolls, Neil Young, Arlo Guthrie amongst others; though a highlight was an opportunity to see lifelong hero David Bowie on his final tour, Reality in 2003. This decade I’ve had the chance to see everything from Erasure, Johnny Marr and They Might be Giants to Thirty Seconds to Mars, Aslan, Crosby and Nash, Georgie Fame, Paolo Nutini, John Grant. Latterly there's been a pretty serious obsession with Rufus Wainwright, and the Wainwrights in general to be honest. In the last few years, I’ve also been enjoying a lot more of our home grown talent, with the likes of Duke Special, Brian Kennedy, VerseChorusVerse, The Bonnevilles, Tony Villiers and the Villains, The Hardchargers, and The Four of Us – so I guess you could say no common thread to speak of!