01 Jun, Monday
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Get to Know: Tony Villiers

Often pegged as a blues act, Tony Villiers and the Villains are actually much trickier to define than that. Sure they have a definite blues edge, but The Villains’ sound is multi-layered.

With discernible hints of country, touches of jazz and Doc Doherty’s mesmerising electric guitar this is a band that deserves deeper investigation to be fully appreciated.  With plenty of upcoming live dates and a new album on the way, there’s no better time than now to do just that. Get to Know Tony Villiers. 

Tony Villiers

Name: Tony Villiers

Where you’re from: Armagh

Describe your style in 5 words or fewer: Swampy-blues-tinged-jazz-country

Digital music, CDs or vinyl: Vinyl

Biggest musical influence: Bob Dylan

What you’re listening to right now: Horslips and the Ulster Orchestra at the Waterfront

Favourite venue: The American Bar

Best local band of the moment: Stiff Little Fingers

Last gig you attended: Van Morrison

Best gig you have ever attended: John Prine, Vicar Street, Dublin

Favourite album of all time: Blonde on Blonde

Musician you’d love to collaborate with: Bob Dylan

Last thing you do before going onstage: Round up the band

A new album from Tony Villiers and the Villains, Music Confounds the Machines, is due for release in the coming months. You can catch the full band, (Tony and Doc together with Kevin Mahoney on bass and Aidan McGillian on percussion), live in The American Bar, Belfast every third Saturday, or in The Atlantic Live Lounge, Portrush on 7th April. 

My tastes vary - live in concert I've seen (amongst others) Bob Dylan, The Cure, Morrissey, Johnny Marr (sadly never The Smiths), Van Morrison, David Byrne, Counting Crows, John Prine, Chris Smither, Erasure, They Might be Giants, The Verve, Ben Folds, Georgie Fame, Teddy Thompson, Martha Wainwright, Rufus Wainwright and Loudon Wainwright III. This decade, a lot more home grown talent, with the likes of Duke Special, Brian Kennedy, VerseChorusVerse, The Bonnevilles, Tony Villiers and the Villains, The Hardchargers, and The 4 of Us. Favourite gigs include Prince in Cork in 1990, Trip to Tipp ’91 & ’92, David Bowie’s Reality tour in 2003.