Cavan man’s ballad proceeds to go to CGH
“We all know him, we all know someone like him, the lad who’s great up to the point he has a few drinks on him and starts to act the complete lig. That’s Mickey Mór, that’s big Mickey!”
That’s the simple summary of the inspiration behind Cavan musician Philip Noone’s latest song, set for release this coming Friday, May 1, the proceeds of which will go to supporting staff and facilities at Cavan General Hospital.
Philip, more usually located in the Middle East where he has carved out a niche for himself as a musician in Qatar, was inspired to give something back to his native community in the present circumstances surrounding COVID-19.
“I think we all have to take our hats off to the brilliant work being done in hospitals across the country, the frontline staff working long hours and doing so much for those who’ve gotten sick from his virus,” says Philip, who’s back in Cavan at the present time.
Philip is signed to Candela Entertainment, who first flew the local singer-songwriter out to Doha around five years ago, and where he often finds himself playing to audiences of several thousand at a time in a variety of venues including The Backyard at the luxury Sheraton Grand Hotel.
He has his own band out there too, ‘Music Vending Machine’, which is finding a dedicated following among Qatar’s 5,000 or so strong Irish population, not to mention the thousands more holiday sun-seekers who find their way out there.
Philip has been singing and playing music since the age of eight years, hitting national headlines as a teenage contestant on Ireland’s ‘You’re A Star’.
He subsequently studied sound engineering and music technology before becoming a full-time performer.
The release of ‘The Ballad of Mickey Mór’, which Philip had been mulling over for some time, received an unexpected boost from fan, Irish actor and comedian Chris O’Dowd.
The Roscommon native and star of ‘The IT Crowd’, ‘Moone Boy’ and several major Hollywood films, posted a video message online telling Philip to “stop pussyfooting around” and get the song out there for everyone to hear.
“It’s such a great tune... stop pussyfooting around with the little details. Just get it out there... please!” said O’Dowd in the 50-second clip.
“That was intense,” laughs Philip at the resounding endorsement. “I wasn’t expecting that. He’s someone who is friends through friends, but it was a good thing to happen. I suppose it gave me that added little push to just do it, and get the song out there.”
Philip scored success last year with his cover of the ‘Galway Shawl’, but says it’s more “nerve-wracking” with it being his own song being released. “I think people look at you differently when it’s your own song. You can hide behind I suppose, a song that’s not your own,” he says of his version of ‘Galway Shawl’, which has incredibly amassed over one million views online.
There has been no shortage of effort in getting the soon-to-be released track to this stage either.
Despite its traditional Irish roots, it has a discernibly international feel, part recorded in Doha, part Italy, and even some in the UK with session musician du jour, Tobias Wilson.
“The fiddles and drums were done in Italy, the guitars in London, and we did everything else back in Qatar,” says Philip of the song, which is being mixed and mastered before release by producer, Radi El Zouhby. “He’s incredible. We got Toby Wilson too to do the guitar and banjo on it, and it’s perfect. It’s been great to see it all come together in the way I wanted it to,” says Philip. “I’m excited now it’s so near to being out there, and I’m excited to have it heard.”
‘The Ballad of Mickey Mór’ will be available to download on Friday from all major music streaming sites, and Philip tells The Anglo-Celt. “It’s only 99c, and every cent earned from it will be going to support the incredible effort that’s going on daily at our local hospital. Everyone knows someone who works there, or has been there for whatever reason, so they know what I’m talking about. The staff who work there are second to none, so this is my very small way of giving something back.”