Former Blizzards man in town

SINCE calling time on The Blizzards, Westmeath man Niall Breslin has assumed the alias ‘Bressie’.

He comes to Belfast on his solo tour of Ireland and will play the Limelight on Wednesday, October 12.

Bressie has relocated to London and last week the ‘MAIL’ caught up with the singer to find out about why he’s going it alone having tasted success with platinum-selling pop kings The Blizzards.

He said: “The guys in the band (The Blizzards) had kids and they couldn’t go in to make another album so intensely. I didn’t want to go in and do something half-assed.

“I got a fantastic opportunity to go to London with ‘19’ (Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment) and do a bit of writing and producing.”

It wasn’t long before Bressie started to yearn for the stage again. “I missed the live stuff too much,” he said.

“I put a band together so I could get back to performing myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing and producing, but I was listening to other people performing songs and I couldn’t live without being up there doing it myself.”

Of the music that influenced him Bressie said: I was listening to The Pet Shop Boys and Peter Gabriel when my mates were listening to Metallica. I’m not a music snob. I listen to all genres, but I do have a thing for the eighties. The songwriting, the production and the characters back then were incredibly interesting.”

Bressie said his new album gives a nod to the eighties with “a lot of flat bass and big synth”. Those familiar with Bressie’s work with The Blizzards can expect a tougher version on the his debut solo album.

He said: “London makes you harder. At home you’re taught a lot of values, like manners. Over here you have to lose all that. It’s sink or swim.

“That comes out in the album. The album also reflects how much I miss home - the people and the personalities. Irish people are great to be around. In auditions there were about 40 people and I ended up with three boys from Ireland in my band.”

Of the Belfast gig he said: “The last time I was playing Belfast I had food poisoning, but it was cool because I was seeing double and it looked like there was more people there.”

He added: “I’m sure we’ll play a few Blizzards songs. Everybody’s cool with it. It would be rude not to.”

Tickets for The Limelight (£10) are on sale through the usual Ticketmaster outlets.