The Willie Byrne Band
Willie Byrne is recognised as one of Belfast’s hidden gems, legendary among Ireland’s guitar fraternity. He has been performing since the late seventies, steadily developing a reputation as a master of electric and acoustic guitar.
For those of you lucky enough to catch the Willie Byrne Band at our 2014 Festival, we’re pretty sure you will want to hear them again…
For those of you who missed it, here’s Willie’s story so far in his own words…
I started playing the Guitar at 16yrs of age, my Dad bought me my first guitar, an Antoria Les Paul copy.
I still play this guitar for TINN LIZZY gigs and it’s pristine. Looks really pretty too.
After playing in several garage Bands I got the lead guitar gig with THE PETER BECKET BAND.
This was my first real outfit, doing University gigs some TV stuff (BBC 1 CAMPUS ROCK supporting Paul Brady)
Gigs like the Errigle Inn residency Thursday nights. Circa ’78 ’79 80
Then stints with several groups, KATMANDU, CLOUDS, a two piece with EDDIE FRIEL and numerous stand ins with APARTMENT.
Formed my own Band in ’82 opened twice for Philip Lynott on his Solo in Soho Tour.
I auditioned for the Van Morrison gig. Van not present unfortunately. Played in various bands over the next few years.
Went on an American Tour ’91 followed by periods in Portugal ’93 ’95 France ’94 Austria ’96.
More recently a stint with THEM and my own Band doing the Rory Gallagher Tribute,etc.
My main influences are Rory Gallagher, Led Zeppelin, Gary Moore.
The great local guitarist Jim Armstrong was very important to me and many other young guitarists because we could go to see him playing in the POUND CLUB every Saturday afternoon
My other influential great musicians are Jimi Hendrix, Peter Green, Jeff Beck, Thin Lizzy.
More recently I’ve been inspired by guys like ROBBEN FORD and ERIC JOHNSON.
The Band :
Willie Byrne – Guitar & Vocals
Stephen Clayton – Bass and Vocals
Brian Warnock – Drums