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Sunday, July 02, 2017

INTERVIEW: Blackwater Conspiracy's Phil tells us about the band's ongoing progress after the release of 'Shootin' The Breeze

NORTHERN Ireland blues rockers Blackwater Conspiracy have enjoyed success many would envy since they formed from members of Million$Reload and Swanee River. With d├ębut album 'Shootin' The Breeze scoring chart success we asked Phil Conalane about the album and gigging.

The album has scored success in the official UK Jazz and Blues chart and the Independent Breakers Chart, but were the band surprised by the charting and the acclaim from critics and fans alike. (Watch the video for 'Shoot The Breeze' at the end of this post.)

"To be honest we were hoping for decent reviews and that the listeners would enjoy it, but we have been totally overwhelmed by the reaction from both," said Phil.

"The magazines and online webzines have been fantastic...with features, 10/10 reviews ,great interview features and so on.

"The feedback from the public has been ridiculously good...thats been reflected in the sales figures we received, and the chart positions we got. The support from radio especially Planet Rock radio, who playlisted `The Monday Club` has been one of the main factors the album has done so well this far. It's been a bit crazy really, but we are chuffed to bits with it all.

One of the highlights has been the band's appearance at the massive Download festival, where the appeared on one of the largest stages at the legendary Derbyshire Castle Donington venue.

"It was great, we had an unbelievable audience for our set with many, many thousands turning out to see us," he said.. "We got a great buzz out of it and the songs went down great with the audience, thankfully."

And, later in July the band travel to Maidestone to play at Ramblin Man Fair, a Kent festival that attracts a diverse range of acts and has an attendance of more than 23,000. But Blackwater Conspiracy are not just counting on festival shows.

"Our plans for the rest of the year is to play a few more N.Ireland/southern Ireland gigs, do a UK tour , keep writing songs - we never stop writing anyways," said Phil.

"We`ll see what happens...we have no hard, fast plans as such...things change very quickly most of the time, so who knows!"

Fans of the previous bands have stayed local and Phil, and his bandmates Brian, Kie, Kevin and Fionn, are delighted with that loyalty.

"We are happy that they did come along with us and hopefully we will pick up a few more friends along the way."

With the diverse influences the band are attracting both blues, chilled rockers and hard rock fans, something that was never in their plans

"This is thing , we didnt sit down to write anything it particular , in any particular style , genre , or anything of that nature," he said. "We just wrote a bunch of songs and they turned out the way they turned out.

"We just didnt want to be writing anything to ferocious or too `in your face` hard rock. I think we got lucky to find our own sound so quickly. We did want to have a more laid back guitar sound

"The songs were easy to write..no pressure and a lot more relaxed that our previous band."

And, future recording?

"We've no plans to record a new album for a while, but plenty of plans to keep writing new songs!"

If you can catch them at gigs or festivals, just make sure you do!

The official album launch of 'Shootin' The Breeze' takes place at Belfast's Pavillion on August 19th.

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