Belfast Telegraph

Unsung hero is in a class of his own

By Damien Murray

Empire Music Hall, Tomorrow, 8.30pm

While Northern Ireland has produced some overrated bands and solo artists, who owe their success more to hype than talent, Brian Houston must surely stand out as being the most underrated of all. It is not that he hasn’t been successful, but — as a truly gifted and world-class singer/songwriter — is so deserving of greater success.

With the minimum of establishment help, the east Belfast man has worked hard to forge his 17-year career to become one of our truly independent successful artists.

Not only does he possess a stage presence and intensity of performance that others can only dream about, but has always been ‘hands on’ in every aspect of his career.

Producing an album almost annually since his 1994 debut, Crush, Houston has written perfect pop/rock songs about all manner of subjects, yet the early influence of his church choir days has regularly surfaced from his debut single, Jesus Again, to his most recent Christian offering, Gospel Road.

Tomorrow’s headlining gig coincides with the beginning of a reissue series of Houston’s early albums. There will also be the bonus of six new tracks, recorded later in 1994 but never released before, including the much-requested Happy as Larry.

Tickets priced £13.50 are available from all Ticketmaster outlets.

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