Belfast Telegraph

Q&A: David Burke

The 30-year-old musician from Co Kildare will be getting on his bike next week to promote his new album with consecutive gigs in all 32 counties of Northern Ireland and the Republic

By Matthew McCreary

So, tell us what exactly you'll be doing to promote your new record, Where Colours Swim?

Every day I will get up early and cycle to that day's venue. It will be an unbroken line from venue to venue, and when I get there I'll do a bit of radio, talk to people in the street and invite them to the shows, which are free entry. It's going to be about 2,000km in total. It's quite challenging but as long as I don't get injured I'll do it.

It's quite a physically extreme way to get yourself noticed, isn't it?

In my spare time I run marathons and climb mountains so I like big physical feats anyway. There is so much competition out there and this is one way of capturing people's imagination.

It's kind of hard to get your name out there these days so I just want to get an opportunity to play for people and after that anything is a bonus. I'm really looking forward to seeing the country, as well as playing the music.

Where did the idea come from?

To pay the bills I play a lot of cover gigs but people were always saying I needed to start playing a bit more of my own stuff. I tend to run ahead of myself a little bit so I said I might as well play all over the country – and then I might as well cycle it too.

I come up with bizarre ideas and then it's the execution that's tricky!

Did you always want to be a musician?

I wrote my first song when I was seven, so it's always been a major part of my life. I was quite academic, so I spent few years studying Law in Dublin but music was always my first love so I went ahead with that.

I spent a few years busking and travelling with my music before I finally sat down to do my album.

What can we expect from the new album?

It was recorded as a pop album, but I regard myself as an acoustic musician, with a bit of Soul thrown in as well.

It was written during my twenties, when everybody is on a journey to find their feet. It can be a bit of a topsy-turvy period, so it's about whatever pains are running through it.

And what do your friends and family make of your cycle quest?

They think it's brilliant – and hare-brained!

David Burke will play Mickey Kelly's Bar, Armagh, on Tuesday March 4, at the start of the six-date Northern Ireland leg of his tour. For venues and detail, visit

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