AN AUSTRALIAN musician who has signed a major record deal and is taking the music scene by storm has hailed his Ballymena Roots.
After emigrating to Australia from Northern Ireland when he was ten, Phil Davidson has become one of the brightest songwriters on the Sydney Scene.
Phil has been touring the UK and Ireland (also Canada and the US) and has appeared on the Gerry Anderson show on Radio Ulster, who is a big fan of his music.
He lives in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, west of Sydney with his wife Judy and children Brianna (14), Georgia (11) and Jesse (9), and finds endless inspiration in them — even if they’re not always keen to appear in his songs.
He still feels strongly attached to his Irish roots and specifically Ballymena. Speaking to the Times, Phil explained how Ballymena still remains an important part of his life, he said: “Most of my family, from my mothers side, all still live in Ballymena and Rathkenny. I spend most of my time when I’m back, catching up with my clan in Ballymena.
“They are beautiful people and even though I’ve spent most of my life on the other side of the world, the second I step back in Ballymena, I feel like I’m home. It’s something that’s hard to explain but I’m a firm believer that part of who you are is where you come from.”
One of the tracks on his new album ‘Old Dog, New Tricks’ is written for his grandmother, who was from the borough and it’s appropriately named ‘Ballymena Agnes’.
He said: “My mother Marjorie and my grandmother Agnes and grandfather Andrew (Andy) Lindsay came from Ballymena. I was born in Belfast after they moved there.
“My grandmother was brought back to Ballymena for the last few years of her life. My song Ballymena Agnes was written for her after I visited her for the last time in a nursing home Ballymena.
“Sadly she had suffered a stroke and her memory had gone, so when I finally got a chance to visit her, she didn’t recognise me any more.
“It was heartbreaking. I still find it a difficult song to sing even though it’s often requested and I’ve played it many times. I don’t think I’ve ever played it and not had half the audience in tears.
“Once I see the tissues come out, I usually lose myself too. I think it taps into something we all dread or have seen happen to someone we love.”
For more information on Phil’s music and to purchase the new album ‘Old Dog, New Tricks’ visit his website www.phildavidson.net or log onto iTunes.