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Interview: Irish singer-songwriter Nathan Carter tips up at Whitehall Theatre

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Nathan Carter is one of the most successful live acts on the Irish music scene and is fast becoming a household name, with performances of heart-felt, upbeat and infectious pop ballads.

Following the release of his 2012 album Wagon Wheel, which went in at number three in the Irish Album Chart, he’s celebrating his latest album – Stayin Up All Night – which took the top spot beating artists like Beyonce and Drake.

The 26-year-old singer and musician plays Dundee’s Whitehall Theatre tonight and tomorrow in concerts that promise to set the heather alight.

The gigs form part of his nationwide tour, which kicked off in September.

Born in Liverpool to Irish parents from County Down, he began showing his musical aptitude at the age of four, when he started learning the accordion, and went on to become head chorister at Liverpool Cathedral. He also sang for the Pope in Rome, and went on to win gold medals at the Irish Fleadh Ceoil’s for both accordion and as a solo singer.

At only 12 years old he was playing in the Liverpool Ceilidh Band.

Nathan’s traditional roots were in his blood, but he also grew up in a house where country and western music filled the air, his parents introducing the young boy to the music of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Don Williams and Dolly Parton.

Equipped with his accordion, but also playing piano and guitar, Nathan started touring the club scene, playing covers from the great Nashville tunesmiths, but and at the age of 16 he had a seismic wake up call when his dad brought him onto a building site and gave him a job.

“When I left school, I was doing a lot of gigging but my dad was a joiner and hoped I could get into his line of work,” says Nathan.

“I lasted just a week – I was utterly useless – and pretty much got the sack.”

Luckily, Nathan’s nan believed he had the potential to make it big and offered to drive him from club to club – from Liverpool to Birmingham and London to Donegal.

It was at one such performance in a working men’s club in Donegal that his talent caught the eye and ears of a well known songwriter from Northern Ireland, John Farry.

John went on to help Nathan book concerts, put a band together and with his nan taking on the job of selling his early CDs to an ever growing fan base, Nathan’s shows became a byword for a great night out.

“I’ve built up a huge fan base over the last five years,” says Nathan. “I’ve got 190,000 followers on Facebook and I love keeping in contact with fans. I’m really looking forward to the Dundee gigs and hopefully there’ll be big crowds.”

Whitehall Theatre, Dundee, November 4-5

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