Born on the east side of Belfast and growing up in the seventies Brian Houston's musical influences range from the old time gospel tunes to late night paternal indoctrination of boot legged Hank Williams reel to reels. 'My Dad used to make us sit in the hallway when he came home drunk and he would play us Kris Kristopherson and John Prine as well as Hank and always rewind the tapes endlessly to draw our attention to the words' he says.
Naturally he rebelled against such force feeding and found the (by then retro) sounds of Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and Steve Earl stimulating his imagination more. As a teenager he played local church halls forming a circuit that made up Irish Saturday and Sunday night entertainment for young people. Soon however he graduated to the local pub scene where he learned to win over audiences who were baying for chart cover versions, with his original songs and performance ability.
As the nineties progressed he fronted a succession of bands and entered various talent competitions leading to trips to London where he met producers keen to work on his songs.
The mid Nineties saw Brian make a series of demo recordings with Mike Howlet (GONG) and Adrian Lee (Mike and the Mechanics) and Peter van Hook (Tanita Tikarum), trying different styles and searching for his own sound. Releasing some of the demos locally, he achieved his first taste of chart success with his own compositions, which helped to score support slots with visiting international stars.
Elvis Costello, Dr John, Van the Man and various English chart acts and American country stars gave him a taste of the big stages and the life of a singer songwriter.
In the winter of 2002 Houston commenced his first tour of England as an opening act for I.A Alt. Country rockers Stewboss, which exposed him, for the first time to audiences and reporters who were completely unfamiliar with his Irish pedigree. With a collection of well-crafted songs and an intense live performing style he began endearing himself to, and ultimately winning over crowds who were enchanted by his passionate delivery and intimate lyrics. In March 2003 English venerated veteran DJ Bob Harris discovered Houston's raw sound when he picked 'MEA CULPA' from a pile of hundreds of albums and began playing first Scared of Falling and then Standing Here. 'It was only thirty seconds in when I realised what a really, really special piece of music this is' was Bobs opening comment when he gave Brian his début play on National Radio.
Brian Latest album, "The Valley" has just been released in England and whilst it's on it's third pressing here in Ireland only recnetly did national Radio two begin to play selections. Again the legendary Bob Harris has ben the first to pick up on Houstons illusive catalogue of pathos and melodic dexterity. refering to him after a recent gig as "the very very excellant Brian Houston" Bob is the first of British DJs to champion Brians music for the UK public.
Brian has started 2004 with his own headline tour of Scotland and England and is continuning his live marathon of England with Mary Lees Corvette in February.
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