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SUNDAY SONG STAGE @ MILL CREEK CAFE SUNDAY 29TH APRIL (liroy backdate 2018) 

Be sure to come down to Mill Creek Cafe this evening at 6PM. Rhea March has invited me to be her featured performer at her weekly open mic, The Sunday Song Stage. So flattered. So kind. So Sunday! The food there is delicious and every week there are phenomenal performers. Brighten this grey Sunday for yourself and join us there! I'm playing from 6.30 - 7PM then it's open to everyone. 

Mill Creek Cafe, on Whyte Ave, next to Scona Cycle, near the ravine. 9562 82 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6C 1B9

COP24 AND IT TAKES A VILLAGE (liroy backdate 2018) 

Cheerful news! You can catch me on 88.5 CJSR's It Takes A Village with the darling Rhea March Tuesday 4th December from 1-2PM. Everyone's favourite mummy of Edmonton's music community has kindly invited me back on the air with her to promote my show at The Aviary, Saturday 15th December. Be sure to tune in for some FREE TICKETS and likely some stories from my tour of Ireland and U.K this summer. 

In other news.... #TakeASeat or #TakeYourSeat is one hashtag you want to be using this week. Use this to send your personal message to world leaders at this year's COP24 to tell them exactly your thoughts on Climate Change.On 3rd of December 2018 delegates from 200 countries met in Katowice, Poland and will be there for one week. They will outline with business plans for how their individual countries will be able to execute their Paris Agreement commitments set out in 2015 and there is even one chair available for a civilian, The People's Seat. The representative selected for this is no other than Sir David Attenborough. 

He can address the UN directly and tell them what climate change means for us, as a people. Watch his video address here, courtesy of WWF UK. There have been tens of thousands of people in Brussels protesting climate change using the hashtag #Claimtheclimate. 
I URGE you to do your part. Read an article, write a piece, approach a member of parlament or your local MPs to get active. With Jair Bolsonaro's new victory of taking Brazil's presidency, he plans to effectively torch what remains of the Amazon Rainforest in favour of selling the land to beef farmers. The Amazon is our last remaining sponge, soaking up a large portion of carbon dioxide. Without it, the floodgates open and we descend head first into planet over-heat. With a person like this south of the equator willing to throw away every protective right we have bestowed on the Amazon over the last couple of decades, it is imperative that world leaders step up to balance out this potential hard swing towards total climate catastrophe.

UKRAINIAN DANCE AND SONGWRITING AUCTION (liroy backdate 2018) 

Edmonton's Vohon Ukrainian Dance Ensemble is celebrating its 30h anniversary this Saturday 27h October. 30 years of providing Ukrainian dance as a company and to celebrate this, they are hosting an incredible gala for their community. While I, myself, am not Ukrainian, my dear friend Marissa K reached out in search of donations. I have donated an entire song - still to be written - to help them see another 30 years as a dance company. The whole night is set to be magical with 2 live Ukrainian bands: Euphoria and Sloohai, as well as live performances from currant and alumni dancers, a silent auction, dinner and a dance afterwards. This is going to be a massive night and I'm so excited for Marissa who has been slaving away putting prizes together throughout the weeks. They've never hosted anything quite this big before.  If you have any Ukrainian in you or just really love dance, you should try and get a ticket to this show! I'm excited to write for whoever wins this prize!

GLOBAL WARMING AND KEEPING WARM (liroy backdate 2018) 

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated this week that we only have 10 years left to avoid irreversible catastrophic affects of global warming.  I don't know where to begin. Another article I shared suggested to start by going vegan. I went vegan 15 years ago in Dublin and was never so sick. I have since tried to move towards the vegan lifestyle again but held steady at vegetarian. Some days I'm a Paris vegan - vegan at home, but eat meat when I'm out. I, like so many people, want to feel like I'm getting value for money when I'm spending that much out on food. Yet if you were to compare the nutritional benefits of a slab of meat versus an assortment of vegetables, I'm sure we'd view the vegetables as better value for money. I'm torn. I've tried not to eat my favourite thing in the world for a while now - fish. Salmon, mackerel, scallops, trout.....all the good stuff. I can no longer even justify buying cod liver oils. The immense weight of the guilt I feel any time I lift one of those off the shelf crushes me. Yet I slyly and begrudgingly will accept gifts of supplements like that or other foods like blocks of fancy cheeses (especially the Irish cheddars!) from my husband. I feel like a fake vegetarian. A scab. A vegetarian scavenger - morally upright through how I choose to spend my money in the shops, but weak, pitiful and only too happy to accept animal products that come my way. Of course, it's better than wasting food, isn't it? I mean, my dollar didn't demand the production chain continue. And I kept it out of landfill. That's a good thing right? It doesn't matter how hard I find it or how I justify it to myself. The plants gives not a fuck. We are on a countdown to meeting a world we have no idea how to function in, as it stands today. Whether I feel like it or not, the fastest way for me to make a significant impact to Mother Earth and help her calm down, is to completely stop eating her creatures of products from them. 

Having hear Blood Water by Grandson this summer and having the good fortune to meet him (AGH!), I am more motivated than ever to help inspire change through my art. And fast. I hope we can do it. I hope in 20 years we can all look back and marvel at how all the world leaders and industries pulled together for the sake of the planet. That would be something. That would be a legacy. Better than legend. 

I have a number of exciting announcements coming up in the next few months. Not least of all is my show on 15th December at the Aviary. Keep your eyes peeled, as details of that will be coming soon. There are also lots of songs scheduled to be recorded in the new year. As such, I'm deep in the writing process now. If you want to be part of my story and maybe find one of the songs I've recorded could be the one you've inspired, drop me a donation above and be sure to include some words to help inspire me. All those songs will be featured in their own very special Christmas online show as well, so don't say out in the cold! Step in, offer some words and help me create something beautiful. It would be a super gift for someone, come 25th December. Jus putting that out there!

GIRLS ROCK CALGARY, EDINBURGH, LONDON. TIME TO BREATHE (liroy backdate 2018) 

I've been home from tour for 2 weeks now, and am still up to my eyes with video editing shenanigans. I hope to have some tasty videos up for you detailing the days of tour within the coming weeks. Besides getting to play with phenomenal acts all through the U.K  and Ireland, I also got to connect with Girls Rock School Edinburgh. Thanks to the adorable Lou McLean who I played with at The Mash House, I was invited to give a talk at Girls Rock School Edinburgh all about my involvement with Girls Rock Camp Calgary and how we operate compared to them.

For instance GRSE run year long weekly lessons and have a concert at the end of term, versus our week long camp with a show at the end. So many different approaches that all work! Even the reasons for them starting up are different from city to city, but really not that far apart. Caro, who runs GRSE, was just sick of getting mistreated in every sense of the word at gigs she would play in bars around the country. We've all had that to one level or other. Let me take this moment to point out, however, that regardless of being man, woman or non binary, there is NEVER any excuse for putting your hands on someone else's body if it wasn't invited. I've heard plenty of stories from guys about drunk and disorderly women helping themselves to their bodies...even if it's only a dude's beard. Ask first. I love that there are so many ways to offer support and encouragement to young women in our music community. I THEN learnt that last year GRSE had a guest artist in who turned out to be no other than my ultimate, all time FAVOURITE artist, EVER....Edinburgh born and raised Shirley Mason of Garbage. I would have lost it if I was there. That certainly got some wheels turning in my head for GRCC, let me tell you! 

When I got back from tour I jumped straight into running Crescendo Music Studio's summer band camp with my boss, Leanne Cummings.As well, we had the Resonate Music School and Studios fundraiser yearly concert in that same week which was utterly EPIC. It was so cool to see my own students perform on the very first stage I ever performed on in Edmonton when I first toured here in 2012. What a feeling. I then had a week off to try to get some routines back and move house. Now I'm packing to go to Calgary for a week with Girls Rock Camp Calgary beginning tomorrow. If you've never heard of it, come down to The Ship And Anchor this Saturday 11th Aug and look to see what these spectacular girls manage to achieve for themselves in less than 7 days. Even keep your ears peeled for an interview with the different bands on CJSW, University of Calgary's campus radio! Under the guidance of some of Calgary's finest musicians, these girls blow me away time after time.

LIROY WITH LISETTE, YEG, YYC AND PERFORMING IN A BOXING RING (liroy backdate 2018) 

Well we finished off a rather jam packed three days. It feels like it was just yesterday but it's already a week ago today, that we were gearing up to play Bohemia in one very intense heatwave. W sold out all the pre-sale tickets sold out and only had very few left on the door. We had a total beaut on sound for us, named Dustin. As if Andrea, the lead singer of Cypress, needed any help sounding amazing, she blew everyone away. Lisette was every bit as enchanting on stage as she had been in studio with Rhea March the week before. Cypress got the better deal, as it just kept growing hotter and hotter the later it got. Poor Lisette was dying under her abundance of hair. I finally learned what it feels like to try o play your guitar while you're dripping sweat too...complete with beads running down my forehead. We covered a song called Fitzcarraldo by one of my favourite Dublin bands, The Frames. Only after we began our song did I realise my guitar cable was wrapped tight around my mic stand, tethering me to one spot, unable to flail as I had planned to.....well, really a mild sway, who am I kidding?! 

Everyone was really supportive of my new merch idea  - my commissions box. Instead of buying branded clothing, you can commission me to write you a song and even include some inspirational words you'd like to see included. I'm excited to present this to the crowds in the U.K and Ireland next week. This saves me getting merch made that you may only wear the once, was made using the cheapest (and most heavily pesticide treaded, non-fair traded) cotton and probably made overseas t-shirts AND it gets you involved in my writing process :) I'm taking all the commissions and sitting down and writing another huge amount of work when I get home from tour. I promise to have them all written by Christmas and am already planning an online concert to showcase all the songs that have been commissioned in the month of December, so keep an eye out for tickets to that, no matter where in the world you are! 

On Friday we actually succeeded in squishing the entire band plus all the gear (bar one bass cab and kick drum) into my car to drive down to Calgary for the next show. It was squashed, but it still worked...Mark and J could still manage to fall asleep!

The Rec Room Deerfoot was killer, with some beautiful lighting and a lovely audience. I'm so thankful for J. Dirom Photographywho came out to capture some amazing photos of us....see more in the gallery! I had a video crew at Bohemia and the Rec Room, so I'm looking forward to taking look at that footage when I get back from tour . The should make for some sharp looking highlight reels. Also...Super Nintendo in the green room??? Amazing! Mark's leather trousers went down a storm all weekend...even once we hit the boxing ring on Saturday night. 

We were invited to celebrate the birthday of founder and co-owner of Olympus Boxing Club for our last show in Calgary. Once we were all set up and soundchecked, all we had to do was chill out and wait for everyone to arrive... 

But NOT before we hoovered the dust from the ring and were serenaded by Alex's impression of Freddy Mercury from their video for I Want To Break Free, complete with hoover in hand!

 

We played our full original set for everyone and even got everyone up on the stage in a procession to give Angelo a big birthday hug and kiss while he sat in the ring, front and centre with us. We came back on to do one final song - a surprise Eye Of The Tiger followed by Happy Birthday, which a ginormous cake with candles was brought in. I doubt I'll ever get to play another gig from the centre of a boxing ring. I highly recommend it, though. I couldn't stop leaning and swaying against the ropes as I spoke to the audience between songs. I really jus wanted to take a run at them and do a WWF spring jump from them into the drum kit int he middle of the ring! Missed the chance.....

LIROY AND LISETTE XAVIER ON CJSR 88.5FM IT TAKES A VILLAGE WITH RHEA MARCH 2018 (liroy backdate 2018) 

Ahead of our double headliner shows next week, the wonderful Rhea March invited me and Lisette in to join her on It Takes A Village on Tuesday afternoon. 

Of course we'd planned to be there early, but arrived a minute or two late, only to find there was buckets of time for us to set up. Set up only with a 5 time Grammy nominated music producer, the wonderful and modest Miles Wilkenson. No biggie. We were both doing our best to keep our cool until we realized Lisette left her piano stand in HER car at MY house.....table time! The table we stole from the CJSR corridor was good and sturdy....until we realized it would be a job to get the mic stand configured around it. No problem! Then Miles discovered that the keyboard Lisette rented had no 1/4" output, only headphone output....mono it would be! We just decided to make light of a silly situation and try to retain what dignity we had left with Miles. While Miles was setting up and I was sitting quietly in my chair in front of my mics, waiting for direction, Lisette was busy setting up her DLSR. Where to put it.....here? Stacked on this organ? Here, balanced on this windowsill? As I was offering suggestions of building a tremendously precarious tower of benches and chairs Lisette lamented the lack of tripod. She did own one. And it was still in my car. In the car park. I suggested I run back, as the thought of squandering this photo/vid op seemed unthinkable to me. We thought it best not to interrupt Mile's work flow. Not long after though, Miles was ready to soundcheck Lisette so I decided to make a break for it. I went running through the halls of University of Alberta, back up the stairs, out through the doors into the raging storm, wind blowing everywhere; the opening doors yielding like floppy sails. Through the pedway, down the stairs, into the car park and up the ramp back to my car, all the while praying I didn't get lost. Tripod, check! Now run back, down the ramp, up the stairs, through the pedway, into the storm......back just in time for soundcheck while Lisette set up a perfect angle for the camera. It occurred to me I need to get back into working out. 

Rhea arrived in shortly after for our preinterview. So hilariously enough, when I was choosing my name, I knew there was a Polish rapper called Liroy. It wasn't until last week when I went to make a publishing profile that I discovered what a big deal he really was and that he was all over iTunes and Spotify. I had intended to amend my website and all social media BEFORE the show, but obviously didn't. Good job, Liroy (if that is your real name). This caused great confusion for Rhea and I proceeded to be addressed and a combination of Liroy and Liray (what I'm changing to) all throughout the show. I love how she put the stress on the "li" part and made it more of a French "le"....I sounded so fecking posh! Totally the opposite of me in real life. Thanks for that Rhea! 

Congratulations to the wonderful Tomothy Zrobot (I love that you have "robot" in your sir name!). He called in and scored himself two tickets to our show in Bohemia on 21st June! Come say hi when you'r in there, Timothy!!!! 

We finished things off with a little photoshoot. Once again Lisette and I couldn't help but be utterly ridiculous!

Repeal the 8th Amendment in Ireland 25th May 2018 (liroy backdate 2018) 

I wish I was in Ireland. I wish I was there to vote in this monumental referendum for women's rights. Today abortion is still illegal in Ireland and as such anyone who needs one has to get on a boat and go over to the U.K often alone and underage, surrounded by drunk brides out on the tear for their hen's weekends. There is no support. If you can't afford to go to the U.K you face having a back alley one at home. In the 21st century in the 1st world, there is no excuse for this. Church and State need to be separate entities and unfortunately that is not the case. Please tune in to The Thin Air on Dublin Digital Radio and follow all the amazing content on there where local Irish musicians and poets have submitted pieces based around Repeal the 8th and women's issues. The episode will be aired on Thursday 24th 8PM (Irish Standard Time), 12PM (PST), 3PM (EST). 

I must extend a warm thank you to everyone on Facebook who has been running private, personal campaigns to get even one more Irish ex-pat home to vote on this. I was offered one, but couldn't go. Let's hope this week bring about substantial change for the future health and safety of our younger generations of women. 

In the spirit of change and giving those with none a voice, I have recorded a Naked Sessions version of Feather. 

Please help change Ireland's future history for good. Vote YES on 25th May

Violins and Contamination (liroy backdate 2018) 

This week we've been recording the magnificent Zia Mizera on violin for my latest song, Abacus. It's being produced by the very talented Andrea Shipka, who is a singer songwriter, herself as well. Who knows what an abacus  even is? Answers on a postcard to the Contact page! I've always been a die hard fan of The Frames and now it looks like their musical influence is emerging in my work in a large way...coupled with PJ Harvey's work in her sextet of Man-Size from her Rid Of Me record. 

I also managed to get an indefinite "temporary ban" from Facebook, because I was wanting to send my thank you video that I recorded especially for every single Burning Daisy fan on our page. I shall get to you all, just very slowly it seems! I always prefer to go one person at a time and actually hear from you in person. On that note, a massive lovin' hug goes out to our fan Julie S. all the way down in Georgia. 

One of the best things I've done with my 2018 is religiously turn up at The Mill Creek Cafe every Sunday night for Rhea March's Song Circle. All at once the most scary thing and most encouraging thing I could do with my weekends. If you haven't visited this place yet on Edmonton's Whyte Ave just by Earth's General Store, you must go! This Sunday I got treated to a song Game Of Thrones on cello. CELLO! I love cello! 

How clean is your recycling? Did you know Toronto and Edmonton suffer from the highest proportion of contamination in their recycling facilities? With 26% and 24% contamination respectively,  against a minimum standard of a mere 0.5% contamination cut off rate from China, our largest importer of our recycled paper and other materials, it's no wonder the cost of recycling is going up and making us less and less money. Please carefully wash out all your containers. Pizza boxes with cheese or fat stains on the box are rubbish and used blood bags, syringes, batteries, bullets, propane tanks and dead animals are not allowed....did I really just have to say that?! More info here. Happy recycling everyone! Don't forget that it's way better to just bring refillable containers instead of buying more packaging to shops/restaurants. Big up to Legendz Diner in Golden, B.C for being sound about letting us put our left overs in our own containers. 

A massive thank you to the people over at MonoCreators for designing this this sick and very slick travel bag that I waited with baited breath for 3 weeks to come in. I was like a kid the week before going back to school, opening all the zippers and pockets in the back of my car before going anywhere. Utter geek and I love it. I can't wait to take it to Ireland and the U.K this summer. Not to mention being able to cycle to all my open mic nights once this snow finally abates.