Hurray For The Riff Raff - Best New Track
Already on his way to becoming one of 2017’s international crossover-stories, Gavin James is a 22-year-old songwriter from Ashington, a suburb on the northside of Dublin. The son of a postman, music was arguably in James’ blood: his great grandparents were both famous Irish Opera singers and had their own albums released in the early 1900s (they had to turn down an invitation to perform in London owing to their families, and the political conditions of the time).
Having started out playing Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin covers in the garden shed, Gavin James drew the short straw when he was chosen as the singer of his teenage band, and learnt his subsequent solo craft the hard way. Inspired by local heroes like Damien Rice and classic, grafting Soul artists such as Sam Cooke, he would play Dublin’s pubs virtually 7 nights a week during college, in a marathon of 3-hour shows. Growing in confidence, his own material then began to draw an impassioned following: Gavin’s first ever single won Ireland’s answer to the Mercury (the Choice Prize for ‘Song Of The Year’), stayed on the charts for over 6 months and culminated with 2014’s #1-charting, ‘Live at Whelans’ album: a venue he used to sneak inside when underage, but returned to as a rapturously-received headliner. That night, he happened to perform an impulsive cover of The Magnetic Fields’ ‘The Book Of Love’, accelerating Gavin’s word-of-mouth success story.
Already reacting across Europe and America largely via word-of-mouth, Gavin James looks poised to become the next great voice to shine a light back on the Dublin suburbs (and beyond).