Ultan Conlon

The Starlight Ballroom tour is coming to Mayo

THE title of a new album and upcoming tour from Ultan Conlon will resonate with many Mayo people.

It's called The Starlight Ballroom, a Westport ballroom that hosted national and international acts over many years.

Vintage is vibing and Ultan Conlon’s Starlight Ballroom nails vintage with a capital V.

Ultan has been paralleled with Willie Nelson, Van Morrison and Roy Orbison on various tracks on this album…quite the accolade which ignites curiosity for well-honed music aficionados.

The Irish singer-songwriter has anchored his distinctive sound and sensibility in Los Angeles, California, with Grammy Award-winning David Garza (Fiona Apple) who produced Ultan’s fifth record, The Starlight Ballroom, which drops today.

The Starlight Ballroom tour will take in venues across Ireland, including the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, on November 3, where Ultan and his world-renowned band - Alan Kelly (Eddi Reader), Jimmy Higgins (Christy Moore and The Stunning) and Miceal O'Connor (Sharon Shannon) - will animate and fascinate audiences with polish and a musical aplomb rarely seen today.

The Starlight Ballroom, a ballroom of romance, opened its doors in Westport in the early '60s, hosting international and national acts of the day who thrilled thousands of dance goers until it closed in 1981.

Roy Orbison played The Starlight in 1969 and Ultan’s song, The Starlight Ballroom, takes in and ponders the night in question.

With The Starlight Ballroom in tow Conlon headed for Los Angeles and with the aid of David Garza created a world of characters and misfits (The Old Songs) and dreamers (Susie Gossip). Whether it be an isolated begrudger (All Sewn Up) or a scorned lover living in the past (Hurts Like Heaven) or a young girl cycling the gravel dirt-roads of 1960s Ireland looking for a fantastical place (Paradise Lane), they all converge in The Starlight Ballroom.

Ultan’s performances have been described as a 'rare treat filled with original music, beguiling backstories and loud laughter which make for a wonderful, uplifting and vintage evening'.

Tickets for the tour are available at www.ultanconlon.com/shows.