New album from Coleraine’s Anthony
Coleraine singer-songwriter Anthony Toner returns from lockdown with his twelfth album, Six Inches of Water - a brand new collection of songs inspired by East Belfast - and the city in general.
The collection – due for release at the start of August - owes its existence to a song from three years ago.
Invited by fellow songwriter Brigid O’Neill to be part of an awards evening for the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, Anthony composed a song inspired by Templemore Baths, one of the city’s most beloved historic buildings.
That song, ‘Six Inches of Water’, (co-written with Brigid) has become the title track of this new collection.
As that song took on a minor life of its own, EastSide Partnership invited Anthony to pen a complete collection inspired by the east of the city.
Although Lockdown hampered progress on the project, he has emerged with a suite of ten songs that take as their subjects everything from lovelorn taxi drivers to the Workers Council strike in 1974, the Belfast Blitz, and more.
“I think at the start of the process I had fairly grand visions of visiting parts of the city I hadn’t seen before, and soaking up atmospheres and stories and history,” says Anthony.
“But Lockdown made that impossible, and the horizons became much narrower - so the whole thing took on a more intimate, street-level focus as a result. Most of the songs are character-based – but they’re characters who happen to live in this landscape.”
Recorded at Clive Culbertson’s studio in Coleraine the album features a strong core band with Clive on bass.