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Nathan Carter to make his Sage Gateshead debut

Nathan Carter is a bright young talent in the musical sub-genre known as Irish and Country

Country singer Nathan Carter
Country singer Nathan Carter

At Sage Gateshead, where he performs on Friday, Nathan Carter is billed as “the hottest property on the Irish music scene”.

He and his band have performed for more than 400,000 people over the past year and will add another 330 if, as seems likely, their Hall Two debut is a sell-out.

Catching up with Nathan as he was about to depart for England, he said: “I’m really excited about this tour. At least four of the gigs have sold out which is a big surprise to me.

“We’ve got about 115,000 people following us on Facebook and I didn’t realise how many of them were in England. It’s going to be cool to meet some of them.”

The 24-year-old is credited with reviving the musical sub-genre known as Country and Irish, a lively cocktail of America and the Emerald Isle.

He is best known for his version of Bob Dylan’s Wagon Wheel which he recorded in 2012. It was the title track of his fourth album and the promotional film has had more than two million YouTube views.

Country singer Nathan Carter
Country singer Nathan Carter

It might come as a surprise to his fans across the Irish Sea that tickets remain for this tour but he is still something of an unknown quantity.

Born in Liverpool, Nathan said he left school at 16 and went to work for his dad, a builder. “He sacked me because I was useless.

“But I started gigging in pubs and Irish centres, doing it the old fashioned way.”

Music was in the family. “My parents love Country music, Dolly Parton and people like that, and they have really strong Irish roots. I grew up with that but was also introduced to folk music.

“I’ve been playing the accordion since I was about six and it features quite a lot in the show. I’ll sing a few songs at the grand piano.”

Largely he is self-taught. “I did do (music) grades eventually but mostly I’ve picked things up by ear. I’m a great bluffer.”

Nathan moved to Ireland permanently “six or seven years ago” and found his music falling on receptive ears.

“I’ve been lucky there over the last three years with two number one albums. I signed to Decca Records and this is my first major tour in England.”

The promoters describe their man as “a superstar” with the “clean-cut looks” tof “a heartthrob”.

None of this seems to have gone to his head. Explaining his success, he said: “The younger generation in Ireland, especially in the last couple of years, have got into the music I do and I don’t think there are many people out there singing songs like this.”

If his first big tour of England might seem a bit of a come down after the adulation of Ireland, he can comfort himself with the thought that this is just the start.

If people take to him and latest album Where I Wanna Be, his first for Decca, then he’ll be back in a flash. This really will be where he wants to be. And already there is talk of an Australian tour.

Nathan Carter and his band plus support are at Sage Gateshead on Friday, March 13. Tickets from 0191 443 4661 or www.sagegateshead.com

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