Andy White released his first album 'Rave On Andy White' thirty years ago 'Rave On' would be the first of twelve studio albums that are now collected together in a new career retrospective box set. His upcoming 'Imaginary Lovers' album is included. The musical story of the Belfast born Andy White features influences from, but not limited to, pop, punk and folk coupled with an approach to songwriting that is often very personal. Join Andy White on a thirty year journey with 'Studio Albums 1986-2016'. Andy will be touring the UK to coincide with the release.
On the thirtieth anniversary of his debut Rave On, Irish troubadour Andy White’s box set Studio Albums 1986–2016 collects together all twelve of his studio albums, including the new and unreleased Imaginary Lovers, recorded in Melbourne late last year (available as a stand-alone CD, November 4th).
Andy has sorted through cardboard boxes, lyrics, diaries and photo sessions to put together the 80-page box set book, whilst writing notes on the songs and the story of how the albums were recorded.
As a teenager in the Belfast portrayed in indie film Good Vibrations listening to punk, folk, and Beatles albums, Andy grew up writing poetry and playing bass. He picked up the guitar when a friend threw a 12-string out of the window of a first-floor flat in University Street, and recorded Religious Persuasion in a field in County Antrim with school friend Rod McVey.
Stiff Records released the Religious Persuasion EP during the eighties acoustic revival spearheaded by The Pogues. The Whistle Test and Janice Long championed Andy as he started playing shows in the UK. When Stiff bit the dust, he was signed by London Records who released Rave On Andy White in October 1986. Melody Maker pronounced “Yer Man’s Brilliant!”, Andy opened for Van Morrison on tour, and then Billy Bragg, with whom he shared legendary UK manager Peter Jenner.
American release on MCA; a return to indie with premier UK roots label Cooking Vinyl (who put out his albums through most of the nineties); being signed by Warners Ireland and winning the top Irish songwriting award; recording for WOMAD and then finding a home in boutique UK label Floating World Records, Andy has experienced the music business inside and out, and played everywhere from dive bars to the Albert Hall, while managing to retain a rare integrity and artistic vision.
Love, loss, politics, growing up in Belfast, living in London and Europe, moving to Australia, divorce and renewal. Each album is a chapter in Andy’s life story and has its own musical style—rockier, folkier, more psychedelic than you’d expect—tied together by his poetry and trademark lyrical wit.
Songs from the early albums—Reality Row, In A Groovy Kind Of Way, James Joyce’s Grave and Street Scenes From My Heart; to his later ones—Italian Girls On Mopeds, If You Want It, Separation Street, display the imagination and sheer inventiveness of a true poet. He’s written with the likes of Peter Gabriel and Tim Finn, been produced by Kim Fowley and his recording mentor, John Leckie.
This November Andy is on tour with The Band Of Gold—his son Sebastian White on drums (who also designed the box set) and Kat Adés on bass—and will be joined by special guests on the road.
The tour dates are over at Red Guitar Music tour news here
Andy is a singer-songwriter for our times, documenting the world and its current chaos and beauty with remarkable insight.
Included in the new box set is the latest album from Andy White 'Imaginary Lovers' and you can read about it below.
Belfast singer-songwriter Andy White’s twelfth studio album Imaginary Lovers is due for release on November 4th, part of a twelve album box set retrospective Studio Albums 1986-2016 to be released by Floating World Records on October 14th, the 30th anniversary of first album Rave On Andy White. The new album will also be available on its own, through Andy’s independent label ALT Recordings. Imaginary Lovers is, literally, the follow-up to How Things Are. Originally planned as a double, with Part 1 the break-up and Part 2 what happened next, Andy decided that the first half – How Things Are – was a stand-alone statement. He needed time and experience to finish writing the second half:
"Looking out of half-open hotel windows and talking in the dark. Walking with a red guitar case, hemispherically-challenged. I was pulled close and pushed away at home and abroad, and came out of the whole turbulent, exciting mess with twelve songs demanding to be finished and recorded.” Andy White
It’s rough and live, less polished than its predecessor, which was greeted on release in 2014 as a career highlight. There are many links between the two albums – they feature the same musicians and were recorded in Andy’s studio The Growlery – but it’s edgier attitude and alternately quieter and crazier moments suit Andy's peripatetic adventures perfectly.
From the indie rock invitation of opener Half Time For You And I (a successor to Street Scenes From My Heart) and the drop-dead romance of Every Time I Look Around, to Sideways No Shadow’s atmospherics, the casual intensity of Nonchalant and inclusivity of Everybody Wants Somebody, there’s an immediately, attractive and challenging quality to this album. Anywhere With You Babe and Lonely International Guy strip Andy’s sound back to his trademark individual take on playing acoustic guitar. And I Want You is a reminder he grew up in Belfast listening to both punk and The Beatles.
There are trademark tumbling lyrics and pop hooks galore on this album – but needless to say, Imaginary Lovers is only the latest chapter in this Irish troubadour’s very individual odyssey.