Anthony Toner: Six Inches of Water – Belfast Artist To Drop Latest Release July 19th
Anthony Toner: Six Inches of Water
Anthony’s 12th collection releases start of August, a collection inspired by east Belfast
Thursday August 5 – launch night at Willowfield Church for EastSide Arts – SOLD OUT
Sunday August 8 – solo afternoon show outdoors at Seamus Heaney Homeplace
Thursday August 12 – participating in ‘Under the Influence’, an evening of inspirational cover versions, with Gareth Dunlop, Grainne Duffy, Rachel McCarthy, Nathan O’Regan and the Songbook Band, for EastSide Arts Festival
(Further dates also lined up for autumn and winter in Ards, Newtownabbey and Belfast)
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… There’s a refreshingly up-tempo cover of Van Morrison’s ‘Orangefield’, a reflection on the restorative powers of the Connswater Greenway network of parks, rivers and paths – and a tribute to the late actor/director Sam McCready here, too.
‘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.’
In addition to the support from the Partnership, Anthony was also the recipient of an award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Emergency Resilience Programme, a grant that was of vital assistance in getting the project over the finish line.
Recorded at Clive Culbertson’s studio in Anthony’s hometown Coleraine, and marking almost two decades since their first collaboration. The album features a strong core band of Anthony on guitars, Clive on bass, John McCullough on keyboards and Matt Weir on drums, with contributions from the Arco String Quartet – as well as Neil Martin on cello and his daughter Maebh on viola, recorded together for the first time.
Anthony will launch the album with a special concert on August 5, the opening night of the EastSide Arts Festival, at Willowfield Church on Woodstock Road. Tickets for the show sold out in two days – there are plans for additional dates later this year in Newtownabbey, Portstewart, Enniskillen, Armagh and Ards.
Six Inches of Water will go live for streaming and download on Bandcamp on July 19, with all other streaming services to follow on July 26. The CD will be available from Anthony’s album by mail order from August 1.