David C Clements and VerseChorusVerse announced as first recipients of £20,000 fund
Bushmills Irish Whiskey and artist development company Third Bar – made up of Snow Patrol lead singer, Gary Lightbody and Davy Matchett – today announced that they have joined forces to create and curate the Bushmills Live Legacy Fund.
Bushmills Live, the handcrafted whiskey and music festival, is a platform for established and emerging indie talent. This year the festival organisers wanted to take their commitment to supporting up-and-coming talent one step further and set up this Fund of £10,000. Recognising the significance this held for Northern Irish talent, Third Bar’s directors Gary and Davy pledged to curate and match this fund, creating a trust of £20,000 in total. They have selected two exciting emerging Northern Irish artists as recipients: David C Clements and VerseChorusVerse.
David C. Clements, 27, has an ongoing association with the brand having performed at Bushmills Live preview gigs ‘Bushmills Live In The City’ in both Belfast and Dublin. Last year he entertained the crowds at Bushmills Live 2012 and since then has shared a stage with Ed Sheeran, co-written songs with Gary Lightbody and performed exclusive tracks for E4.
VerseChorusVerse, aka Tony Wright, 29, founder of ‘And So I Watch You From Afar’, has recently finished recording his highly anticipated debut album with fellow Bushmills Live performer and Ivor Novello winner, Iain Archer, which is due for release later this year. He also took to the stage to perform intimate gigs in Belfast and Dublin to help celebrate the launch of Bushmills Irish Honey - the latest addition to the Bushmills collection of premium blends and single malts.
The team at Third Bar will be working with both to offer advice and guidance on the right places to invest their Fund. Additionally, Bushmills will be lending a performance platform to the two artists at this year’s Bushmills Live. Both artists will be taking to the stage on 20th June alongside headliners Of Monsters and Men, Jake Bugg, Sons and Lovers, Willy Mason, Bear’s Den, Iain Archer and Foy Vance.
Gary Lightbody’s passion for the Northern Irish music scene saw him donate Snow Patrol’s fee for headlining Bushmills Live last year to the Oh Yeah Centre, Belfast. This donation led to the creation of Bush Gardens – Belfast’s largest rooftop performance space.
He commented: “It’s no secret that I am a passionate supporter of the Northern Irish music scene. Davy and I have been friends since school and we set up Third Bar together to help advise up-and-coming artists in the music industry which is why I think it is brilliant that the Bushmills brand is prepared to get involved at this grass roots level and put their money where their mouth is.”
He added: “I am a big fan of both David and VerseChorusVerse, having watched them both live – they have incredible stage presence and fantastic material, they just need a platform to make it big.”
Bushmills Master Distiller, Colum Egan, commented: “Bushmills Live provides us with a great music platform for established and emerging indie artists. Last year it was where Gary Lightbody watched David C Clements perform and where the idea for the Bushmills Live Legacy Fund was born. We decided that we wanted to provide further support to emerging artists, beyond lending them a stage at the festival. I’m really excited about seeing the recipients of the Fund perform among the casks and pot stills at the Old Bushmills Distillery in June and then following their progress on their path to global stardom.”