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Getting to Know Pure Blarney: Jonny Whyte

It's about time you got to know a little more about the one and only Jonny Whyte.

Name: Jonny

Instruments: Drum kit and Bodhran

Member since: It’s been a while! Cant just remember but approx. 2010

How did you first get into music and learning to play?

I’ve always had a love for music and there was always a wide variety of music on the go in our house and car, everything from Rock to Dance and much more. One of the first albums that I really loved as a child was an album that Van Morrison and the Chieftains did and I think that’s where my love for Irish music started. In terms of drums I’ve always been tapping on something, I have always had a love of rhythm and different styles of drumming. With regard to learning to play, it sort of feels like I’ve never learned to play ha ha, I really only had a few sporadic lessons here and there on the drum kit and have been bluffing my ticket the rest of the time. I did have formal lessons on the bodhran for a period of time and after that have been again making it up as I go along.

Tell us a crazy/funny gig story?

After being in the band for so long and spending so much time with all the various members of the band you realise that there have been so many funny and crazy stories. On being asked this question the first couple of stories that come to mind are definitely not for other ears ha ha. I suppose my first encounter with a crazy story/funny experience with the band was just as I was joining. Three of the band had been booked to play on the Isle of Man and I was asked did I want to tag along for the craic. There were several supporters of the band as well as partners etc going so I thought it would be a good opportunity to meet everyone. I learned very fast to check details before agreeing, even after being instructed the day before what time we had to be at Ardglass Harbour it hadn’t even sunk in that we wouldn’t be taking a conventional ferry to the Island. I did ask are we taking car/cars on the boat and was told by someone (….Andy) that he thought you could but that we were just going on as foot passengers. The moral of the story is, if you are trying to get to get to the Isle of Man book a flight or passenger ferry not a fishing boat! After much trying for at least 2 hours we didn’t even make it half way, there were waves like you would see in a film, people praying like it was their last day on earth, girlfriends threatening to dump boyfriends for bringing them, boking, drinking, flights home being booked and language being used that would make even the roughest of men blush ha ha. The journey that everyone had been promised by someone (…Andy) that would worst case scenario would only take 1 hour finally had to be aborted! An experience that will always be engrained in my head forever and a story that we still re-tell and laugh about after all these years.

Who is your favourite band/artist/musician?

Tough one to pin down but I have to say the one I always come back to is Van Morrison

Favourite venue to perform in?

Haven’t played there in a while but I used to love The Points bar in Belfast, the music always used to suit there and the energy was always great

How do you think the rest of PB would describe you?

Not something I would like to think too hard about! Ha ha. I would hope it would be that I’m generally dead on…most of the time, and someone who keeps the mood light with a bit of stupid humour….maybe more than a bit if truth be told.

Most and least favourite PB song to perform?

Most favourite tends to change from time to time at the minute I’m enjoying the 2 “Cranberries” songs we are covering , Dreams and Zombie. I wouldn’t go so far to say that I have a least favourite song to perform because if the audience are into it I can live with any of the songs, also I think we all know when its time for a song to go because it starts to lack energy.

What inspires you as a musician/artist? The thing I find most inspiring is seeing live gigs and watching live performances this tends to fill me with energy and drive to get stuck in at the next available opportunity.

Do you have a ‘go to’ for a big night out?

First rule for me is that if you are out with good friends, good times will happen……..mix a few beverages and some music with that…..anything could happen!!

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