X Factor Finalist Mary Byrne and John McNicholl appeared at the Monikie Memorial Hall on Friday night for the first night of their Sixties ‘n’ Love Concert Tour which is taking them all around the UK and Ireland.
Mary Byrne was runner up in the X Factor the year that was won by Matt Cardle and One Direction came second.
Mary was under the wing of X Factor judge Louie Walsh and she stated that it was a “fantastic opportunity” for her.
Mary also said that Simon Cowell is a “fabulous guy” and he and her mentor Louie Walsh were “extremely supportiv”e to her during her time with X Factor.
Mary also said that X Factor has given her a platform that she wouldn’t have had had she not entered the competition.
Since the show ended, Mary has recorded three albums and she is kept busy appearing in many venues and theatres throughout Ireland.
Mary performed for Her Majesty The Queen on her historic state visit to Ireland.
She has also shared the stage with many big named artists, including Neil Diamond and performed for more than 55,000 fans at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.
Mary has is currently working on her fourth album full of great songs from the 60’s, including well known numbers from Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark and Cilla Black.
John McNichol is an established artist and extremely popular country artist and is well-known on the country scene in Ireland and the UK. In 2001, he received the award for ‘Best Newcomer’ from Country Music UK and ‘Best Presented Male’.
He started as a model, actor singer, songwriter and TV presenter, appearing with Sandy Kelly on Celtic Note.
John played support for Elton John at his Killarney concert and he has shared the stage with Sir Cliff Richard. He also tours USA, Newfoundland, Australia and he has appeared in various European countries and festivals.
John has an annual tour in Nashville every year where he has established a new fan base and many fans travel with him.
He has just received the Hot Country Award for Best CD and DVD for his latest Album ’Love Songs’ and he is currently mentoring Kerry Fearon on Glór Tíre on Irish Channel TG4.
John has appeared for several years on Irish American Gertrude Byrne’s All Irish Star Caribbean Cruises.
Both John and Mary were on Gertrude’s recent All Irish Star Mediterranean Chartered Cruises where they recently shared the stage with a special invited guest artist Sir Cliff Richard.
John has been a regular artist on the Sky Country Music Channels and his and Mary’s new Video ‘Dream Lover’ has been on the Hot Country and Ireland’s West Music shows.
Mary has also written a book about her X Factor experiences, including a bit of her own background growing up in Ireland.
Mary is a very bubbly person and really down to earth and when she and John were on stage it was truly magical.
There was a good bit of banter between them on stage between duets and the music and singing was tremendous.
Mary sang many well-known songs from the sixties, plus other popular songs, including ‘Ave Maria’ and well-known Vera Lynn song ‘The Anniversary Waltz’, which was truly brilliant.
John sang songs by John Lennon, Elvis and Buddy Holly, which often had the audience on their feet.
Mary and John were supported on stage by John’s own band, along with a sound and lighting engineer.
Both Mary and John said that there was a great atmosphere at the hall.
John has plans to come back to play at a dance at Monikie next year and Mary would delighted to come back with another show with John as they get on so well together.