James to feature at Olympics

Eamonn McFadden

Reporter:

Eamonn McFadden

A young Ballyshannon man is set to play a unique role at this summer’s Olympics which get underway in London later this month.

A young Ballyshannon man is set to play a unique role at this summer’s Olympics which get underway in London later this month.

It won’t be on the track and field where 19-year-old James Kelly will make his mark, but on the stage of the Olympic village where he and his band, Phoenix Club, will perform.

The band, which is based in Bristol where James and the other members are studying music at the British Institute of Modern Music (BIMM), won a music contest run by the Irish Post Newspaper in London to perform at the games.

Fusing their musical backgrounds from Italy, Ireland and the U.K., members of Phoenix Club have had notable musical successes, including playing stadium shows with Westlife, playing the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury 2009, being played on BBC Radio 6 and Heart FM, Airtime on Sky News and BBC 2, as well as achieving hundreds of thousands of YouTube hits as individuals.

Mixing elements of rock and folk they have been turning heads and James’s father, Patrick, says it’s a great honour for them to win the event to play at the Olympics.

It was James’s Ballyshannon roots that helped them qualify to enter the competition as there had to be an Irish connection.

“He entered the competition because he was entitled to it being from Ballyshannon and it published in the Irish Post. They got through to the final and they were voted number one to appear in the Olympic Village,” he stated.

He added the group formed while studying all aspects of the modern music industry in the ground breaking course and have been busy recording and touring as well as studying in their first year of the course.