SINEAD Black says lockdown gigs with her dad have been the ideal confidence booster as she approaches the Glór Tíre semi-final.
The Letterkenny songstress returns to TG4 tomorrow night following the postponement in March of the popular country music show.
Sinead is one of four remaining singers and she will have to overcome the challenge of Paschal McAnenly from Ballygawley, Alex Roe from Clara in County Offaly and Lisa Callanan from Craughwell, County Galway, if she is lift this year’s crown.
But the musician says a summer of online concerts with her dad Alex will stand to her as she returns to the stage.
A veteran of the showband scene, Alex Black has been performing live for over 50 years. Over the summer months he and his daughter played 41 shows together with up to 70,000 people worldwide tuning in to watch them.
“Daddy has been gigging for 55 years and he and I would have kept each other going, playing in pubs and parties and at weddings. We had a busy year planned and then lockdown came along and everything had to be cancelled. That is why we started doing the shows online,” said Sinead.
Their collective talents provided much needed entertainment for people all over the globe stuck at home due to restrictions.
“It isn’t just fans, it has become more of a community,” said Sinead.
“You have the same 100 or 200 people who wouldn’t miss it and we would notice if they didn’t send us their lovely messages each week. There is an 85-year-old man who never misses and always writes in. He says the shows keep him going. Another man in Canada got in touch to say how much it means to him. To hear that we are helping people in that way, it helps us too.”
While helping people navigate the gloom of lockdown, Sinead and Alex have also used their concerts to raise money for charity. Together they pulled in over €1,400 which went towards local mental health and counselling services.
On Tuesday evening it will be Sinead firmly in the spotlight on her own as she puts herself before Glór Tíre judges John Creedon, Caitríona Ní Shúilleabháin and Jó Ní Chéide.
“It is going to be weird,” said the Letterkenny singer.
“I’ve really enjoyed it so far but every night I have been on I have convinced myself that I’m going home. And then every time I’ve got through I’m like ‘what is going on?’
“The plan was that if I did make it to the final two or three buses of fans would be coming to cheer me on. Obviously that can’t happen now which is disappointing.
“But I’m ready. I have my dress, made by KC Designs here in Letterkenny, and I’m just looking forward to getting out there. And I’ll try not to fall because the last time I managed to fall.”
The Glór Tíre semi-final is live on TG4 tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 9.30pm. Viewers decide who will go through to the final and can vote by downloading the Glór Tíre app in the app store or on Google Playstore.