album sales worldwide
Tommy Fleming has many times been described as the “Voice of Ireland” and is one of Ireland’s top entertainers
Described as a singer whose voice has the remarkable ability of taking you into his world, Tommy is presently working on his newest album which celebrates a staggering 30 years as one of Ireland’s most successful solo artists ever “All These Years” Here is a little taste of what is to come- “Goodbye my old friend”
ALL THESE YEARS – TOMMY FLEMING
How does a solo artist like Tommy Fleming stay in the spotlight all these years – 30 to be precise?
A combination of hard work, a positive attitude, intuition, great management skills and of course the obvious, a unique voice.Naturally “the Voice” is Tommy’s trump card, one which he was dealt, but knowing how to play his cards has always been key to his success.
It wasn’t always bright lights for the young singing sensation from the remote village of Aclare, Co Sligo. Like many, he trod the path of smoke filled back room gigs, charity appearances, rough and ready festival circuits, enduring hard times and surviving on youth, enthusiasm and very little cash, waiting for that elusive ‘break.’
Resilience is a strong character trait. Tommy Fleming has it in abundance and has drawn on it many times when his career seemed to be slipping from his grasp.
One such example – the aftermath of a horrific car accident where Tommy was forced into the wings having sustained a broken neck. Defying all the odds and focusing on his craft, Tommy emerged from a 10 month hiatus armed with a top selling album “Restless Spirit” as his passport back to the “scene”, a scene he readily embraced with fervour and commitment. Reward came in the shape of sell out shows and new recording opportunities.
From early on Tommy strove to achieve more control over his career. It was obvious he instinctively knew what worked when selecting material and playlists for his many albums and whilst happy to be busy, delighted to have secured a then prestigious recording contract, it became evident that for Tommy to fulfil and realise HIS vision for HIS future, he needed to have more input at ground level.
To help “re focus” he took a break. Typical of Tommy – not just any old break – no 2 weeks in Majorca for the voice of Ireland but his fighting or perhaps restless spirit saw the enthusiastic Tommy take a 6 month break and join GOAL as a field operative in “South Sudan”
A humbling experience and if anything it cemented his affirmations of viewing life from a ‘glass half full’ perspective. On return Tommy hit the Irish and UK scene like a tornado, gathering force as he swept through concert halls, brewing up a storm in the USA, Japan, hitting Australian shores with a strong tailwind and like all good storms he left his mark. Multiplatinum sales – sell out tours – TV appearance -demands for more – his shows now boasting a full band and orchestra having evolved, grown and matured over a few short years.
Opting to be versatile, although may have been considered a gamble, was a master stroke. By now – enjoying full artistic licence via the channels of his own production company TF PRODUCTIONS – the slight detour off the familiar track resulted in the outstanding success of a project with RTE and the RTE orchestra and “Going Back” released in 2010 proved to be the ultimate ‘royal flush’
“I think Tommy is the most exciting voice in the area of folk music that I have heard since Luke Kelly, he has got such a big voice, he’s got that great honesty and integrity in his voice.”
Never ever losing sight of his traditional roots and his renowned ability to breathe new life into old airs Tommy gently eased new genre’s into his repertoire and introduced his captive audience to many of his personal favourites. This was likely the start of Tommy revealing more of’ himself’ to his fans. Their applause denoting their acceptance of change encouraged him to include his great love of musical theatre in his shows.
Tommy it seemed was unstoppable – could do no wrong – the international stage now his oyster – but rarely – is real life like a Disney movie.
His UK Tour came to an abrupt halt due to the rapid decline in health of both his parents. Nothing – absolutely nothing prepared Tommy, for the death of a parent but for Tommy to endure the devastating death of both parents – on the same day –was akin to being hit from behind by a runaway train. How? Does one recover from such a life altering situation?
Reflection! That is how and much like a wounded animal, Tommy retreats to his sanctuary, surrounds himself with familiar home comforts and precious memories. Although ‘off the road’ and in a strange place emotionally, he found it impossible to be idle. Call it therapy – call it grief – call it intuition – returning to his tour schedule was not the right thing for him to do –so he redirected his focus by capturing those heightened emotions and published a photographic biography and an album, dedicated to his parents, aptly titled “Begin”
A ‘different’ Tommy rises from the ashes – even ‘the voice’ has changed. If you think it impossible to improve perfect – Tommy has proved otherwise. How? A sheer raw emotion added an extra edge to an already flawless voice. Songs although always preformed with feeling were now more poignant. More of ‘the real Tommy’ opened up as he took his pain right bang slap into the spotlight with him and broke through new horizons by doing so. Call it ‘honesty’
By now everyone wanted a piece of Tommy – TV and radio presenters anxious to get the breaking news on ‘what was coming next’ Having carved a reputation for his diversity within the business he was now focused on another detour. This time into the world of musical theatre-co-writing the music and starring in the lead role of an Irish stage drama/musical PADDY. The show enjoyed a successful 2 year run in Ireland and the UK.
Always looking ahead – TF PRODUCTIONS had already secured their plans for ‘Voice of Hope 2’ long before the critics were left spellbound by Tommy’s performance in PADDY.
It’s no secret that when TF Productions produced ‘Voice of Hope 1’ their first ever ‘live recording and filming’– Everything – absolutely everything was invested in its success. Tommy could have lost everything had that venture failed. The power failed that day- the entire village of Knock was wiped out with a sever power cut – you seriously could not have foreseen that. The show DID go on and armed with that experience, appreciating opportunities where he guested with huge names such as Elaine Page in Australia, toured with Kenny Rogers, recorded with the renowned Vince Gill, released high quality albums in the London studios of the maestro Mike Moran, Tommy was poised to celebrate the Ultimate ’30 years as a successful Irish solo artist – the only Irish artist to return annually to the highly acclaimed ‘Bord Gais’ for 11 consecutive years.
In each decade – Tommy was dealt a blow! How do you top a broken neck? How do you top burying both your parents on the same day? Well, up pops ‘a Pandemic’ to challenge this resilient super star.
So – in true spirit – The ‘show must go on’ and it did. Quite simply, Tommy Fleming NEVER gives up.
It took a mere 8 days for Tommy to hit the deck running. There was no ‘poor me’ saga – as always Tommy took control and got back into gear – his own way. Replacing the stylish stage suits for his ‘civvies’ Tommy took to the local by-ways and launched ‘Jeep tunes’ using Social Media as his stage. This venture ran for just over 100 days. Forward thinking– Tommy then launched ‘Garage tunes’ and subsequently introduced the very popular ‘Tavern Tunes’ which ran for 17 weeks and saw him celebrate his 50th birthday amongst his fans and then – close the Tavern door.
Has he ‘given up?’ – never! Tommy is presently working on the release of a brand new album and ‘best of’ box set titled “All these years” celebrating 30 years of song.