Songbird Lucy is bound for the famous Bluebird cafe

Songbird Lucy is bound for the famous Bluebird cafe

29 November 2017

A DOWNPATRICK schoolgirl will take to the stage of one of the world’s most famous music venues this St Patrick’s weekend after winning a prestigious music competition.

Seventeen year-old Lucy Bell will play at Nashville’s famous Bluebird cafe after being named winner of the Panarts Young Songwriter of the Year 2017 competition.

Lucy also won a valuable Avalon guitar as part of her prize as well as securing her name as a headline act in the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival, which will be held in March.

Despite feeling daunted by the calibre of musicians at the competition final on Sunday, Lucy said she was delighted to impress judges with her own songs Paris and Beautiful Lie.

She said she was now “beyond excited” about travelling to America to perform, following in the footsteps of Teconnaught singer-songwriter Triona Carville, who won the competition last year.

“I am used to performing but the musicians on stage on Sunday were so talented that I did feel intimidated,” she said.

“I haven’t put the guitar down since I got him. It is a lovely instrument.”

Lucy credits her music manager Mark Reid with helping her over the line in the Panarts competition after he spotted her potential during a performance at Forestside Shopping Centre earlier this year.

Mark, who runs a music-based club and charity, AER, in memory of his daughter Amy Ellen Reid who passed away from cancer at the age of 20, says he was “blown away” by Lucy’s voice when he heard her sing.

“I wanted to help her and push her on a bit,” he said.

“I saw she had something and as I had some contacts I thought I could help her.

“Part of what AER Music Club does is to give a platform to local artists. We are working with artists as young as 12 and we do house gigs, and gigs in coffee shops and bars. Lucy has a great talent.”