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Blue Rose Code is Scottish-born, London-based Ross Wilson. Raised in a council high rise by his grandmother on the East side on Edinburgh. Wilson skipped school to instead endlessly listen to records, everything from Motown and mainstream pop to Chet Baker and John Coltrane. Into his teens Ross found drink and drugs in efforts to escape his troubled upbringing, and found little solace in anything other than the ‘Unholy Trinity’ of Van Morrison, John Martyn and Tom Waits. Wilson admits that if he hadn’t been given that musical outlet by his grandmother he’d most likely now be dead or, along with many of his contemporaries, in prison.

His musical obsession matched that of alcohol and, when his grandmother died, even escaping to London wasn’t enough to pull him out of the mire. He did, however find a community amongst the other escapees and immigrants of London’s East end, and found work in a local charity. His musical ability and potential success continued to be dogged by the alcoholism and addiction, with more than one A&R man or promoter being at the wrong end of his drunken rampages or infamous temper. But despite the troubles, Blue Rose Code was getting rave reviews and sharing the stage with many a celebrated writer: Bert Jansch, Kris Drever, King Creosote, John Renbourn, and James Yorkston. Brave indie label Ho Hum released his first double A side single. But following festival punch-ups, run-ins with police and general misanthropy they refused to record his album until Ross was clean. Ross, unable to tour, drink and stay out of trouble, gave up music altogether.

Two years on and a trip to New York saw Ross being offered a chance to play with no pressure and no expectations by a promoter friend. Once again Ross picked up the guitar and played to mesmerised audiences in the hipster hangouts of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He returned sober, and with a host of inspiring new songs and a new found ambition.

Fast forward to Spring 2012 and Ross is sponsored by clothing label Aubin & Wills putting together co-branded merchandise and joining forces in creating a one-day festival together. He’s been the subject of a documentary entitled ‘The Modern Craftsman’, he’s recorded his debut album ‘North Ten’, writes regularly for blogs and sites and has stayed unwaveringly sober. Rapt audiences look forward to seeing more in his upcoming UK and Ireland tour, and there are plenty of plans for the year ahead including a second single with 16mm video out in April.
Having recorded his debut with London indie Ho Hum Records, Ross has a crop of new material and a brand new live band comprising voices, guitars, banjo & fiddle. ‘North Ten’, is slated for release in Spring 2012 followed by a UK & Ireland tour and festivals.

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Tickets: €8 incl booking fee available online from WAV Tickets [Lo-Call 1890 200 078] (50c per ticket service charge applies on phone or creditcard bookings)


Whelan’s Indie Club w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm or check out the bands playing The Midnight Hour in the upstairs venue (FREE ENTRY, 12am).