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Bressie could be the man to do a boy's job

bressie Rage & Romance (Sony)

Let's take a moment to remember Tabby.

Back when Kelly Osbourne's mother was the most influential woman in showbusiness, Tabby and his band Petronella put Sligo on the rock'n'roll map by finishing third on X Factor.

Before you could say "my real name is Trevor John Callaghan", Tabby had split from his band and, as a solo artist, was poised to join an elite group of megastars known worldwide by a single name. Bowie, Prince, Madonna, Beyonce... Tabby.


The personable Niall Breslin (aka Bressie) seemed set to follow Tabby's template, but the Mullingar star added a unique twist to his career trajectory by adopting the Mrs Osbourne role and becoming a mentor on the Irish version of The Voice, where he plays the edgy, yet sensitive, rocker to confident crooner Cian Egan.

More than ever, Ireland needs a cheery power-pop phenomenon, like The Thrills and The Four Of Us. Bressie could well be the man to do a boy's job.

This 11-track album is his second solo outing since bravely leaving his old band, The Blizzards. A high-gloss amalgam of melodic pop styles, the company describe it as "uber-cool". A similar approach didn't harm Paolo Nutini.


When Bressie's single Can't Stay Young Forever went to number one on the airplay charts, the next logical move was to persuade listeners to buy the recordings. So for this offering, Bressie has teamed up with proven hit writer James Walsh, of Starsailor and Bloc Party producer Eliot James.

Show Me Love thumps along like a Gary Glitter album track. The string-drenched I Preferred the Original recalls a melancholic Cutting Crew. Despite the confusing title, the anthemic Silence Is Your Saviour is a song, Bressie explains, that deals with the issues around depression and anxiety.

As a solo performer, Tabby's shoes were stolen in a club. The management obligingly gave him a pair of old boots that Ronnie Wood once left behind.

The same fate is unlikely to befall Bressie, who can walk tall with this radio-friendly set – even if it's short on personality. HHHII