Switch-ons a bright spot in duo’s year

Birchall performing at last year's Wigan Christmas lights switch-on
Birchall performing at last year's Wigan Christmas lights switch-on

For duo Birchall, the annual Christmas lights switch-ons around the North West are definitely the most wonderful time of the year.

Brothers Ricky and James Birchall appear at the Wigan festive event this week, having performed to large crowds in Horwich and Bury, and have Chorley booked too.

Older brother Ricky says the duo, who sing vocal harmonies to James’ guitar accompaniment, love performing at the festive lights events and they are also an excellent opportunity to reach new audiences.

As well as a busy schedule of live appearances, the Hindley duo are furiously writing songs as they hope to get into the studio to record their debut album next year.

Ricky, 29, said: “We love playing the switch-ons and we can’t wait for Wigan.

“Performing in our home town with such a star-studded line-up will be amazing.

Our mum basically stopped singing in order to bring us up, so we feel it’s up to us to get music back into the family

Ricky Birchall

“They are a good chance to get in front of a crowd and it’s great exposure for our music. It’s a big thing for us and shows we’re going in the right direction.”

Birchall recently received a boost when they signed to a large entertainment agency and hope to get opportunities to perform live across the country through the deal.

Ricky and James come from a musical family and were initially inspired by their grandfather Tony, while counting Ed Sheeran as the biggest influence on their sound.

Ricky said: “Our mum basically stopped singing in order to bring us up, so we feel it’s up to us to get music back into the family.

“We’re working mainly on acoustic music with an Ed Sheeran vibe to it. A lot of James’ guitar playing is influenced by him and we also love his story of going from busking on the streets to playing massive arenas, because it shows young lads from Britain like us can make an impact in the industry.

“We’ve a lot of events at the back end of this year and our focus is on that, but we’re definitely getting in the studio next year. We’ve got the songs we’re playing live at our gigs all done, we just need to record them.

“It’s up to us to put the work in now and get enough songs together. This has been a big year and these are exciting times for us.”

For more information about the group, visit www.facebook.com/birchallbanduk.