Belfast busker’s viral Kodaline cover prompts invitation from band

A Belfast busker covering “All I Want” by Irish band Kodaline has caught the band’s attention, prompting their invitation for him to come on stage at their next Belfast show.

Belfast busker’s viral Kodaline cover prompts invitation from band

Buskers singing in the streets of Belfast, Northern Ireland, are a common sight for all who take a walk around the city centre. Those familiar with Belfast will probably be aware of the popular “violumpet” busker—a man who busks with a violin/trumpet hybrid as his instrument

It’s an amazing city with some incredibly talented musicians just sitting along the streets waiting to be discovered—which is exactly what happened with John Garrity, a Belfast busker who became an online hit after his cover of Kodaline’s “All I Want” was shared online by a passer-by.

The video

The clip of Garrity was first posted on Facebook just before Christmas by passer-by Seán Morgan. In recent days the clip was shared again, this time on Twitter by Danny Smith, where it garnered much attention and praise. 

Among those who praised the cover was Kodaline frontman Steve Garrigan. Garrigan quoted the tweet, adding: “Great version of All I want, can anybody find this guy, would like to ask him to join us on stage at our next Belfast show.” 

John Garrity is a Belfast busker who caught widespread attention
Credit: @johngarritymusic / Facebook

Belfast busker Garrity, currently in New York, spoke to Belfast Live saying he would be delighted to take Garrigan up on the offer. 

“It would be an amazing experience to get on stage with them, I’ve been supporting them for years, going to their gigs and singing their songs. It’s always nice to get that wee bit of feedback on Twitter as well and that support. 

“A lot of people from Belfast have been sharing my stuff and now Dublin and even further afield so hopefully it’s going to be bigger and better things this year. We will see how it pans out hopefully we get on stage with them and have a bit of fun.”

Other praise

John Garrity is a Belfast busker who caught widespread attention
Credit: @john_garrity / Twitter

More praise of Garrity’s singing came from West End star Ramin Karimloo. The multi-talented Iranian/Canadian actor and singer is perhaps best known for playing the leading male roles in both of the West Ends’ longest-running musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera.

Karimloo tweeted Garrity saying: “Damn you can sing. What an artist you are. X”

Aside from the compliments from these two industry professionals, Belfast busker John Garrity has (at the time of writing) received over 7.4 likes on the tweet showing his cover and dozens of replies all praising his singing. It goes to show the kind of talent we have on offer here in Belfast

Further opportunities 

Garrity caught the attention of the Irish band Kodaline
Credit: Kodaline / Facebook

Garrity also said that Kodaline lead singer Steve Garrigan asked if he could hear any more of the busker’s recordings and that he is going to send him a copy of his EP. “He’s a really nice guy,” John said. 

So, you never know—we could have Ireland’s next big musical superstar on our hands! We’re super excited to hear what’s going to be in store for this incredible Belfast busker. In the meantime, you can listen to his rendition of “All I Want” here.

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