Entertainment

Monday 24 July 2017

Life of Brian and Candice

Musician and blogger Brian O'Reilly first spotted his wife-to-be in a YouTube video, now the couple are travelling the world together

Video stars: Candice Cathers and Brian O'Reilly
Video stars: Candice Cathers and Brian O'Reilly

Brian Byrne

SINGER-SONGWRITER Brian O'Reilly, 27, was scrolling through videos on YouTube when he discovered his future wife Candice Cathers, 21. The Dubliner, who had been chronicling his attempt to cross things off his bucket list on the video-sharing website under his pseudonym BriBry, was immediately enamoured of Candice's book reviews.

"I have always had the utmost respect for nerdy, studious people, because I have never been like that in any way. Candice had these lovely bookish videos, with a small but quaint group of people who watched them. I thought she was great, so I invited her to a show I was performing at in March 2011," explains Brian.

As luck would have it, Candice was a fan of Brian's work, too. "I'd been watching his videos almost since he started his channel in the summer of 2010. I fully supported what he was doing," she says. They met, "and that was that," Brian says matter-of-factly.

The couple have since joined forces to produce videos together, quickly amassing a community of over 100,000 followers. Their productions follow Brian's travels around the world as he performs his pop rock songs in front of intimate crowds, sometimes with Candice and her keyboard in tow, and they also cover a myriad of other topics like how to deal with depression, self-harm, sexuality and gender dysphoria. They even broadcasted their wedding.

Candice, from Tyrone, and Brian, from Malahide, had been dating for less than three years when they travelled to Paris together in August 2013 for Candice's birthday - or so she thought. Brian popped the question at the Eiffel Tower. They were married last December in a civil ceremony at the Ulster Museum in Belfast.

Brian fends off the usual question about whether or not they were too young to tie the knot by pointing out: "If you absolutely know, what's the point in waiting to get married in ten years?"

Still, their youth was clearly evident at their wedding - it was Harry Potter-themed, complete with tailored vows and table names. They even invited Irish actress Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood in the films.

"When you think about it, weddings aren't very romantic, because it's just two people discussing business for like six months," Brian notes. Candice adds: "We tried to get as far away from that as possible, and keep it spontaneous and a little bit silly at times."

While newlywed couples often appear fused together, Candice and Brian agree that what makes the time they spend with one another so great is the time they spend apart.

"I think it's a good thing," says Candice. "Brian travels a lot, and I've been at university studying English literature. There is at least one week out of every month when he is in a different country. It sounds really bad, but it's good for us to be apart sometimes."

Brian has performed in 39 countries and now that Candice is finishing university, this summer, the couple, complete with a full band, are doing shows in "as many Asian countries as we can fit in," says Brian, before kicking off an Australian tour.Brian says: "I don't really plan it at all. I literally go onto an airline website, and book a seat on a plane for sometime in the next week."

His loyal fan base aren't particularly phased by his short notice - but the same can't be said for his wife. "Sometimes, he will book flights for the very next day. He is incredibly impulsive," Candice says. "Whereas I like to plan, and print my boarding pass a week in advance, to know where I'm going and where I'm staying. So sometimes, I get very worried about stuff, and Brian just takes it as it comes."

"We're not a very 'coupley' couple," Brian admits. "That's what separates us from others, who wouldn't last as long, because they'd burn out with all the affection. We're just two people that appear to others like we can't stand each other, like two best friends bickering all the time. If that's a good thing or not, who knows? We'll know in a few years if we're compatible!"

If there's one thing they can agree on, it's their sense of humour. Watching just one of their videos proves they laugh at exactly the same things, from teasing each other to doing funny dances together.

Brian's globetrotting has given him unprecedented exposure, but it was just a few miles from home at a recent show in Belfast where a friend of British rock band Snow Patrol saw him do his thing. All of a sudden, he was meeting members of the band in London, and signing a publishing deal.

Brian recalls: "At Snow Patrol's shows, even hardcore fans would go home afterwards. That's the demographic they're used to. But I think it's important to go out and meet everyone afterwards, and not just take a photograph, but to have a conversation with them too."

Despite having a part to play in Brian's spiralling success, Candice has her own plans, too. "I want to make some time for freelance and creative writing. But a bit of travelling and piano playing is always fun, so we'll see how long we can make that last."

"I told her to give me a year playing piano," Brian adds, "and hopefully by this time next year everything will be so crazy that it'll be her full time job, just like it is mine."

Follow Brian and Candice at YouTube.com/LifeofBriBry

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