Jeff Tweedy & James Elkington, Vicar Street, Dublin, Jan 30th

Jeff Tweedy & James Elkington, Vicar Street, Dublin, Jan 30th
www.wilcoworld.net

Jeff Tweedy elaborates duly when someone from the audience hollers: “What’s with the long hair, Jeff?”. Basically the Wilco front man and tonight solo performer has not cut it since the US election. He finds it highly uncomfortable, in fact he hates having long hair. But seeing that so many people suffer in the US in the current situation and Jeff Tweedy regards himself as privileged, the least he could do was trying to find a way to feel uncomfortable too. This exchange took place on the evening of the following event: Jeff Tweedy & James Elkington, Vicar Street, Dublin, Jan 30th!

Now, I am pretty sure that Jeff Tweedy was being his usual humble self about his annoying long hair being the only contribution in view of the current political climate of the US, but it is too good an introduction to this post to miss.

Yes, I feel privileged in my life as well but have been under a lot of mental pressure up to burn-out lately, so I had myself a wee present. Although the time off was shortish and it really drove me almost insane to find time for it in the first place, a couple of days off just by myself, in Dublin, and taking in some music was a big treat.

So I tried to remember what I used to do all those years back in Dublin and indulged in doing that again. Bookshops, record shops, vintage shops, loads of walking about to old haunts, people watching, meeting people again. Same me, same Dublin, really in a nutshell and it made me very happy. (Okay, forget the old shock when catching my face in a shop window – wow, has it been that long ago that I did this?)

But you don’t want to read about this (even though, I still warmly recommend Dublin for a lot of things aside from the usual – entry point to Ireland, shamrocks and stag and hen parties: The mountains, the sea, the suburbs, the museums, the sheer poetry in people’s conversations, a mug of tea, a pint of this and that…).

Won’t torment you any longer. So, Vicar Street it is. My first time there and it seems a great and lively venue. I am pleasantly surprised that tonight’s concert is seating only and my feet will be forever thankful. Must say though, I am pretty sure though that I had clicked the front area rather than the block to the side when choosing the ticket. After all, I was worrying for ages that I might block everyone’s view being tall and on moderate heels…

Convivial and listing great acts, Vicar Street for me though features a bit of a problem with that seating idea. Comfy as it is and suitable for quieter acts definitely, it should mean, stay bloody well seated, which of course most people don’t adhere to – so for every drink and every visit to the loo and what not, the whole row of seats has to get up, and people keep swarming by in front of you and clambering through the seats.

The support act possibly gets the worst of it. Not only half the audience did not bother to turn up for the support act, James Elkington. There was incessant moving and talking, even from the door staff (of course one girl in particular told her life story in a grating voice, sorry, yeah, you, has to be said). James Elkington seemed to be blissfully unaware of this, found  the audience eerily quiet and would prefer to be talked over as much as possible.

No need for that though. James Elkington has been shying the limelight since his days as front man of The Zincs – since then he has been collaborating with and contributing to a gazillion bands and artists of many genres, Steve Gunn, Richard Thompson, Eleventh Dream Day, Laetitia Sadier, Joan Shelley to name but a few. Eventually though with a bit of pressure of Steve Gunn (good man, yourself!, James Elkington released his solo album “Wintres Woma” last summer via Paradise of Bachelors and what a wondrous treat it is.

Tonight he performs most of the songs of the album and impresses everyone with his truly amazing guitar mastery. Personally I am relieved that a performance that I saw online where James’ voice went a bit all over the place was an exception or done under unfavourable circumstances because his voice is  now pitchperfect and accompanies the songs that if not intentionally but certainly subconsciously so, draw on a well of traditions including his native English folk music wonderfully.

A short break (and this time people are turfed out of the bar into the venue for Jeff Tweedy’s arrival) and then I do not know what hit me. A roaring reception for Jeff Tweedy who unceremoniously in Stetson and jacket walks on stage and starts to play. I have never had the chance to see Wilco live, so I cannot compare but to me the songs of Jeff Tweedy’s solo album “Together At Last” in their stripped down simplicity are very magic, and live on stage – wheyhey….That acoustic guitar is not even plugged in. There is Jeff, there are two microphones and the guitar. But man, the songs (a great selection from all over the Wilco catalogue plus some Loose Fur and Uncle Tupelo oeuvres) do not lack anything at all. To me Jeff Tweedy has one of the finest voices in contemporary music that can express anything (mostly it is of course of a more melancholic nature).

Neither did I expect to be bent over double, my sides splitting with laughter about Jeff’s deadpan banter between the songs. Sorry for the people behind me who were clearly filming and now have my howling laughter in the videos…Back to songs and there were still tears enough for those fragile songs that pull on every heart- and soul string that you might possess. A singalong, a long show, a truly satisfying one and too right we are all getting up at the end to salute Jeff Tweedy.

Thank you, best ever!

Note: Jeff Tweedy announced more solo concerts in the US and later in the year in Europe! www.wilcoworld.net

Setlist:

Via Chicago

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

Bombs Above

We’ve Been Had

Passenger Side

Locator

Hummingbird

Lost Love

Born Alone

Noah’s Flood (Let’s Go Rain Again)

New Madrid

One Wing

Bull Black Nova

Laminated Cat

Don’t Forget We All Think About Dying

Hesitating Beauty

Jesus, Etc.

I’m The Man Who Loves You

California Stars

Kamera

A Shot In The Arm

 

Lisa Hannigan Interview November 2016

Lisa Hannigan released her third album “At Swim” to much critical acclaim a couple of weeks ago. Currently she presents her new and some old songs on tour in Europe after having played in the US. She will also be supporting Agnes Obel on her tour in Europe. Offbeat had the opportunity to talk to Lisa and presents you a fresh Lisa Hannigan Interview November 2016.

Lisa played only a handful of gigs in Germany and so the intimate venue Studio 672 in Cologne was sold out. Heather Woods Broderick was supporting and playing in Lisa’s band (and selling merchandise, too, multitasking in its true form but more on that in a separate post).

The audience might not have been so happy about the venue: The small, low stage and a dark long room that stays the same floor level was not really helpful to anyone not standing in the first row to catch a glimpse of what was happening on stage. Actually quite a lot was going on: Lisa, three musicians, plus Heather showcased perfect musical craftsmanship – a quiet set without a glitch and yet in no way distanced or sterile. It probably would be – especially for the quieter songs of the new album – a good gig to watch seated, just to absorb the music and the lyrics a little better without craning your neck to see and trying to avoid fainting in the heat. (Note: Why oh why do photographers who were only allowed to do their thing during two songs have to cling to the front of that very small stage for the whole set blocking the view for everyone else? And this guy who records some concerts shiftily will one day get a kick from me, so there.)

Anyhow, as I was saying, the audience was more than content with the long and varied set anyway (and encores amongst which an a cappella or sean nos rendition of “Anahorish” just like on the album or even better) and especially thrilled that Lisa took to the merchandise table herself afterwards and patiently signed and had pictures taken and had a kind word for everyone.

Lisa also kindly took some time out beforehand to talk to Offbeat Music Blog. Interview excerpts and music will also be due at Kaleidoskop, Mondays, 5-6pm CET on www.byte.fm as well as Offbeat, Thursdays, 8-10pm CET on www.novumfm.de. There you have it!

Lisa Hannigan Interview November 2016

An incredible fresh-faced friendly Lisa awaited us and answered the questions patiently in her (it has to be said) also lovely speaking voice with the sweet lilt. (Actually, the band are trying to teach Heather Woods Broderick some Irish English while on tour and they are having loads of fun).

Thank you very much, Lisa Hannigan and the band and Heather Woods Broderick (blog post to follow) and Una Molloy and everyone at PIAS and the venue!

Offbeat Music Blog: Lisa, touring can make you feel disconnected from home where life goes on without you. How do you feel about it?

Lisa Hannigan: I think the main thing is you feel very tired. That’s the main thing when you come off tour. A lot of people have these records about feeling disconnected, away from home. That was certainly what my last record (Passenger) was all about – being on tour a lot and feeling like, you know, what are the things you take with you when you travel. And this record (At Swim) is again about feeling disconnected but it is more about feeling disconnected at home than actually being on tour because I was living all over the place. But that’s how a lot of people feel a lot of the time. It’s worth writing songs about it, I think.

OMB: Could you take us on a short journey through your musical development and maybe what you had in mind when making your three albums?

LH: I was always singing at home in my house. My parents, my Mum in particular does a lot of singing. It was just always so. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t singing. I sort of thought I might be an opera singer when I was a teenager for a brief amount of time. When I realised how quiet I was, I knew that was never going to work. I just had to find my place really. I realised, first of all I needed a microphone (laughs) because no one could hear me. I fell into singing backing vocals and writing my own songs. So it happened very meanderingly. But I always wanted to be a singer.

I don’t know whether I have anything in mind particularly when I first start making a record. It is sort of a song by song situation. It’s only sometimes the further you get into finishing songs that you realise how they hang together, what sort of theme there is there. On the outset, I think, you are just fumbling around in the dark and hoping to bump into things. I certainly wanted this record to feel different. But I didn’t really know what that meant. And it took me a long time to write the songs. I was grateful for any song at all that I liked. But it did start to come together and start to feel  cohesive. But I think, starting out, you just hope to write another song which as a songwriter is always the worry. When you finish a song you think: Will that be my last song? You know, for a not very prolific one like me (laughs).

OMB: Your new album “At Swim” was a great pain to make, wasn’t it?

LH: It took me a lot longer than I wanted to. I think, as we were saying earlier about touring: I came back from the “Passenger” tour which was probably about two years, just feeling really really tired – and quite sort of burnt-out and empty. I just thought “Oh, sure, I’ll write a song next week.” I just found it so hard. I realised I hadn’t written a song in a long time and the more I tried, the more difficult it became. It sort of snowballed like that and I got very anxious about not writing songs. I would sit down every day and try and write and didn’t quite work. But eventually, once in a blue moon, I would write a song in twenty minutes and I’d have a song that I really liked. I knew I was getting there – just very slowly. Then I got an email out of the blue from Aaron Dessner from The National saying did I want to write together or did I need someone to produce my record. That was amazing. That was really helpful. He would send me these little pieces of music and I would be able to write to that and sing into my phone and send it back to him. It really helped me gain momentum in my own writing as well. We have three songs co-written on the record. But more than anything it helped me gain my confidence back a lot. He is so easy and enthusiastic about everything. He is a really great person to be around and to write with. That helped a huge amount.

OMB: Aaron Dessner also produced in a way to make the album sound much darker than your previous albums or would that have been a natural progression for you anyway?

LH: Yeah! Who knows? I am not sure. The songs themselves are a lot darker because of the theme so that was already there. But he definitely reduced the kind of lyricism of a lot of the arrangements. He took a lot of those melodic instruments and contrapuntal melodies that I would have normally done and made it more textured which I think helped reduce the exuberance somewhat. In a good way! Because that’s what the songs required. He did an amazing job producing it, making this interesting world out of the songs.

OBM: A lot of the titles of your new album are very dark but maybe the songs themselves are not so much as the titles mean something different to you?

LH: Some of the songs are definitely quite dark to go with the stark, dark melodies. “Funeral Suit” for a example is not in any way a sad song. It’s purely a love song. I always know when people haven’t listened to the record when they say (moans): “It’s so depressing…” (Laughs loudly). They haven’t actually read the words. And “Prayer For The Dying” as well. It’s a sad subject but I don’t think it’s a sad song. It’s not meant to be, it’s meant to be quite celebratory and a tribute of sorts more than being sort of dour. But the titles are quite dark when you read them in a list (loud laughter).

OBM: You also have a Seamus Heaney poem on the album (“Anahorish”)?

LH: Yeah, when I was finding it hard to write…I always read a lot of his poetry because it is so beautiful. And I felt like that would be the best thing if I fill myself with up with lovely words as opposed to my empty head. I saw “Anahorish” and it looks like a song on the page first of all but also the theme of it about memory and home and that central coheir of things, I thought, would fit really well with the rest of the record. I started setting it to music as an exercise in my time when I couldn’t write anything to help me write stuff. But I actually I loved it so much that I really wanted to put it on the record. I sent it to his family, asking if it was okay and they very kindly said yes. I love singing it live, too, it is great fun.

OBM: Do you have a trained voice, Lisa?

LH: Well, I did a little bit of classical training when I had my notions of being an opera singer. I did some lessons in school. But that was it. I did that for a couple of years. I learned how to do warm-ups, that sort of thing. But I don’t tend to warm up anymore because usually I am singing all day. I don’t really need to. If I have been ill or I haven’t for some reason been singing, then I warble away and do some scales.

OBM: The singing range is amazing and some people said that you could sing anything, jazz, anything at all.

LH: I love singing all sorts of songs and funnily enough since I started and since I gave up smoking about ten years ago, my range has totally changed. I’ve gotten lower and higher also. That’s been fun. It is playing to me, singing. I like to think of the voice as an instrument. That’s more how we approached it on this record actually. There is so much to a voice in communication in terms of texture and timbre and all the rest that is controllable to a certain extent. There is no reason why your voice shouldn’t get better as you get older…as long as you are not drinking whiskey and shouting all night which I don’t tend to do much anymore. There is no reason why your voice should not add complexity as you get older which I hope will be the case.

OBM: Thank you so much, Lisa Hannigan!

Villagers gig review and interview

Villagers gig review and interview

Villagers are taking their album “Where Have You Been All My Life?” on tour. The album was a selection of old and new songs recorded live in the studio. Same applies to the concerts on this tour. I had the opportunity to see one of the gigs in Düsseldorf, Germany, at the beautiful ZAKK centre.

Let me just say, grab the chance to see Villagers on this tour. You’ll get a great support act, the Ye Vagabonds, a beautiful ascending set of Villagers’ songs showing off, deservedly, just how accomplished they are as musicians based on synthesizers, fluegelhorn, harp (!), drums, double bass and acoustic guitar.

For a show that is perfect to a tee, it exuded a lot of warmth and spirit – and no, you just have to go there. It was masterful!

Of course, I had to disturb the awestruck and respectful silence of the majority of the audience vehemently for a minute or two (sorry, but it did help!) to give out to the minority of the audience who were chatting non-stop, really, really annoying. They might need no harm, but you have to ask yourself, why not save yourself the effort and the others the pain, when you want to chat to your friends and discuss the music with the music in the background, and just stay at home and put a record on.

So, there, that said, I will now invite you to read the interview that Conor O’Brien kindly gave me for this blog and the radio shows on www.novumfm.de and www.byte.fm. A nicer man hardly ever has treaded this earth!

The Villagers

Here goes:

Offbeat Music:
Thank you, Conor, for taking the time for an interview. Let’s get straight into that. What was your upbringing like? Was there a lot of music in the house?

Conor O’Brien:
There was, mainly classic jazz singers like Ella Fitzgerald or Nina Simone, lots of Frank Sinatra. My Dad’s obsessed with Frank Sinatra. And my brothers and sisters were playing lots of music and I was the youngest, so I was always hearing these different areas of music, slowly becoming greatly obsessed with it. So, definitely lots of music.

OM:
Some people get deeper into music as kind of rebellion when they are teenagers. Obviously not, when the parents listen to nice stuff. Did you have to rebel or did you have a supportive family when you said you are going to do music?

Conor:
They were very supportive. It’s a very boring answer. It was very easy for me (laughs). Basically my brother gave me his guitar to use and I was kind of left alone, to my own devices a lot which was nice because I was really obsessed with making visual art as well, painting. So I did for years, probably didn’t get out of the house enough. My parents supported me. It was a perfect childhood really.

OM:
After school, did you get straight into making music?

Conor:
After school? I went to college and I did English & Sociology for three years but then I was writing the whole time and started a band. I was in a band called The Immediate. We were playing around Ireland and a bit of the UK and a little bit of France. That ended and I became a guitar player for a girl called Cathy Davey and that was the first time I was starting getting paid, having money for making music. I couldn’t believe it, incredible. I worked on the first Villagers album while I was touring with her round Ireland and the UK.

OM:
The approach to your four albums so far has always been a different one, so it seems. Could you shortly take us through the albums without simplifying it too much on your approach to them (whether intentionally or not)?

Conor:
I think with all of the albums, I never went into them with a very locked specific idea of what I wanted. Each of them had a different method. The first album (Becoming A Jackall) was quite…there were a lot of pre-written notes and words and almost poem-like sections in my notebooks and so I had a big backlog of stuff. The actual making of the album was almost like putting all these things together like in a jigsaw puzzle, trying to figure out what is the most coherent way to piece together these previously made things.
With the second album ({Awayland}), a lot more stuff had to be written closer to the time of it being recorded. There was a lot more fight or flight syndrome, you have to get it down and it has to work which was really interesting. It meant 15-hour days for a few months just focussing. I was trying to learn to produce as well and make electronic sounds and also write words and figure out how to make that into a narrative for a folk band type thing. And mix that with experimentations of sounds. It succeeded sometimes and it failed at other times.
For the third album (Darling Arithmetic) , I just decided to write the most intimate, something that no filter on it really. I got rid of the filter and wrote the first things that came out of my notebook. The music reflected that as well because it was more stripped and bare. So that was a really different feeling, a different atmosphere. I then decided for the first time to use my homerecordings as the actual finished product which was interesting as well because they are a little imperfect.
And then this new one was recorded in one day with the band. So it’s basically a session album. We mixed it the next day. That was pretty quick.

OM: Coming back to “Darling Arithmetic): That kind of was a breaking point for you in terms of writing more personal stuff and opening up and also technically (even when not intentionally). You virtually took the demos as the final product. What did your management or your label think about this?

Conor:
They were actually very supportive. It meant, it is quick and it is delivered. They liked the way it sounded. They could probably hear that it couldn’t be forced into a pop mould. They are smart in that way. I didn’t have any resistance at all. In fact, with the last record before, the was a suggestion from one of the guys from the label that perhaps there was almost too much production going on and I should try and relax on that a little bit. I kind of agreed with that. They are supportive, like my parents (laughs).

OM:
When you were doing that, was it a cathartic experience, releasing something or was it more painful?

Conor:
Oh, lots of different emotions, I think. The album deals with so many different things which are beautiful but also painful. There is a song just about the beginning of a relationship and love. And then there are songs about the opposite side, the end. Songs about bigotry and homophobia. I was waiting until I was good enough a writer to try and deal with these things in a non-crass way or a tacky way. I wanted it to be simple to a point but sometimes that can translate to maybe naïve or …There is a fine line between simplicity and…

OM:
Being superficial or clichéd?

Conor.
Yeah, clichéd or not really giving enough credence to the depth of the emotions that you are trying to portray. That was interesting. But there were a lot of emotions. I did it over a period of eight months. The recording was about eight months in my house, so every day and I was mostly alone (laughs). It got very strange. But it was cool. I like it.

OM:
So, on the one hand you really opened up and got personal. On the other, you wanted to leave a little space for listeners to find themselves in a song, so not like: Here’s the message and that’s how you are receiving it? How difficult is that, to find that balance? To say something about yourself and at the same time to leave it abstract.

Conor:
I don’t know. It’s a weird one because I don’t know how important it is and I might have even changed my opinion on it in the last few weeks even. It’s a cultural thing. It is a very Irish thing to perhaps not talk very openly about your emotions. Or, if you are doing it, the initial communication from you will be something that will be instantly open and cheery. But it will take a while. When you are in Germany, people will instantly say what they want or what they feel or what they mean. (Doubtful look from OM). Not necessarily all the time. There is definite linguistic there. When people communicate and they are like “I do not like that”, “I do not want that” whereas in Ireland you’d say: “I wouldn’t be liking that maybe.”
OM:
Like the word “No” does not exist in the Irish language?

Conor:
Exactly. And you can’t really say “no”, it’s really rude. You feel really bad.

OM:
Or you’re asked “How are you?” and you are expected to say “I’m grand”. In Germany, you’d say “I’m shitty” and if you tried that in Ireland, people would look at you shocked.

Conor:
Yeah! It is seen as a confrontational thing in Ireland to suggest something negative straightaway. So, there are layers to break through. Maybe some of my writing suffered from that a little bit or perhaps there is a way of using that. I don’t know, I am trying to understand whether I really believe in what I said or noticed in the interviews for this (chuckles).

OM:
I talked to Siv Jakobsen, a Norwegian singer-songwriter the other day and she said she does not want to spell everything out too much but to create an atmosphere with the music, the words and the voice and even images to leave things a bit open for the listener to see themselves in the music. Is that where you’re coming from?

Conor:
That’s important. The song is only completed by the listener. Knowing that as a writer is a really interesting thing to play with. There’s something to be said for enigma a little bit. Letting someone use their imagination which is a beautiful thing. Art can only really do that. You’re not like selling a hamburger to someone.

OM:
When you sit down and write a song – some people are obviously aiming at commercial success or looking at how to perform a song or how is this going to land with listener – how do you do that? Do you just write for yourself first?

Conor:
With “Darling Arithmetic” I wrote exactly what I wanted to write, in the room I was in, on my own. I was not thinking about being on a festival stage or whatever. With the last album I was totally thinking about that. I was focussed You can hear that in the way it sounds. There is a lot to be said for both of these methods. You can use all that in different ways. I am even mixing them. It’s a funny one – I keep changing my opinion about it as well (laughs). I started to make a lot of sequenced music again, electronic music. A lot of that is just based on how you feel when your body is moving to it which I want to try and get back to a little bit. I am getting obsessed with harmonies too.

OM:
How did you pick the songs that got a rework on “Where Have You Been All My Life?”

Conor:
How did we chose them? It was just what we were doing at the time on tour. We were in the middle of touring. It was quite funny though, a lot of the songs are not hugely different. It is just a different band playing the song. Since we have recorded this album, we’ve changed them for this tour. We are promoting the album, but they are different versions again. They are re-imagined versions now that we are playing. We feel like we should be going back to the studio and re-record the album…but probably not. It is time to move on.

OM:
Is there a song you cannot identify with anymore?

Conor:
There are songs that I cannot really identify with. But I don’t see that as …there are songs where I feel, I was dishonest in them. But of me goes: Cool, you’re exploring dishonesty. I don’t see it as illegitimate suddenly. I like seeing art as everything you do in art being legitimate. You can put everything out there. There’s always a way of changing it or singing it in a different cadence where you realise you are connecting with it again.
There is a song “Greatful Song” on ‘{Awayland}’ which kind of annoys me. I was reading lots of atheist literature at the time. About a year later, I was: I don’t even care about that anymore. I was just writing something based on what I was reading at the time. I do not care about that stuff anymore. I does not mean anything to me. That’s cool. Photo albums always have embarrassing haircuts in them. Villagers videos have embarrassing haircuts in them. The bowl-haircut (laughs).

OM:
What is the best song you have ever written?

Conor:
Oooooh….phew…..oh god, I dunno….och, I can’t answer that….depends on what you enjoy performing at the moment really. Last night the best song was…what WAS the best song last night…maybe ‘The Soul Serene’. I really enjoy that because it has a lot of space in it. Maybe that one.

OM:
It said somewhere you enjoy travelling and you are home wherever you lay your head and then that you regard Dublin as your home. What inspires you more? The travelling bit or the being at home and digesting bit?

Conor:
All of it feeds in. When you are touring you take a lot of notes on your phone and when you get home, you get time to close the door and figure it all out. It’s all part of the process really. This is probably my favourite tour we’ve ever done. Wouldn’t have said that two years ago – I was more of a home bird two years ago but now I am really excited about travelling and bringing these shows. They are the best shows we have done, I think, ever. That’s exciting – I am enjoying that a lot.

OM:
So, what can we expect tonight? What’s going to happen?

Conor:
Er…..laughs….Magic…It’ll be magical. There will be a sort of evolving energy to the show. It’s not as much as a one-note show as the Darling Arithmetic tour was. Then, we even brought like a house lamp on stage. We wanted it to feel like a living-room and everyone to sit down whereas this show – it builds a little bit. It gets quite full-on towards the end. It’s a gradual kind of thing in this show with a release right at the end.

OM:
Sounds good.

Conor:
I am better at doing it than talking about it.

OM:
Is there someone you would really really like to collaborate with, maybe not in songwriting (difficult) but performing?
Conor:
Oh…I dunno….performing?…hm….I am trying to get the guys from “Ye Vagabonds” who are opening for us up. Maybe tonight. We are going to see if it works. So then…(Laughs). I don’t know who else really. I had the idea of stretching my musical horizon a little bit. I am going to have a little jam with my friend Meike who comes to Dublin. She is in this musical collective orchestra called “Stargaze”. We have done stuff with her before. But I just spent a day in her apartment the other day – she has this old Indian instrument called the Bulbul Tarang. She was playing her bass flute and I was learning this instrument. It’s amazing. She is going to bring it to Dublin and we are going to record something and I might make loops out of it.
I want to focus on people who are close to me, friends that I know, rather than a Kendrick Lamar really. Although, that’ll be pretty cool as well. If you are listening Kendrick, I am ready for you!

OM:
Everyone seems to love Kendrick Lamar…final question: In how far do you think your country has influenced who you are?

Conor:
It has a lot but I think it’s only been in the last couple of years, I would even believe that. It is very engrained. I did not grow up in the folk scene. But the more you travel around the world, you more you realise how much music is everywhere, in Dublin and in Ireland. You can’t really walk out the door without someone playing guitar in the street. So that of course influences you a lot.
But some of the other aspects of Ireland, negative and positive…I dunno…

OM:
It being an island?

Conor:
It being an island, yeah. I’ve been thinking about that recently, the psychology of that. If you haven’t left it. There is real sense of community amongst musicians in Ireland which is perhaps unique to Ireland. Maybe?

OM:
I had mentioned Siv Jakobsen and she is said that it is the same in Norway, also sparsely populated, also a folk tradition and people stick together.

Conor:
Yeah, yeah…right…

OM:
Thank you very much Conor;

Conor:
Cheers, thank you!