Tag Archives: the big list

Lisa Hannigan at The Empire

8 Jun

This is in the latest issue of The Big List.

Fresh from recording by the sea, Lisa Hannigan graced the Empire to unveil what she’s been working on and display her collection of odd and amazing instruments.

The crowd craned to see Lisa as she, banjo in hand, made a quiet entrance and launched into hypnotic new song ‘A Sail.’ Her voice seemed bolder than on debut ‘Sea Sew’ which gives her new music real strength from lullaby ‘O Sleep’ with support act John Smith to a song with the sultry chorus, “…Come by with flowers and stay til they’re dead…”

Hair tied back, pink dress sleeves rolled up and one hand working the harmonium, Lisa looked like the most beautiful washerwoman I’ve ever seen. Though softly spoken, she easily joked through technial mistakes and once saw fit to issue a stern warning-“Careful now with your big camera”-to a man edging too close to the hem of her dress. The band were on top form and throughly enjoyed the instruments on offer, including a ukelele, a glokenspeil played with a bow, a mini xylophone and what I think was a zither.

Old favourites ‘Pistachio’ and ‘Ocean and a Rock’ found new vitality, while ‘I Don’t Know’ saw one fan joyfully dancing school disco style, including the classic just-jump-staight-up-and-down. By the time ‘Lille’ came around, the atmosphere was so perfect that even a sneeze by guitarist Gavin Glass couldn’t help but be in time.

Lisa’s chameleon talent is admirable as she morphs from ‘Lille’s’ indie wallflower into folk favourite for a version of Dylan’s Meet Me in the Morning, and on to rock chick in her astounding cover of ‘Personal Jesus’ which closed the show. Judging by this gig, ‘Passenger’ will be one of 2011’s best Irish albums. Damien Rice would be proud, if he wasn’t busy kicking himself…

Here’s a video of that sneeze…


Q&A with Cara Dillon

13 Feb

Published in the Big list and got me some free tickets to see Lisa Hannigan in the Empire.

Dungiven-born Cara Dillon has gone from strength to strength. Her third album, Hill of Thieves, produced in collaboration with her husband Sam Lakeman, won Radio 2 Folk Album of the Year. The pair continue to tour extensively while raising their three young children. The Big List caught up with Cara who is preparing for a gig in Mandela Hall on March 12.

Hill of Thieves was the first album from your own label, Charcoal Records. It has proved to be your greatest success to date, yet did you find cutting loose from established record labels a frightening or liberating experience?

To be honest it wasn’t frightening at all. We’d been with major labels since we were 19 years old and know their ins and outs very well. Sam and I felt great to finally not be beholden to anyone and to be able to decide every facet of the business and music.

Did you enjoy working on Disney’s Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue?

I loved working on that movie. The executives and creative directors they sent over from LA were so professional and we recorded it all in Abbey Road in London which was a real pleasure. To be honest the greatest part of it was taking our twin boys to the cinema to see the movie and to see their faces when they heard their mammy talking and singing on the big screen. That was a moment I will never forget and since then I suppose we have all become big Disney fans.

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