Saturday 18th October
Lisa O’Neill is a brilliant oddball, queer as two left feet, a real original. She’s a very old soul living in the body of a young woman who looks like she should be sitting on a porch in the western frontier circa 1850, a shotgun cradled across her lap. She has a child’s curiosity and a cracked crone’s voice and she writes songs that are idiosyncratic and unschooled, sort of like Tom Waits meets Gillian Welch by way of PJ Harvey.
Lisa’s songs are like milking stools or three-wheeled cars or unicycles: they’re scuffed and unusual and they’re built to do specific jobs. Lisa does not sugar her truth. She’s the latest incarnation of a lineage of Irish mavericks that stretches from Damien Dempsey to Shane MacGowan all the way back to the Dubliners. The voice is sprite-like but ancient, the kind of voice that might sit as easily on a Carter Family recording as it would an avant-folk crank artifact. It’s a tender and expressive instrument, but possesses a midlands Irish flintiness. More to the point, it suits the subject matter and songs.
The Cavan-born singer’s second album Not the Same Cloth, released in Ireland in 2013, was an assured and fiercely independent piece of work: unrushed, naturalistic, straight-talking, like the musical version of a Flannery O’Connor story.
Neighbourhood familiar, guitarist John Lambert (Chequerboard) will playing music from his most recent offering The Unfolding which was included in the top 10 albums of 2013 by Jim Carrol of the Times who called it “Dazzling, full of mesmerizing guitar lines, dramatic strings and serene atmospherics.”
Accompanying Lambert on the day will be cellist Mary Barnecutt who will play with John along side a backdrop of visuals by Miranda Driscoll.
Ain’t Saint John
Ain’t Saint John is singer, songwriter and piano player John Mac Naeidhe, who grew up on Forth Mountain, looking over the Saltee Islands off the South Coast of Wexford. Growing up in such a beautiful place led to a love of music and the natural world is a running theme in his debut The Grow Yourself EP, released in May 2014. His songs are described as “a nice blend of americana and folk music with glimpses of Elliot Smith and Bill Callahan”(John Barker, 98FM).