Lisa O’Neill is curating a special one off event of storytelling through, music, song and poetry this Friday in Luncheonette, the café on the grounds of NCAD.

Special guests will include John Sheahan (The Dubliners), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (The Frames), Radie Peat (Lankum) and Ann Enright.

All proceeds from this evening will go to the Mairead Mc Wellness fund. Mairead is a 33 year old mother from Roscommon recovering from stage 4 cancer with the help of expensive maintenance treatment in Istanbul.

The event takes place in the intimate setting of the on Friday November 10th at 7pm.

Limited tickets are available from €25+ booking fee on Eventbrite.

Posted on November 8th, 2017

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Donal Dineen and Myles O’Reilly’s This Ain’t No Disco online music show has returned for a third episode and the 50 minute show features Brigid Mae Power, Rusangano Family, Lankum, Peter Broderick, Lisa O’Neill & RSAG. Peat and Lisa O’Neill duet on Irish traditional singer Margaret Barry’s song Factory Girl.

Press play up top.
First episode.

Villagers & Nico Muhly – ‘Fortunate Child’

Posted on July 31st, 2017

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Lisa O’Neill’s new album Pothole In The Sky (stream), her third finds the Cavan singer-songwriter is filled with evocative Irish folk music.

‘Gormlaith’s Grieving’ is a song inspired by Brian Boru’s wife Gormlaith, who was apparently responsible for the Battle Of Clontarf due to her ability to incite jealousy in men. “I’m bad luck Brian, It’s dangerous lying beside me,” Lisa sings from Gormlaith’s perspective. That incitement was probably exaggerated but is worthy exploration for a song.

The video by Jamie Goldrick says:

“Without resorting to re-enactments, how can you visually tell the story of a woman from 1000 years? I was approached by Lisa O’Neill and Grace Corry to help shoot this video. Lisa and Grace already had a strong idea of Gormlaith emerging from the grave. To this foundation, we added a forest, a water and a fire scene. The inclusion of these scenes helped us to signify the emotions that Gormlaith feels in the song.

Lisa O’Neill live gigs

Thurs May 19th – The Set Theatre, Kilkenny
Fri May 20th – Whelans, Dublin
Sat May 21st – Seamus Ennis Arts Centre
Thurs June 9th – Spirit Store, Dundalk
Fri June 10th –Townhall, Cavan
Sat June 11th – Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal
Friday June 24th – DeBarras, Clonakilty. Co. Cork
Saturday June 25th – Upstairs @ Dolans, Limerick
Saturday July 2nd – Castlepalooza Festival, Tullamore

Posted on May 18th, 2016

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Starboard Home is a new album that features new songs inspired by Dublin Port, Dublin City and the River Liffey from the likes of Paul Noonan, James Vincent McMorrow, Cathy Davey, Duke Special, Gemma Hayes, Jape, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Lisa O’Neill, Declan O’Rourke, John Sheahan (The Dubliners) and Paul Cleary (The Blades). It was recorded in February at Sun Studios with the chosen artists.

Curated and produced by Bell X1’s Paul Noonan and The National Concert Hall’s Gary Sheehan, Starboard Home was commissioned by Dublin Port as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. It will be released on June 17th preceding two concerts in the National Concert Hall on June 22nd and 23rd featuring performances of the songs.

Starboard Home tracklisting:

1 Paul Noonan – Steel Ballet
2 Richard Egan – The Liffey Knew
3 Gemma Hayes – Caught In The Rapids
4 Colm Mac Con Iomaire – From The Mountain To The Sea
5 Paul Cleary – Kingfisher Blue
6 James Vincent McMorrow – Down In The Diving Bell
7 Declan O’Rourke – Colossus
8 Duke Special – Button Men
9 Cathy Davey – What Else
10 Lisa O’Neill – Rock The Machine
11 John Sheahan – Liffeysong

‘The Liffey Knew’ by Richard Egan (Jape) will be released on Friday April 29th. as the album’s pre-order track. The second concert on June 23rd will also go on sale on Friday at 10am. Limited tickets are available for the first date on June 22nd.

Starboard home

Posted on April 25th, 2016

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Let it be known that development that is worthwhile and sustainable doesn’t happen overnight. The 10,000-hour idea is one that holds true for creativity in many ways.

Most artists work hard at their craft and get to where they are by putting an indeterminable amount of hours in, drawing from their life experiences and regrouping. They understand themselves and put that into their work too.

The Cavan singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill is one such talent that proves the idea. Her second album, 2013’s Same Cloth Or Not was a leap forward for her craft, the rough edges gilded in a way that makes things sparkle in the right way.

For album three, that rural twang in her voice is very much a part of her appeal and embraced fully.

Forgoing the option to draw from a rich cast of musicians, O’Neill plays it cool. The music on Pothole In The Sky rarely step out behind her, despite her band Mossy Nolan, Emma Smith, Joseph Doyle and Stina Sanstrom augmented by Seamus Fogarty, Bud O’Neill, Glen Hansard, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, producer David Odlum and curiously, “Pat The Wobbly Garda”.

“A dark swirling storm” it is called. Dusty, spacious Americana-inflected country folk I’d call it. Lurking yet supporting. Listening and heightening the tension and emotion. Like on ‘Nasty’ where O’Neill puts a bad relationship in plain language – “and he’s a nasty man / and he’s my man / and he’s nice to me.”

On ‘Red Geansaí’ a night of romance gives way to reality and they don’t match up (“but you didn’t fit the stars in the sky / or the picture in my mind’s eye”).

The perspective of a modern woman is given over to one of the past, specifically, Gormflaith, one of Brian Boru’s wives on ‘Gormlaith’s Grieving’.

Having found her path, O’Neill has lived and understood and put life back in songs for others to cherish. That’s progress.

Preorder the album on iTunes.

Pothole In The Sky is out Friday. Lisa O’Neill is doing an instore in Tower Records, Dawson Street at 6pm that day.

Lisa O’Neill Tour dates

Sun May 1st – Feile na Bealtaine, St. James Church, Dingle
Fri May 13th – Coughlans Cork
Sat May 14th– Coughlans Cork
Sun May 15 – Connollys of Leap, Co. Cork
Thurs May 19th – The Set Theatre, Kilkenny
Fri May 20th – Whelans, Dublin
Thurs June 9th – Spirit Store, Dundalk
Fri June 10th – Townhall, Cavan
Sat June 11th – Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal
Friday June 24th – DeBarras, Clonakilty. Co. Cork
Saturday June 25th – Upstairs @ Dolans, Limerick

Posted on April 20th, 2016

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Mary Hickson who recently finished her tenure at Cork Opera House has moved on to pastures new. Last year’s Cork city festival Sounds From A Safe Harbour was her first success and now as director of the Clonmel Junction Festival, she’s giving the festival, in its 16th year, a shot in the arm.

A bunch of artists have been announced for the festival which incorporates Hickson’s previous Mitchelstown Cave concerts series (200 ft below ground) in its programme.

The festival takes place from July 4th to 10th this year and  so far, the artists announced are:

  • The Unthanks (UK)
  • Lisa Hannigan
  • Hauschka (DE)
  • The Lost Brothers
  • Rozi Plain (UK)
  • Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh
  • JFDR (Pascal Pinon & Samaris) (IS)
  • Lisa O’Neill
  • Twin Headed Wolf
  • August Wells
  • Ye Vagabonds
  • Booka Brass Band
  • Talos

The ‘Cave’ gig programme across  three nights include  pairings August Wells & Ye Vagabonds (July 8); Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh & Twin Headed Wolf (July 9); and from Iceland JFDR (Pascal Pinon & Samaris) & Talos (July 10).

Tickets and info for the various shows are on sale now.

Posted on April 19th, 2016

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The talented Cavan singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill has made a welcome return with news of her third album, and followup to the 2013 Same Cloth Or Not album.

‘Pothole In The Sky’, the title track is a pleasing reintroduction to her storytelling sound. “On my way to heaven, I hit a pothole in the sky,” she sings.

Mossy Nolan, Emma Smith, Joseph Doyle and Seamus Fogarty play on the album, which was recorded and produced in Black Box studios in France by David Odlum. It gets a release on April 22nd on Plateau. Tour dates, tracklisting and artwork below.

O’Neill shared this quote:

“My viewing point is from the planet earth and my perspective is influenced by my environment and emotional experiences. My perceptions are as individual, debatable, ever-changing and as unimportant as anyone’s. The more I know, the smaller I feel, the smaller I feel the more I wonder, the more I wonder, the more I ask and the more I learn the more I’m moved. I’m young and my life is tiny in the greater scale of things. If a star blinked, it would miss me, yet I can say ‘stars, you’ve been lovely to watch for so long’”.

Lisa is announcing a string of headline nationwide shows throughout May and June in support of the new album, with a Dublin show in Whelans on Friay 20th May.

Lisa O’Neill Tour dates

Sun May 1st – Feile na Bealtaine, St. James Church, Dingle
Fri May 13th – Coughlans Cork
Sat May 14th– Coughlans Cork
Sun May 15 – Connollys of Leap, Co. Cork
Thurs May 19th – The Set Theatre, Kilkenny
Fri May 20th – Whelans, Dublin
Thurs June 9th – Spirit Store, Dundalk
Fri June 10th – Townhall, Cavan
Sat June 11th – Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal
Friday June 24th – DeBarras, Clonakilty. Co. Cork
Saturday June 25th – Upstairs @ Dolans, Limerick

Lisa O’Neill Pothole In The Sky Track list

1. Pothole In The Sky
2. Red Geansaí
3. Planets
4. To Know About The Divil
5. Nasty
6. Seven Sisters
7. Gormlaith’s Grieving
8. Black Sheep
9. The Banjo Spell
10. The Hunt

Posted on March 16th, 2016

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The Mitchelstown Cave gigs are always a unique and special experience. Who wouldn’t want to go to a gig 200 feet underground unless you’re an extreme claustrophobic? It’s actually quite calming.

Cork Opera House announced the three gigs taking place and they are on sale now but very limited. They are:

Line Up:

Friday 17th July – David Kitt and Margie Jean Lewis
Saturday 18th July – Lisa O’Neill and Slows Skies
Sunday 19th July – This is the Kit and Jack O’Rourke

Tickets are on sale from the above links from €35 each.

Posted on June 5th, 2015

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Oxfam on Francis Street will host a takeover by three of the curators reprising their Oxjam at Electric Picnic roles this weekend. Friday.Homebeat, Abner Brown and State.ie will host Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively with the lineup featuring Elephant, Floor Staff, Let’s Set Sail & Ye Vagabonds (Friday); Soldiers Can’t Dance, Jemson Green, We went Down (Saturday); Booka Brass Band, Rocstrong, Come On Live Long and Amidships (Sunday).

Tickets are €6 a night or €12 for a weekend. BYOB too. Oxjam started in 2006 and has raised over £2 million. You can donate here.

Facebook event.


Beardyman plays Opium Rooms on Saturday November 8th. Tickets Earlybird €15 and general prices are €20 from www.tickets.ie & Wav tickets. He also plays Cypress Avenue, Cork the night before.


Hidden Agenda are bringing Erol Alkan over along with Ghost Culture to Opium Rooms on Saturday October 25th for a late show. Tickets €10 plus fees on sale from RA.


U:mack are bringing the idiosyncratic rock band Liars to Dublin for a Button Factory show on Bank Holiday Sunday October 26th. Tickets are €18 from www.tickets.ie/umack.


More for Halloween?

Abstract presents a Groove Armada DJ set at Opium Rooms, Dublin on Friday October 31st, 2014. Tickets from €20 via Resident Advisor + Fatsoma.


Dub legend Mad Professor has an Irish tour coming up in late November. The dates are Wednesday 26th November in Cyprus Avenue, Cork (Tickets €17/20); Thursday 27th November in Monroes Live, Galway (Tickets €17/20); Friday 28th November in Button Factory, Dublin (€17/€20). Support from Mama Kasbah on all dates.


Harmonic have booked the lead singer of The Walkmen, Hamilton Leithauser on Monday November 10th at The Sugar Club, Dublin. Tickets €22 plus fee from Ticketmaster.ie.


Is there any chance Mark Kozelek’s stupid beef with War On Drugs won’t define his year? Maybe by Tuesday December 9th, when Sun Kil Moon play Button Factory with emphasis on the acclaimed album Benji. Tickets are €24.50 plus fees on sale tomorrow from Ticketmaster.


Christmas gigs are starting to roll in…

Lisa O’Neill plays two Christmas gigs: at Triskel Christchurch, Cork, December 13th and Dublin Unitarian Church, December 19th. Tickets are €15 on sale from Thursday 9am from Ticketmaster.


Little Green Cars have a Christmas tour to close out their two-year touring schedule around their successful debut. The dates announced are are a big standing Dublin show followed by piano / acoustic tour of theatres.

December 14 – Vicar Street, Dublin (€22 on sale Thursday at 9am from Ticketmaster)
Dec 15th Town Hall Theatre, Galway (seated show)
Dec 17th Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge (seated show)
Dec 19th Glór, Ennis (seated show)
Dec 20th The Set Theatre, Kilkenny (seated show)
Dec 22nd The Everyman Theatre, Cork (seated show)
Dec 23rd Theatre Royal, Waterford (seated show)
Dec 28th The Pavilion Theatre, DLR (seated show)

Posted on October 13th, 2014

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Saturday picks | Sunday picks | Stage Times | Spotify playlist


Forbidden Fruit is upon us. As requested by some, here are my 10 tips for bands to see to get the most out of your weekend in Kilmainham. Plus, stage times and a Spotify playlist. Enjoy your weekend and check the gig guide for the weekend’s FF afterparty details.


Saturday

1. Flying Lotus 3D Show / Thundercat & Captain Murphy

The Undergrowth Stage: 9:15pm – 10:45pm / 7:45pm – 8:45pm
Flying-Lotus-AMOA-Twitter-FEED-Topete-6

Stephen Ellison’s music has always had a visual imaginistic quality to it. His jazz-inflected electronic beats conjure up shapes and forms on its own so for him to push it forward into an actual A/V show makes sense. Forbidden Fruit will be the Irish debut of the 3D Show, which is pretty well explained in the video below.

As for Captain Murphy, Flying Lotus’ alter-ego showed he can rap too, as heard on 2012 mixtape Duality, a cult-leader pitched-down collection of Quasimoto-style hip-hop. He’ll be joined on stage by his good friend Thundercat, presumably in his role as a bassist first and foremost rather than a singer or solo performer.


2. Lisa O’Neill

Original Stage, 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Lisa O Neill acoustic

One of the most original, idiosyncratic and Irish voices we have in music at the moment, it’s good to see O’Neill get such a prominent slot at an Irish festival. Her second album Same Cloth Or Not, was filled with the Cavan lady’s personality and her colloquial mannerisms. Her folk voice is scrappy yet lilting, tinny yet commanding; that’s to say it’s not for everyone. As a performer though, O’Neill is also commanding, and very funny; she knows how to spin a story or two.


3. Fuck Buttons

The Undergrowth Stage, 6:15pm – 7:15pm
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Brutal in its mechanism and industrial in its rhythms, Slow Focus, the third album from Bristol duo Andrew Hung and Benjamin Power was as uncompromising as the pair have got. Previous albums relied on an ambient strain of repetitive euphoria that saw that track ‘Olympians’, wisely enough, used in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012. In a live context, they combine all of that in a barrage of low and high frequencies that leaves you elated and bruised.


4. And So I Watch You From Afar

Original Stage, 6pm – 7pm
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Surely you’ve seen ASIWYFA live by now? They’ve been on constant tour since they began that it had to happen. So you’ll know you’ll be at this to witness a set from one of the best live bands in any country – the Belfast lads rip through the instrumental rock rulebook with a fervour that is only matched by their latest album’s sunny uplift – perfect for a festival so.


5. Girls Names

The Undergrowth Stage, 9.45pm – 10.45pm
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Also from Belfast, Girls Names’ took a step towards a bolder, more gratifying sound on their album The New Life last year eschewing the jangly surf-rock of previous releases for a more distinctive and thematically unified sonic palette of post-punk, kraut and new wave. It means the band’s live set is a head-nodding mood-piece of some of the most evocative guitar sounds drawn from the late ’70s/early ’80s period of rock music.


Saturday picks | Sunday picks | Stage Times | Spotify playlist


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Posted on May 28th, 2014

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Dublin City Council today announced details of a city-wide festival “celebrating the eclectic and all encompassing nature of music made and performed in Dublin today”.

MusicTown is intended to be an an annual showcase of all genres of music being played in Dublin, and the first will take place in April 2015.

According to a press release:

MusicTown’s vision is to amplify the many voices of Dublin, from the celebrated to those we have yet to discover, across all genres, bringing people together to be surprised and inspired by the city and its music.

The festival will be launched with a free concert programmed by Leagues O’Toole taking place in the Mansion House on Sunday April 13th featuring Lisa O’Neill, Bell X1, Clu, RIAM Youth Quartet, classical pianist Fionnuala Moynihan, Donal Lunny and Paddy Glackin while Our Lady’s Choral Society will treat the audience to music from Handel’s Messiah and other works conducted by Proinnsías Ó’Duinn, serendipitous on the anniversary date of the first performance on Dublin’s Fishamble Street in 1742. The night will be hosted by John Kelly. The concert is free but there are a limited number of tickets are available on Musictown.ie.

The Lord Mayor, Oisín Quínn said “MusicTown 2015 is an event for everyone. Dublin is a musical capital, from jazz to trad, classical to hip-hop and all stops in between. Alongside our great literary tradition are the songs, the compositions and the musicians that make Dublin culturally vibrant and artistically significant. For one week each year Dublin City Council will showcase the vibrancy and range of all of Dublin’s music.”

Arts Officer Ray Yeates had this to say: “We are excited to open different kinds of venues to all genres of music and also at the prospect of developing new audiences and inviting collaborations between all music genres.”

MusicTown steering committee comprises:

Sinead Connolly, Arts Officer; Neva Elliot, CEO of Crash Ensemble; Gerard Flanagan, Head of Music in CDVEC Music Centre, Kylemore College; Gerry Godley, Artistic Director, Improvised Music Company & Broadcaster; George Higgs, Composer; Gay McKeon CEO, Na Píobairí Uilleann; Karina Lundström, Director Lundström Arts Management; Matthew Nolan, Artistic Director, Note Productions; Ray Yeats, City Arts Officer.

Posted on April 3rd, 2014

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Other Voices returns to Dingle in December for its 12th season in total in the Kerry town and this year’s first names to play include Mogwai, David Gray and Lisa O’Neill. It’ll take place on December 6th, 7th & 8th and actor Aidan Gillen will host the series.

As has been custom, Other Voices will be accepting submissions for the IMRO Other Room from Irish artists. To enter, artists of all genres to submit a YouTube link to one video (it can be a video or a still image with audio) or link to audio only recording for consideration on the Other Voices site until Wednesday November 20th (link appears to be not public just yet).

Tickets for the shows will be given out in various ways.

Other Voices is supported by RTÉ, Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, IMRO and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Posted on November 12th, 2013

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Listen to songs from Lisa O’Neill’s 2009 debut long player Has an Albumthere’s another) and you can hear just how far the singer-songwriter has come on second album Same Cloth Not. The first album was characterised by whimsical cute folk songs conveyed by an idiosyncratic voice that was an acquired taste, the type of voice like Angel Olsen or Joanna Newsom which provokes an immediate response.

Same Cloth Not is a much more mature album, from a person who is now a better songwriter. The Cavan musician sings with a greater conviction and authority this time around. Her voice is softer, gentler, more controlled and commanding.

To be a good songwriter is to be a good storyteller. What was present on Has an Album, a way with lyrics, a cheeky disposition, a unique voice and a genuine storytelling spirit is very much alive here too; just better distilled.

On ‘No Train To Cavan’, O’Neill paints a picture of a rural town on the border through its past and through its present. Nostalgic tales of cross-border smuggling including a happy-go-lucky man with a wheelbarrow who claims to be smuggling wheelbarrows are juxtaposed with the present place – there’s no train to this isolated town these days.

‘Apiana’ gives an anthropomorphic quality to a self-accompanying 100 year-old piano: “many secrets tumble down with me”, “I am not shelf, I think for myself / I need to be played to stay alive.”

There’s a delightful colloquialism in her voice. It can be heard with a guttural gusto on ‘Coward’s Corner’ – “sing for your supper, much more than bread and butter now,” the soft pronunciation on ‘Neille’s Song’, the way she calls herself “a slip of a girl” on the title track or on ‘England Has My Man’ when she sings “I’m feeling bold with ideas of us,” you can also hear the “bould” coming out in her voice.

The album was recorded in a rented cottage in Wicklow with David Kitt on production and Karl Odlum engineering along with Lisa’s band Stina Sandstrom on vocals and Mossy Nolan on bouzouki.

There’s an understated touch to the instrumentation throughout and there’s real beauty in the strings and guitar of ‘Cowards Corner’, the elevated outro of ‘Come Sit Sing’, the meandering tinkle of the sweet love song ‘Speed Boat’ or the trad-leaning ‘Same Cloth Or Not’. Even when songs build like on the beautiful ‘Come Sit Sing’, there’s a gentle lumber to proceedings despite the meleé rising.

O’Neill is rightly the focus on Same Cloth Or Not. The last two songs on the record leave a lasting impression. ‘Darkest Winter’ with its beautiful almost-yodel melody and lines like “so if you’re coming baby, you’re cutting it fine,” are followed by the album’s last track ‘Dreaming’, an affecting culmination of an album from a singer-songwriter who has really found her voice and a way to naturally convey her distinct personality.

Posted on November 8th, 2013

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