CIARAN LAVERY ANNOUNCES UK TOUR
Fri 16 Oct Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow Sat 17 Oct The Cluny 2, Newcastle Sun 18 Oct Brudenell Social Club, Leeds Mon 19 Oct Rescue Rooms, Nottingham Tue 20 Oct The Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham Wed 21 Oct The Islington, London Thu 22 Oct The Hope & Ruin, Brighton Fri 23 Oct The Louisiana, Bristol Sat 24 Oct Dempsey’s, Cardiff Sun 25 Oct Castle Hotel, Manchester
Scratch the skin of any Irish singer-songwriter these days and you discover a sensibility that aches with sadness just as it proffers hope. A cultural legacy, maybe – the refusal to be overwhelmed by suffering, the invocation of a blessing among the despair. You might even call it the deep soul impulse. Fionn Regan, Damien Rice and James Vincent McMorrow are some of those at the vanguard of this movement. Now add to that the name of Ciaran Lavery.
A native of Aghagallon in County Antrim, Lavery has been mapping the diverse trajectory of the human heart since his debut album, Not Nearly Dark, in 2013. He writes the kind of universal truths about love, loss and redemption that resonate with people: lots of people. After all, more than twenty two million listeners on Spotify can’t be wrong. The song ‘Shame’has had over 9 million plays alone, while ‘Left For America’, from last year’s critically lauded EP, Kosher, is at around 6 million and counting.
Lavery sings from the inside out in a voice that augments the candour of his words over predominantly acoustic templates channelling the sonic spirit of America. Think Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and, however incongruous the assimilation of influences, hip hop. Small wonder that Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody has used superlatives such as “stunning” and “magical” to describe him.
He cut his teeth in his teens on the local music scene as frontman of seven-piece alt-folk outfit Captain Kennedy.
“We had many great times and were lucky enough to meet a lot of great people and bands during our six-year trip” Lavery recalls fondly.
When the band split up, he found the transition to solo artist, “a bit strange, but I’ve grown into it over time. It suits my introverted style as a person.”
Lavery credits Aghagallon with informing the approach to his craft.
“You could literally drive through it in thirty seconds, but it’s jam packed full of characters and real, genuine people. It’s the type of place where, if you’re being an idiot, someone will tell you. That’s just how the environment was. I guess that sort of honesty comes out in my music.”
It’s an openness that Lavery himself finds therapeutic, not least because in revealing his inner emotions, he is concomitantly releasing them.
“Once I’ve let someone in to hear them, they aren’t my songs any more. People come up to me and say the strangest things like, ‘This song meant a lot to me’, or they tell me what they think the song is about. And maybe it’s not, but their version is usually better than mine, so I usually agree with them.”
“It’s the sound of a songwriter who is very very in touch with his own ability and comfortable in his own skin.” – Zane Lowe, BBC Radio 1
“Lavery has the kind of voice that draws you in to the song and the emotional honesty of the music” – Huffington Post
“Lavery’s songwriting is nothing short of remarkable. His most recent EP is his best yet, bursting with can’t-be-faked honesty and emotion” – Hot Press
“strong, crafted, hugely engaging songwriting” – Jim Carroll, Irish Times
“One To Watch” – Irish Independent
“it remains a fact: Lavery is very easily in the top three greatest songsmiths in the country, if not the most naturally-gifted Northern Irish voices of his generation” – The Thin Air