Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sing for your supper...

Heading to Cathy Davey in Dolan's tonight. Alright, I've seen her three or four times at this stage but each time have been more impressed. An interesting performer and even more interesting in conversation, as I found out in June when I interviewed her.

She revealed plenty about her relationship with EMI and how she used to suffer from crippling nerves - plus the fact that her first record, Something Ilk, was a "confused" and "embarrassed" debut.

"I was never prepared with the last album, I always felt so rubbish on stage. I think I had to go through it to not be worried this time around. There was an awful lot of the unknown about it, which freaked me out immensely.

I had just signed to a major label who wanted to put a lot of money into it, because they presumed they were going to get a lot of money out of it," she says matter-of-factly.

Fancy studios, producers, bands and money followed, but she got "red-light fever" in front of so many people.

"I didn't know that I couldn't perform under those circumstances until after I had done it. I am a very private performer and I can't record anything with people looking. The result for me is an album that always sounded embarrassed. Like everything I sang I sounded embarrassed because I was embarrassed to be there and being, well, judged I guess by everyone."

Undeterred, she recorded the second album, Tales of Silversleeve, at home in her house, and finally enlisted Liam Howe (of Sneaker Pimps fame) to set up his computer in her front room to help with the recordings.

"He wasn't like a producer, and that was really important, that I didn't have anyone there who had grand ideas about my music. I don't think I'll ever be able to record in a studio again, for me, the torture side of making an album, I don’t really want that. "

She says she is pleased with the result, that she didn’t want to make a "dirgy, angsty-sounding album, but a happy one".

She should be pleased with what is possibly one of the finest Irish albums of last year. Songs like Mr. Kill, Moving or Reuben will get you dancing; Sing for your Supper, or All of You will break your heart.

"Music goes on. I am not writing music for anyone and the day that I am is a day that would be pretty depressing to think that you are. "

Cathy Davey plays in Dolan's Warehouse tonight, doors at 9pm.

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