The Grand Social
25th Feb 2013
A gig in Dublin is a big deal for me. In some ways the great Irish capital is responsible for my getting this whole singing-cello schtick off the ground in the first place. Back in 2007 I wrote a song called “Oh Mother” which I performed at an experimantal open mic night at The Spitz in London. Unbeknownst to me a wonderful singer called Natasha Loha (founding member of Dublin’s ground breaking Crash Ensemble) was in the audience and shopping for someone up for a bit of vocal freakery to join her on a particular project. So I took to the stage and started abusing my cello in an unusual but not entirely unentertaining fashion and singing the kind of blues that only a girl from Surbiton can. But I believe it may have been around the point that I started attacking my throat with my own bow that she thought “that’s my girl”. And so it came to pass that I started to work with Natasha rather a lot - something that has been wonderful and life enhancing for more reasons than I can mention here. But I knew I this woman was a kindred spirit early on as contrary to all these singers who bollock on about the state of their vocal phlegm on any particular day and quite emphatically “DON’T DO DAIRY”, I would regularly turn up to rehearse with Natasha to find she had prepared a full cheese board. Turns out complex contemporary music can only truly be absorbed when paired with a fine aged Gruyere.
But the real turning point was in the autumn of 2007 when she and Crash’s artistic director, Donnacha Dennehy, invited me to perform at Crash’s 10th birthday Music Marathon in Dublin. I had a ten minute slot, thus I would have to write another song. It embarasses me to admit how late in the day I actually finished writing “They’re Saying It’s Over”, but suffice to say there were some very frightened students in Dublin’s Trinity College practice rooms the evening before the show overhearing me work out the screaming section late into the night. In hindsight perhaps performing a song for the first time in front of a packed out audience and recorded by national radio was somewhat risky but the warmth and enthusiasm of the response I received that day really encouraged me to keep writing, keep exploring and continue on this rather unorthodox path. So thank you Dublin and it means the world to me to be able to come back on May 8th and show you what I did with your encouragement. And dairy produce.