Lisa Hannigan has had a very busy year. The Meath native has been touring incessantly since last October's release of her sophomore album Passenger. Hanningan was back in town last weekend for a sold out gig in the Iveagh Gardens, a show which she was since described as her favourite ever. Entertainment.ie's John Balfe caught up with her for a quick chat about that and more.
Q - First off, hearty congratulations to you and the rest of the band for the incredible show at the Iveagh Gardens last weekend. You must have been happy with how it all - weather included - came together?
A - Thank you! Yes I was very happy and hadn been watching the weather forecast very closely leading up to the gig. I knew it would have been ok either way but a bit of sun really helps the spirits. Song wise, I really wanted to have some special collaborations on the night and was very lucky that Cathy (Davey), James (Vincent McMorrow) and Paul (Noonan) jumped up and sang with the band and I.
Q - You put yourself through the 'Knots' rigmarole once again to close the show. You must be growing quite accustomed to the taste of paint by now! I assume you won't be ending every show on the tour like that?
A - No, that was a one show deal! Never again. It took a great deal of organisation as you can imagine but everyone played their part perfecty and it all worked out. I’m hoping to auction off the dress for charity before too long.
Q - You're playing the Liss Ard Festival in a little over a week. It has a great line-up, with Chromatics, Mick Flannery, Rhob Cunningham and a lot more all confirmed to appear. Is there anyone in particular that you're looking forward to seeing?
A - I'm really looking forward to seeing Nile Rodgers play with Chic as I read his autobiography earlier in the year and was fascinated by his story. It will be an incredible show too, so many hits!
Q - After Liss Ard you're embarking on a 15 date tour across the UK which will take you into October and towards the first birthday of 'Passenger'. Themes of travelling and the abstract concept of home are prevalent across the album. What have you learned about those ideas now that you've been on the road with the record for the best part of a year?
A - Well, I haven’t gotten tired of singing these tunes which is great! Because the songs are about the transience and nostalgic feelings that come from travelling they’re quite suited to being on the road.
Q - I interviewed you when 'Passenger' was released and you intimated that a lot of the ideas for the record were borne while touring with the first album. Has that happened again this time around when considering the eventual album #3? Are you one of those people able to write new material on the road?
Strangely enough, I haven’t so much this time around.. I’d better hurry up and get on with it though!
Q - Have you discovered any great music lately? If you had to hazard a guess, what would be the track you've listened to most over the past few months?
A - The record that has really stuck to me the last few months has been Tamer Animals by Other Lives. The title track is the song of the record for me, amazing tune.
Q - Have you any plans for the rest of the year once you conclude the UK tour, or just a well-earned rest?
A - I think I'll be out and about touring right up until the end of the year. I have a couple of weeks off in August which I’m really looking forward to. I’m going down the country and hopefully writing some songs.
Interview by John Balfe