His most recent album 'Let Bad In' picked up plaudits from various media sources and was awarded the Northern Ireland Music Prize in 2016 - and now Ciaran Lavery is setting his sights in a southerly direction.

The Antrim man has a number of Irish dates lined up for April, including Whelan's on April 19th, and recently released his new single '13'.

Ahead of his tour, we had a chat about music and the important things in life as he answered entertainment.ie's Big Questionnaire. 

What’s the music that you listened to growing up, that you still listen to today?
Hip-hop and an occasional meandering into shitty pop punk.


When did you first realise you wanted a career in music?
When I was a child I wanted to be a stripper (of wallpaper) and my parents would let me declare this in front of rooms of relatives; innocence defined. It didn’t work out, so music seemed like the next best thing


In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.
Mild existential crisis

How do you wind down after a gig?
I look at pictures of my dog Hugo; he breaks my heart.

What’s the one song you wish you’d written or recorded first?
Take it With Me by Tom Waits. 

What song of yours are you most proud of?
Shame is a song that seems to connect with a lot of people, I was completely unaware at the time but I’m grateful for how many people it has drawn to my music. Funny, I wrote it in 10 minutes before I had to play a show and didn’t think twice.

What’s your favourite venue to perform in?
Schon Schön in Mainz.

Your best and worst gig so far?
I played a lovely show in Donegal one time, and right after, a guy told me how much he enjoyed the show - but that his wife wanted me to know that I wasn’t as funny anymore, and why was that? Was it my age? It holds the title of both best & worst gig.

Whose career do you envy, and why?
Roddy Doyle - he’s written some massively influential novels and still I know little of his personal life; he strikes the balance perfectly.

Vinyl or digital downloads?
Vinyl when I’m at home, digital when I’m on the move.

Give your thoughts on Spotify in three words.
Streaming service messiah.

You can only have three albums on your phone/in your house at any one time - what three would you pick for today?
Yes Lawd - Anderson.Paak
A Love Supreme - John Coltrane
All is Well - Sam Amidon

Name one piece of music memorabilia that you wish you owned.
Anything from Elvis

Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear / read / see.
Mule Variations - Tom Waits
Jesus’ Son - Denis Johnson
The Blues Brothers

Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life.
Director - Richard Ayoade
Actor - Paddy Considine

You’re ordering take-away, what do you get?
Ice cream

You’ve been given €100,000 to spend, but only 1 hour to spend it. What do you buy?
Easy. I jump online & donate it directly to the wonderful Welcome Organisation charity that support the homeless community

Describe your perfect day off.
Myself, my dog, a beach, dog treats.

Tell us, in one sentence, why we should come to your gig.
I’ll break your heart.


Ciaran Lavery plays Whelan's on April 19th; tickets are on sale now from usual outlets.