Sinéad O’Brien


Wednesday 1st April 2020

Photo by Zac Mahrouche

Name, where are you from?
Sinéad O’Brien from Limerick, Ireland.

Describe your style in three words?
Suit, Boots, Diamonds.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
I came across Arcade Fire doing a secret set at primavera on an outdoor 360 degrees boxing ring stage in 2017. It was so distinctive and stands apart from anything else because it had this uncertain air. The sun was setting really golden and there was this sea of people surrounding the stage on all sides, gathered all together by chance. I was with a big group of my friends from home. The gig was just about the moment, we were all so present. It was just a celebration which rose to an unbelievable height, really frenzied. A lot of gigs are about angst or ‘the fight’, this was so generous and giving, groups of friends celebrating their own private causes. The energy stayed with everyone for days. I really admire this kind of approach and what the band did with this gig. I've never experienced anything like it!

If you could be on the line up with any two artists in history?
The Fall and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
The Beat Generation: Frank O’Hara, Ginsberg, Kerouac, Burroughs… Poetry and writings of this subculture prompted me to question traditional narrative and structure, to seek out different forms for my content.
Punk: I love the music and attitude that arose from Punk culture and its offshoots. Both sonically and stylistically the whole subversion of classical and traditional thinking in New York and London triggered one of the most ‘alive’ and energetic cultural movements… Sonic Youth, Patti Smith, Television, The Velvet Underground, Richard Hell, Talking Heads The list goes on and almost takes us up to current day. The effects are still being felt and maybe even coming to prominence again with the current social and political conditions. It’s a time of massive change.

Of all the venues you’ve been to or played, which is your favourite?
L’Elysee Montmartre in Paris. We performed there on Halloween night supporting POND as part of their European tour. It’s a ballroom/theatrical venue which was built in the 1800s and has such an incredible history. The ‘Can-can’ was originally performed there! Artists like David Bowie, Patti Smith and Toulouse-Lautrec have been through the doors.  It’s a very special kind of place which seems to absorb the atmosphere of every happening it hosts.

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