PIAS Nites Lisa Hannigan
- PIAS Nites Lisa Hannigan
- Sat, July 21, 2012
- 16:00 h
- Iveagh Gardens - Dublin
- Lisa Hannigan
- Find Tickets
PIAS NITES DUBLIN.
The Iveagh Gardens,
Clonmel Street (off Harcourt St), Dublin 2.
Sat July 21st, Gates 4pm.
Following a series of spectacular happenings across Europe the first ever PIAS NITES event in Ireland will take place in the exquisite outdoor setting of The Iveagh Gardens in Dublin’s city centre. And who better to headline than our own Lisa Hannigan who tops a beautifully curated line-up of international artists from the PIAS family including Oklahoma’s brilliant Other Lives and a full line-up to be announced.
“Her voice is light and agile, her phrasing like exquisite plumage, and her folksy songs move with deceptive power, sailing on guitars, strings and Irish drama.” – Rolling Stone
Between writing her first album – 2008’s ‘Sea Sew’ – and its eagerly-awaited successor, Lisa Hannigan’s life has changed in oh-so-many ways. She penned her first songs in hope rather than the expectation that the wider world might find a use for them; knocked out at rehearsals in a freezing barn in the Irish countryside, the record was produced at a friend’s studio within a fortnight. Yet the self-released ‘Sea Sew’ went double platinum, was nominated for the Choice Music Prize and the Mercury Prize in the UK, and saw Hannigan play bewitching guest spots on the likes of Later…With Jools Holland, The Late Late Show, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and The Colbert Report.
For those of us gazing on from afar at her evolution as a performer, the first glimmer that there was something more to Lisa Hannigan than meets the eye came last year, when she appeared alongside Green Gartside, Teddy Thompson and Vashti Bunyan on a tour celebrating the music of Nick Drake. By common critical consensus, her transformation of Drake’s ‘Black-Eyed Dog’ as a macabre deathly jig stole the show. You couldn’t watch what she did to that song and not feel excited about what she was going to do next.
It doesn’t take long in the company of Lisa’s second album, ‘Passenger’, to hear that excitement repaid. Hannigan famously made her name as the beautiful, breathy accompaniment to Damien Rice, with whom she sang and toured for seven years. It is on this second solo album that you sense she’s truly found her own voice, and it is on aching, mournful form from the very opening song. ‘Passenger’ begins with ‘Home’, which was written shortly after Lisa read ‘Skippy Dies’ by Dublin author Paul Murray. “It’s set at a boys’ boarding school,” she explains, “and I think the atmosphere of wild uncertainty, urgency and frustration that consumes you at fourteen sort of grabbed hold of me.” Abetted by the demonic ivory-pounding of Gavin Glass and the breath-taking violin playing of Lucy Wilkins, the rain-lashed ruminations of the song portend a more undulating emotional journey than ‘Sea Sew’.
Much of ‘Passenger’ reflects the journeys Lisa has taken, particularly whilst touring her first record. “I chose ‘Passenger’ as the title after living with the finished songs as a whole,” she says. “Many of them were written while I was away from home or on the road, and the feeling of transience and nostalgia that this constant travelling evoked seemed to seep into every song.” The overarching theme of the record, then, is “those loves, heartbreaks, confusions and friendships that we take with us through life, over years and continents, enduring the passage of time.” This emotional landscape is captured quite literally on the album’s cover, which collates maps of the main places where the record was written (Dublin, Brooklyn, West Cork). As ever, it’s beautifully detailed effort from Hannigan, who perforated the images into paper and shot light through them, creating a stunning map of her music in the process.
And so it proves to be - from the foetal, otherworldly beauty of ‘Paper House’ to the string-led stillness of ‘Nowhere To Go’, ‘Passenger’ is an evocative and quietly poetic second album. Lyrically, the record appears to address relationships new and old, though the interweaving of truth with fiction always feels fundamentally honest. ‘Paper House’, for instance, recalls the idyll days of a former love, which cannot be revisited (“Oh you know what you are to me / and you know you will always be”). The sweetly-sung ‘Little Bird’, meanwhile, reveals itself to be a quietly steely defiance of an ex (“when the time comes, and the rights have been read / I think of you often, but for once I meant what I said”). Even in its ostensibly light moments, ‘Passenger’ is still riddled with anxiety. On ‘Safe Travels (Don’t Die)’, Lisa exhorts her other half, “don’t swallow bleach out on Sandymount Beach/I’m not sure I’d reach you in time my boy/Please don’t bungee jump or ignore a strange lump/ And a gasoline pump’s not a toy.”
One of the most thrilling moments on ‘Passenger’ is the track ‘Knots’, which seems to reflect not only Lisa’s travels over these last few years, but also her steady progress as a songwriter. An electrifying blend of Southern stomp, screeching strings and lyrical tales of a debauched, whiskey-soaked night, ‘Knots’ sounds like the kind of song Hannigan would only have the confidence to write now. And then there’s ‘O Sleep’ – a duet with Ray Lamontagne – which came to Lisa in a single rhapsodic burst. “I’d just heard Dr. Ralph Stanley’s version of ‘O Death’ on a Robert Plant documentary, and I was really taken by the idea of addressing something intangible. Around the same time, I went for a walk in Sandymount, Dublin and was singing into my phone. Then I stopped in a café and took one of their paper bags and wrote all the words on the back.”
She may have taken a somewhat circuitous route to the limelight, but ‘Passenger’ feels like Lisa Hannigan has finally come of age. That said, she still bears the same worry and nerves of someone unsure why people are suddenly so interested in her. In other important respects though, significant progress has been made. “I never used to feel comfortable calling myself a songwriter. I just used to think of myself as a singer. But now, I allow myself that luxury.” In time, Lisa Hannigan may even allow herself to believe she is a great songwriter. Listen to ‘Passenger’ and you’ll believe it too.
PIAS NITES :
Experience Music Differently... Since its birth nearly 30 years ago, PIAS has been creatively involved in the (r)evolution of a multitude of artists, record labels and music genres as they transition from niche to crossover. They strive to work with the most inventive and original artists possible and, without compromise, take their music to the widest possible audience. The primary interest of the people that work at PIAS has and will always been their passion for music and, whilst they’re a commercial company, they’re 100% independent and one of the leaders of what remains a great tradition of non-corporate label culture.
PIAS Nites is the natural extension of their culture. These Nites are built as high quality events – quality music performed in quality spaces resulting in quality memories. Of course these events promote the work of their artists and labels, but they’re primarily intended to be unique experiences in discovery, excitement and eclecticism. More than just a concert or mini festival, PIAS Nites are specifically designed to challenge all our senses and leave the music and party lover with a unique experience to remember. In 2012 PIAS Nites are the real-time experience of what PIAS stands for since 1982.
The Iveagh Gardens:
The Iveagh Gardens are among the finest and least known of Dublin's parks and gardens. They were designed by Ninian Niven, in 1865, as an intermediate design between the 'French Formal' and the 'English Landscape' styles. They demonstrated the artistic skills of the landscape Architect of the mi- 19th century and display a unique collection of landscape features which include Rustic Grotto's and Cascade, sunken formal panels of lawn with Fountain Centre Pieces, Wilderness, Woodlands, Maze, Rosarium, American Garden, Archery Grounds, Rockeries and Rooteries.
The conservation and restoration of the Gardens commenced in 1995 and to date most of the features have been restored, for example the Maze in Box hedging with a Sundial as a centre piece. The recently restored Cascade and exotic tree ferns all help to create a sense of wonder in the 'Secret Garden'. The pre 1860s rose varieties add an extra dimension to the Victorian Rosarium
Tickets on sale NOW priced €35 (including booking fee) from www.ticketmaster.ie and Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. 0818 719 300 - Republic of Ireland customers // 0844 277 4455 - Northern Ireland customers // 00353 1 456 9569 - International customers.