Galway gig for Aussie on the rise after decade of work

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Off the back of the release of his debut album Spiral Bound, Melbourne singer/songwriter Ernest Aines received a nomination for the Australian Folk Artist of the Year Award 2023. But it had been a long time coming. The tracklist on Ernest’s record spans a decade of writing, and the variation in style across its ten songs is testament to his development as an artist in that period.

Four months on from the album’s launch, Ernest has travelled across the world to embark on his first Irish tour. And on Saturday February 3, for its Galway leg, he plays Monroe’s Tavern alongside Kerry native and much lauded multi-instrumentalist Lorraine Nash.

Ernest spent the first few days of his stay in Ireland at Irish folk conference Showing Roots in Dundalk.

“It’s a place I’ve wanted to visit since I can remember,” he says of coming to the country.

“The only tie I have is a kind of unusual one. My Grandad was in the Merchant Navy – he was born in England and his ship got shot at by the Japanese back in World War II. So, he had to come and get his ship repaired in Belfast. That’s the only connection I know of, albeit a fairly convoluted one.

“Apart from that, I’ve been studying in a book I’ve been reading called The White Goddess,” Ernest continues.

“[It’s on] the history of limericks and poetry and bards and minstrels – that’s given me a lot of excitement to come here to learn more about the history of the spoken arts and written arts. There’s a lot of mythology and folklore that I really draw inspiration from.

“I’ve written a couple of Celtic-inspired tunes in my life, so I’ve been presenting them at this conference in Dundalk to talent bookers for festivals and I’ve trialled them in front of Irish people and have been given the nod of approval. That’s been really validating.”

Pictured: Galway gig…Melbourne singer/songwriter Ernest Aines. Photo: Lachlan Ford


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