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Hometown gig comes ahead of eagerly awaited new album

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

One of the most memorable Galway albums of the last few years is Niamh Regan’s Hemet, a luscious and atmospheric debut that drew Choice Prize and RTÉ Folk Award nominations, as well as multiple appearances on Other Voices.

Four years on, the singer-songwriter is set to release a follow-up record, much of which can be heard on an upcoming national tour that features some of the country’s most iconic, intimate venues.

On Friday, February 2, Niamh plays a homecoming show in An Taibhdhearc. The tour will present her with opportunities to fill headline slots after a period of supporting major artists like CMAT, Sorcha Richardson and John Grant.

“It’s always so nice to play a home gig,” Niamh says. “You have more fear around home gigs because chances are there’ll be more family that might come to it! But I’m really excited. I’ve never played in An Taibhdhearc so it should be lovely. I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s been a while since I’ve done shows under my name,” she continues.

“I’ve been doing so many support bits that it’s exciting to get out and start the new year like this. I’ve never played in Leitrim for example, in that venue The Dock, so it’s nice to play different counties. I mightn’t have any people who know me in Leitrim, so you have to start somewhere.

“I’ve played Prim’s [Bookshop in Kinsale] before and I love it. I love those kind of intimate ones – you never know how the show is going to go and the songs even seem different in a smaller venue.”

In September, Niamh was an artist in residence at Sounds from a Safe Harbour in Cork. The biennial festival involves artists from a variety of fields and encourages collaboration without forcing it.

It is curated by Cillian Murphy, Enda Walsh, Mary Hickson and Bryce and Aaron Dessner of The National. Niamh’s group featured Ye Vagabonds, Talos and Icelandic composer Olafur Arnalds.

“I went in not knowing really what the format would be myself,” she explains.

Pictured:  Niamh Regan…hometown gig ahead of new album. Photo: Katya.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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