From Best New Group “The Livies” at Live Ireland Music Awards 2016, Conor from Connla answers some quick questions ahead of the bands gig at Summerhall this evening.
What does Connla have planned for 2017?
We are fortunate enough to have a very busy end to 2017. We have several trips to mainland Europe planned, including France, Belgium and Italy. We also have some festivals organised for the UK and Ireland, before heading to the USA and Canada from the end of July to mid-September, where we will play at some of the largest Irish festivals and folk festivals such as Dublin Ohio and Summer Folk in Canada. On our return, we will be in the studio recording album number two. To finish 2017, we will complete a 4-week tour of Austria, Switzerland and Belgium.
Which other performers/musicians have been your main influences?
We have mostly come from different musical backgrounds, so our inspirations have all come from different genres. As a piper/whistle player Conor’s main influences would be John McSherry, Mike McGoldrick and, of course, Jarlath Henderson whom he learnt from for many years at home in Armagh. Emer’s main influences as a harpist include Scottish harpist Catriona MacKay and Laoise Kelly. Ciaran’s main influences on the flute would be Mike McGoldrick and Brian Finegan. Paul grew up playing mostly rock and jazz, so his influences include bands like Pink Floyd and musicians such as George Benson. Ciara grew up singing classically, but her main influence and inspiration comes from Eddi Reader.
What inspires you when writing or singing?
We get inspired by the places we visit, the people we meet and sometimes stories that have happened to us in the past.
Which bands or artists from the contemporary Trad music scene, in Scotland or elsewhere, do you rate most?
It’s hard to say to be honest because there is such an amazing array of talent from Scotland and all over the trad scene. We collectively all love Rura, Jarlath Henderson and Ross Ainslie from the Scottish scene, they’re always the first albums on in the car on a tour! Goes without saying for us too but again, a lot of love for Mike McGoldrick and John McSherry.
Have you played TradFest before?
This is our first time at the Tradfest so we are delighted to make our debut!
Are there any other acts on the programme you’d recommend seeing?
We have seen Rura a good few times and they always put on a great show. I’m sure everyone at TradFest would be great, so hopefully as many people show up to all the concerts!
What does Tradition mean to you?
Tradition is very important to us. We know where our traditions lie and we feel like they shine through when we play, alongside us adding a modern edge. It’s important to look back and make sure to take tradition forward to the next generation.
Connla are on Fri 28 April, 8.30pm, Summerhall
(£10 on the Door)