Lisa Hannigan’s welcome return to Limerick

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

THE BEGUILING Lisa Hannigan returns to Limerick this Thursday for a gig that will see her showcase new material from her forthcoming and much anticipated second album.

THE BEGUILING Lisa Hannigan returns to Limerick this Thursday for a gig that will see her showcase new material from her forthcoming and much anticipated second album.

The singer, hugely popular in these parts, has been absent from Irish music circles for some time, and returns to stages this week, touring up and down the country for the summer, with the excellent John Smith supporting, in “a slightly more grown up version of her summer holidays”, as she says herself.

“I’ve spent the last year travelling about and writing songs for my second record. During that time I met Joe Henry and from that moment I knew he was the man to help me make the record that was in my head,” Lisa told us recently.

“I found a wonderful converted farmhouse studio in the middle of Snowdonia national park in Wales and we all headed over for a week. Gavin Glass played piano and banjo, Ross Turner was on drums, Shane Fitzsimons, double and electric bass, Donagh Molloy, harmonium and trumpet and an eight and a half months pregnant Lucy Wilkins played violin and arranged a couple of songs for cello and violin and John Smith joined for some guitar and general tomfoolery,” she laughs.

The captivating singer captures hearts here and abroad with the release of her debut solo album ‘Sea Sew’ in 2008. Up until the release of her album, Lisa was better known as Damien Rice’s backing singer. Over time, it became apparent that she was the shining light in his group, the spine-tingling ying to his often more dirgeful yang, if you will.

Rice abruptly let her go and she went out on her own, with most of his former band. His loss has been our gain, her soulful, restrained and warm debut one of the Irish releases of that year, while her live appearances - particularly in Limerick’s St John’s Church in 2009 - have received rave reviews. Her return to Limerick is much-anticipated.

Since then she has garnered platinum sales of the excellent Sea Sew in Ireland and has toured America and the UK to great success, appearing on Jay Leno, Stephen Colbert and Jools Holland’s shows and racking up award nominations and plaudits.

Lisa says: “The album will be out in the autumn and  I can’t wait to get out and play the songs from it”.