In The Lamplight

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Órla Sweeney joins the podcast as the special guest for this episode. Fresh off the back of her performances in Kieran's show "Not A Theme Night", Órla chats to the lads about being immersed in the world of music when she was a newborn baby and tells the story of how music has been a constant presence in both her personal and professional life.

Show Notes

Órla Sweeney is In The Lamplight! Hear all about Órla's amazing life starting from when she was a newborn baby and her dad placed her next to a record player for a musical christening by Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin. As a child, Órla attended more gigs than most people will in their entire lifetime, accompanying her dad, Oliver, who worked as a journalist for the music magazine Hot Press.

As a child, Órla had the opportunity to meet many renowned musicians and artists. As a teenager, while Órla's peers were going to popular club nights in Dublin, Órla often found herself at a traditional music session in Whelans or a folk gig in Vicar Street. The songs of Richard Thompson have remained lifelong favourites of Órla's. We get a listen to Órla performing his classic "The Dimming of the Day" alongside former In The Lamplight guest, Seamie O'Dowd.

In her early twenties, Órla recorded and released an album of original material co-written with her father. The opportunity arose out of a recording session for a separate project on which Órla was providing backing vocals and the resulting album led to her being signed to the Warner Bros. record label and she completed several successful tours and performed as support for some of the all-time greats of Irish music.

After listening to a track called "Donegal Rain" from her debut album "The Blue Note", Órla opens up on whether her exposure to the music industry and music journalism as a child gave her a heightened awareness of any criticism she received as a performer. Órla gives a very honest insight into her struggles with confidence when it comes to performing in front of an audience.

Aside from her career as a performer, Órla has been involved in many behind-the-scenes musical projects, chief among which is her involvement with the phenomenally successful "Ceol" album series in which popular artists record Irish-language versions of their hit songs.
Órla produced several albums in the series in the mid-to-late noughties working with artists such as Des Bishop, The Coronas and Eddi Reader. Her work with Reader on a Gaeilge version of the Fairground Attraction hit "Perfect" led to them forming a lasting friendship. Órla performed a song written by Eddi's husband and sung regularly by Eddi - "Wild Mountainside" as part of Kieran's "Not A Theme Night" and we take a listen to that performance here.

Rory asks Órla about the emotion she brings to her perfomances, something evident to anyone who saw her perform in the recent "Not A Theme Night" show. Following up with a tough question, Luke asks Órla about the special pair of headphones she's wearing for the interview.

The three lads wrap up by reflection on their chat with Órla and reveal some plans for next week's episode which will be released on Saint Patrick's Day.


What is In The Lamplight?

Brand-new podcast from Kieran Quinn, Luke Devaney and Rory Maitland featuring weekly special guests, live musical performances and in-depth conversations.