A question of taste: Cormac Ó Caoimh, singer/song-writer

Des O’Driscoll sat down to get to know Cormac Ó Caoimh before he releases his new album Shiny Silvery Things.

A question of taste: Cormac Ó Caoimh, singer/song-writer

Cormac Ó Caoimh ia singer-songwriter from Cork. He will release his fourth album, Shiny Silvery Things in the Triskel Christchurch May 13. Other upcoming live appearances include High Tide Club in Castletownbere on June 19.

Best recent book you’ve read:

I got a Kindle a couple of years ago so I’ve been really enjoying reading old classics. But the most recent physical book I read which was kindly lent to me a week or two ago was Nileism: The Strange Course of the Blue Nile. Fascinating. (Especially for any perfectionist or procrastinating musicians).

Best recent film:

Last night I watched Hell or High Water — a great bank-robbing, modern western that focuses on characters and dialogue more than special effects and violence. An old style movie. Highly recommended.

Best recent show/exhibition/gig you’ve seen:

I was at Nick Kelly’s gig in the Friary a few weeks ago. Magic intimate gig where he was doing his ‘Songbook’ where the audience voted in the songs they wanted to hear from his mighty back catalogue of Fat Lady Sings, Alien Envoy and solo songs.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old):

Joe Chester’s new album The Easter Vigil has replaced Paul Buchanan’s Mid Air (after five years) of being my go to album in the evening.

Money is no object — what instrument would you buy, and why?

Luckily I have all the instruments I would want already.

I am a Godin Guitars artist. And already have my favourite guitars. My two favourite’s (which I use for live gigs) are a Godin ACS Rosewood nylon string guitar (which is a synth guitar that can be used to incorporate strings and other sounds into the mix) and a Montreal Premiere electric.

But I guess if money was no object I’d buy a new house and a lovely piano and try and learn how to play it.

First ever piece of music or gig that really moved you:

The first big gig I was at was The Waterboys in Connolly Hall in Cork in 1986. It was special for many reasons.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen (if you had to pick one!):

Bonnie Prince Billy at Cork Opera House 2012. Just him, Angel Olsen and another guitarist. Three voices. Two guitars. Incredible gig.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

I don’t watch a lot of TV to be honest but I do like to have one show to watch a week. Currently it’s Better Call Saul.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

Mostly RTÉ Radio 1 or Lyric FM as general stations but dip in and out of various shows from a lot of other stations.

You’re curating your dream festival – what three artists are on the bill, living or dead?

Paul Buchanan, The Go Betweens and Nick Drake.

Your best/most famous celebrity encounter:

REM stepped on me. I was sitting down on the floor outside an afters party for a Waterboys gig in the Olympia in 1989. And my legs were stretched across the floor. And a few guys walked on them (everyone else stepped over them). It was REM. Just arriving from their RDS gig on the same night.

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event — where, when, and why?

1960s. It was easier to get a gig back then. More listening venues.

Unsung hero – individual or organisation you think don’t get the profile/praise they deserve:

Graham Manning of ‘Homeroom – Campaigning for Autism Friendly Schools’.

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