Thursday, November 4, 2010

Villagers radio session from way back when

I've been planning to post this for a long time.

I'm not great for remembering dates or facts and I never wrote any of this down but here goes from memory. Late in 2008 I heard that the guy from The Immediate was working on his own stuff, a project called Villagers. I spotted that he was playing a show in Galway, his third ever I think. It was early January, there were about 20 people there, two media, the rest were Galway's better bands. The room was instantly spellbound but this man and his tiny guitar, backed by wailing feedback, pounding drums, thick bass (Richie Egan from Jape that night) and tinkly pianos.

At this stage I had given up on radio sessions and interviews. I felt that no matter how much I might like a new Irish band, the time spent with them talking about who produced their E.P or about an incident at a gig they played would be better used playing two of their songs. I would happily have interviewed Bob Dylan as I think that would be interesting to listen to, but that never materialised. With sessions, the station didn't have the facilities to deal with full bands so it always had to be acoustic. I got sick of it and scrapped the whole thing.

But then Villagers rolled back into town. I was due to meet Conor at the venue at 7 after soundcheck. The soundcheck lasted another hour. I saw that this guy is an absolute perfectionist ...and is it turned out, a gentleman. We quickly made our way to the studios where he played two tracks for the show. As I sat there listening, just the two of us in the radio booth, I decided that it would be musical lunacy if this guy was never appreciated for how good is music was.

Since then he's gone to No. 1 in Ireland, become known world wide, recieved praise at SXSW and been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Not that prizes are important but it's nice to see that really great songs are appreciated.


Villagers - Becoming A Jackal (iRadio Session) Alt

Villagers - On A Sunlit Stage (iRadio Session) Alt

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