Twenty one-year-old electro-pop artist, Laoise, talks about the music scene in her hometown, Galway. From the best pubs to local music heroes, she gives us her recommendations, as she gears up to release her new EP Mad, on March 29.
“One of my favourite places to play in Galway is Roisin Dubh (9 Dominick Street Upper). I’d been to my rst couple of gigs there, and I vividly remember seeing Little Green Cars, which was really cool. And even Ed Sheeran, when he was just blowing up, came to play – so it was really fun to play there when I started releasing music myself.
“There’s also a pub called Tig Coili (Mainguard St, The Latin Quarter, Galway), where I used to participate in sessions when I played the ddle. I’d go down every week with my parents, and meet and play with other traditional musicians. That was a really nice, eyeopening moment for me. I was really lucky that where I lived: there was music right on my doorstep all the time. I always realise this when I go home – how colourful and vibrant the city is.
“Regarding local music heroes, my family are quite good friends with Sharon Shannon, who’s an amazing accordion player. I actually remember when I was really young, she invited me up on stage to play with her. I was nearly seven years old and I was still playing ddle, and she was always really supportive. She never got too worried about what other people thought, because she just wanted to make music for herself. It’s really cool that so many people love her for that. She was breaking the boundaries in traditional music as well, and that really inspired me. For instance, she had an album with a rap song on it and there was a tune in the middle of it! So growing up I thought that was normal – that you could do whatever you wanted in music, which was super-inspiring.
“A great music store in Galway has to be Powells Music Shop (53 William Street, Galway). I’d always go in and look at the number of guitars and think, ‘I want all of these!’ The people are so lovely and it’s a very calm, serene atmosphere. As for great music pubs, An Púcán (11 Forster St, Galway) is unique. There’s always a mix of generations in there, which is nice to see, and they do really good cocktails.
“After a gig, I head back to Roisin Dubh, because they have a silent disco there once a week, which is great fun.”
“I always realise when I go home how colourful and vibrant the city is.”