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What Sarah did next
Having exiled herself to Cornwall, Sarah McQuaid is about to release the eagerly-awaited follow-up to her debut album.
Greg McAteer, 18 Mar 2008
Last July, after living here for a decade and a half (give or take), Sarah McQuaid pulled up the tent pegs and moved to Cornwall. Now if I moved to Cornwall, I think I would more than likely buy a big woolly jumper, get a cat, a lot of coal and sit in front of the fire all day looking out at the sea.
Fortunately Sarah McQuaid is made of sterner stuff than I am. And although she possibly has got the jumper, cat and half a ton of coal thing going on, she doesn’t appear to have spent more than a few minutes gazing dreamily at the sea. What she has done is tour extensively in the UK and more recently in Europe, where her ability to create an intimate atmosphere which draws the audience in has been gaining her a solid reputation as one of those ‘when are you coming back?’ performers, making her a favourite with promoters and audiences alike. She has also been busy putting together the long awaited follow-up to her first album When Two Lovers Meet which made lots of year-end lists despite the fact that it’s a re-release.
If, like myself, you’re chomping at the bit to hear album number two, you can at least get yourself along to one of her upcoming Irish dates. Yes, that’s right, she got gone but she can’t stay gone for long, and is about to embark on an exhaustive Irish tour, traversing the length, breadth and depth of the nation. The tour dates are:-
Thursday March 20th:- Thyme Square, Dromore
Friday 21st:- Castle Ward Stable Yard
Saturday 22nd:- Rowallane garden, Ballynahinch
Tuesday 25th:- Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire
Wednesday 26th:- New Music Club, Clonmel
Thursday 27th:- Ballina Arts Centre
Friday 28th:- Iontas Theatre, Castleblayney
Saturday 29th:- Solstice Arts Centre, Navan
Tuesday April 1:- Bridge Tavern, Wicklow
Wednesday 2nd:- No Alibis bookshop, Belfast
Thursday 3rd:- Riverside Theatre, Coleraine
Friday 4th:- Barry's, Grange
Saturday 5th:- South Roscommon Singers Circle, Knockcroghery
Central to Sarah’s first album was the involvement of Gerry O’Beirne on guitar. Gerry has just released a new album of his own The Bog Bodies and Other Stories. The album features his entire ragtag collection of stringed instruments from 12-string and Spanish guitars, national and slide through ukelele and tiple to an old five-string banjo he found on a porch in Texas where Lightnin’ Hopkins used to play. The fiddle playing of Rosie Shipley features on a couple of tracks, but otherwise the guitar is king. The album is part travelogue, part tour diary, with songs evoking stop-offs in Alaska, New Mexico and Texas as well as songs evoking his native Clare.