Tag Archives: music

Sam Kelly – an interview for folking.com

To say I was surprised when folking’s editor, Dai Jeffries, asked me if I’d like to do an interview with Sam Kelly, is the very definition of understatement. I was torn between excitement and nerves, the nerves winning out as the appointed hour grew nearer. I distracted myself by diving into research, drawing up lists of questions and seeking advice from my son (another music writer, with lots of interview experience, these days).

Anyway, Sam proved to be a delightful interviewee, very generous with his time and conversation. He really made it easy for this newbie. Thanks, Sam!

Here’s the interview as published in folking.com:

SAM KELLY talks to Folking’s Su O’Brien

And, a couple of weeks later, I spotted the record company’s promotional material now features  a quote from my interview (as well as from my colleague, Mike Davies’ album review), which is always gratifying.

Sam Kelly promotional image

Canny Fettle – Still Gannin’ Canny

This is the kind of folk music I grew up with and for which I have an enormous lasting affection. There’s a simplicity and timelessness that never gets stale. It’s the band’s first album in 30 years and it’s just as fresh as ever, with that comfortable feeling that comes from working with people you know well.

Here’s the review I wrote for folking.com.

CANNY FETTLE – Still Gannin’ Canny (Canny Fettle Records CANNYCD001)

The Brothers Briggs – a review

Starting off life as a birthday present project for their dad, the three brothers Briggs ended up producing an extraordinary self-titled album. Coming across like the lost soundtrack to a folk horror film, the album’s quirky oddness is what makes it special.

I wrote this review for folking.com.

THE BROTHERS BRIGGS – The Brothers Briggs (All Made Up Records, AMU0010)

Kate & Raphaël – Les Objets Trouvés


Kate Young and Raphaël Decoster are both visual artists and accomplished musicians. So, naturally, any collaboration between them was going to be a thrilling proposition. This album really doesn’t disappoint.

Here’s the review I wrote for folking.com.

KATE & RAPHAËL – Les Objets Trouvés (own label DECYOU01)

And an extensive quote from my review was used by Birnam PR in the publicity material for the album.

Kate and Raphael album cover image

The Unthanks – Diversions 4: The Songs & Poems of Molly Drake, Vicar St, Dublin

I’d desperately wanted to catch The Unthanks’ live show doing the Molly Drake songs that they’d put out as an album. I couldn’t make the date when they played Cambridge, my nearest venue. As luck would have it, though, I was due to be in Dublin the same week they were playing. Tickets were swiftly arranged and stowed in the suitcase.

Dublin’s Vicar Street turned out to be rather a strange venue. It has tiny tables with fixed round stools attached, all laid out formally in rows, and it felt more like we should be settling down to play bingo than watching a gig. Accompanied by a glass of Guinness (mandatory when in Dublin), we sat down to wait for the band.

To find out how it went, read my review, as published in folking.com.

THE UNTHANKS Live at Vicar Street, Dublin (25 May 2017)