Saturday 13th February 2016
Doors 7:00 pm
Price £16 / £18 (U16s £12 / £14)
Villagers, a solo vehicle for Irish singer/songwriter Conor J. O’Brien, specializes in atmospheric, indie folk/chamber pop that balances the youthful exuberance of contemporaries Jens Lekman, Eugene McGuinness, and Johnny Flynn with the classic rock and pop of artists like Paul Simon and Robert Wyatt.
There was a quiet buzz about O’Brien’s new project from the music critics and fans, which eventually transferred into support slots for Neil Young and a European tour with Tracy Chapman. The Dublin native’s debut album, Becoming a Jackal, was released on U.K. independent Domino Records in 2010. The record was highly praised across the board and went on to receive a nomination for the coveted Mercury Music Prize, while O’Brien won the prestigious Best Song Musically and Lyrically Ivor Novello award for its title track in 2011.
In 2015, O’Brien returned Villagers to a more introspective, acoustic folk sound with the third full-length album, Darling Arithmetic on Domino (home to many profiled and creatively interesting artists). 2016 will see O’Brien release Wherw Have You Been All My Life – a collection of songs that distills five years and three albums of songwriting into one flowing narrative, recorded in one day, with a re-imagining of older material seamlessly woven with present glories.
“A sparse, mid-tempo acoustic account of lost love, almost the definition of a sensitive singer-songwriter album. Yet it is so focused in intent and precise in performance, it seems to mark an advance rather than a retreat, the mature arrival at the realisation that sometimes less really is more.” – The Telegraph ****
“It’s purging stuff, for sure, but clearly empowering and, as a listener, you’re with him every step by highly emotional step.” – Q Magazine ****