Literary Programme 2017

Songs and Stories with John Spillane

Songs and Stories with John Spillane

John Spillane

Ma Murphy's Pub

Fri 21 July 2017




What is music, anyway, reader, only a magical, invisible, untouchable material that we don’t really understand at all, but that means so much to us? – John Spillane, Passage West 2016

Join John Spillane for an evening of song and story in the intimate setting of Ma Murphy’s as John shares his fantastic musical journey with us. Over the last thirty-three years, he has played with many bands and musical outfits and served a number of musical apprenticeships. He has written hundreds of songs, an opera and at the end of last year he released his book Will We Be Brilliant or What?, packed full of music and stories and John’s insights into the inspiration behind his best loved songs.

John fell in love with singing when he was a small boy. ‘I wrote my first song when I was sixteen and I have written about 200 songs since then. Some of them maybe you couldn’t really call brilliant songs, like, but what harm? Each one teaches you some little lesson, and maybe you have to write the small ones so you can go on and write the big ones.’

‘Singers need songs and songwriters need singers… John Spillane excels in both fields.’Christy Moore

John Spillane is a musician, songwriter, performer, recording artist, storyteller, poet, dreamer - a canvas filled with colour and brilliance.  His music transports the listener; his live performance captivates the audience.  In a world filled with strife and upheaval, a time-out with John Spillane is enough to ease the load a bit on anyone lucky enough to bask in his light. The man and his music are pure magic.

John is a native of Cork, the county he lovingly describes as ‘the centre of the universe’, and it has been a huge creative influence on him. Vocally, he is quite unique with an almost sean nós-like element in his singing and he is said to have a voice ‘full of honesty, commitment and sensitivity’.

Two-time Meteor award winner, John is one of the most accomplished songwriters in Ireland today. Among those who have covered his songs are Christy Moore, Karan Casey, Pauline Scanlon, Cathy Ryan, Sharon Shannon, Sean Keane, George Murphy, to name a few. He performs to audiences large and small everywhere.

John will also be teaching our five-day Songwriting workshop from Monday 17 to Friday 21 July.

John’s photo is by Miki Barlok