CAPTAIN Kennedy frontman Ciaran Lavery has released his debut solo EP.
The EP, available for download on Bandcamp, represents a significant departure from the upbeat, melodic songs that Captain Kennedy are renowned for.
Ciaran explained what made him decide to take a step away from Captain K and do some solo work: “It was around the time the bitter winter was becoming more bitter, and because I live out in the country it was hard for us to get to our practise space in one piece,” he said.
“I spent more time in isolation just writing different things, in among them being these songs. They were unlike what we were doing as a band but I didn’t want to discard them, I couldn’t, they sort of clung to me like a cheap suit. So I took this as a sign of sorts and things just seemed to develop naturally from that into the actual recording of the EP.”
He added: “Songs in general can be a tricky monster to tame. I think Arlo Guthrie tells it best when he describes waiting on a good song is just like sitting by a river with a fishing rod, hoping something good will bite, though you’re gonna catch some old wellie boots along the way. In a way I am a bit lucky with the people in the band because they switch on to things I sometimes wouldn’t pick up on, I would be too busy throwing the wellie boot back into the water.
Ciaran’s new material has been described as being dark and raw with a poignancy that will touch your very core.
He said: “It’s a personal thing what people take from songs, one person’s dark and sad could be anothers mellow and cheery so in that sense it’s hard to say. I think people are drawn to songs because they can relate in some way, whether it’s a past experience or a feeling they have or something they heard or read that clicks with them. The EP was interesting to write because I based it on four different conversations with unrelated people, and from their stories I could base something around it. In a way I got lucky, for example, one of the songs was taken from a conversation I had with a stranger on a longer than usual train journey. He was a very nostalgic old character, like something straight out of a Hemingway novel.
Ciaran is backed by Paul Wilkinson and Edelle McMahon, known affectionately as the Badhearts.
He said: “Paul is the kind of person could play just about anything (and more or less did). Edelle could sing perfect harmony in a hurricane. We recorded up in Paul’s country home, miles from civilisation of sorts, and it all added to the sound of the EP.
To coincide with the release, a new website has been set up at www.ciaranlavery.com
The Belfast leg of the EP launch takes place on tonight (Thursday) in the Green Room at the Black Box, Belfast. Admission is free and Ciaran will be taking the stage at 9pm. Pizza slices, fair trade coffee and tea, beer, wine and soft drinks are all available.
The second leg of the launch will be held in Palomo in Lurgan on Friday night. It’s free admission again so come along early to get a good spot.