With the new series of Other Voices set to hit our screens on Thursday February 22nd, we've put together a playlist of classic OV performances from previous series, stretching from Dingle to Derry to London to New York (and back).
This is no definitive list, mind you - just a few magical musical moments from a show positively chock-full of them, with occasional commentary from veteran Other Voices director Maurice Linanne.
Bloodbuzz Ohio - The National
Kicking off the 2011 series of OV series with a bang, the Ohio raised, Brooklyn based band were road-weary and homeward bound after a months-long European tour when they landed in Ireland for a mighty Other Voices session; the experience reportedly reinvigorated them so much that they all tried to change their flights to spend as much time in Dingle as possible.
John Grant and Conor O'Brien - Glacier
A highlight from the London Other Voices sessions of 2013, live from Wilton’s Music Hall - a monumental performance of John Grant's epic show-stopper, an anthem for those oppressed and prejudiced by others, particularly people persecuted for their sexual preferences. Here, Grant is joined by Villagers Conor O'Brien - two singular artists, singing their hearts out, and raising the roof.
Lisa Hannigan - Moon River
Maurice Linanne: "If you're really, really lucky, you get to witness something like this once in your life. This was Richard Hawley night in the Church of Saint James, and his guests for the evening were his old pal Jarvis Cocker and our old pal Lisa Hannigan and she took this beautiful Mancini/Mercer composition and she ran off with it in a bag marked 'SWAG'. And for good measure she stole our hearts as well. Again. Enjoy. And then lie and tell people you were there."
Soak - Sea Creatures
Bridie Monds-Watson (AKA Soak) was still a relatively unknown quantity when she joined the Other Voices gang in her native Derry back in 2013, for an acoustic session at one of journalist Jim Carroll's Banter sessions - another popular mainstay of the extended Other Voices line-up. Three years on, she's a Mercury Prize nominated and Choice Prize winning Major Artist of note. Fact: she had it in spades, from the outset.
Paul Muldoon and Iarla Ó Lionáird - Freedom/Saoirse
Maurice Linanne: "Paul Muldoon reads his translation of Seán Ó Riordáin's classic poem Saoirse followed by Iarla Ó Lionáird singing his version of the same poem. Quite the cultural mash-up really..."
The Gloaming - The Sailor's Bonnet
Another keeper from the OV Derry sessions: the nu-trad supergroup had only played a handful of live shows before they rocked the Glassworks stage - for those in the house, that night remains the stuff of legend. "The important part is the melody of the tune not the actual playing," says Hayes introducing The Sailor's Bonnet. "The less you play, the better."
Amy Winehouse - Tears Dry On Their Own
The late, great soul sensation came to Other Voices in 2006 in the wake of the release of Back to Black, the album that was to swiftly elevate her to superstardom - and the last record she'd make prior to her shocking and tragic demise. Winehouse performed at Dingle with just bass and guitar accompaniment, because her drummer had been held up by bad weather; her stunning 20-minute, six-song session later formed the basis for an acclaimed BBC documentary, The Day She Came to Dingle.
Richard Hawley - Waiting For The Man
A stunning version of the Lou Reed classic from the man from Sheffield, a long-time Other Voices fave.
José Gonzales - Heartbeats
Maurice Linanne: "He didn't have the the millions of little coloured balls bouncing down Dingle's main street - which really would have been quite the look - but we didn't care. Sweden's finest - José Gonzales..."
Justin Vivian Bond - Patriot's Heart
Maurice Linanne: "On the first night of The Gathering at the Poisson Rouge, Justin Vivian Bond happened along. It was pretty late on in the proceedings and he arrived having already performed in another show somewhere else in the city. He sang two songs that night. The first, Revolution, was pretty great. And then he sang this and the hair stood up on the back of my neck. I don't know if the power of the piece translated completely - in fact I know it didn't, it couldn't have..."
The Frames - Star Star
Back in the early days, each episode of OV focused on a particular band or performer in session - here's the very first episode, featuring The Frames - fronted by original Other Voices host Glen Hansard - recorded in St. James' Church in Dingle (still the true home of the show) all the way back in December 2002, and broadcast the following March. Forward to 21'03 for a pretty definitive take on their classic Star Star.
The new series of Other Voices begins on RTÉ 2 on Thursday 22nd February @ 11.15pm