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She’s a busy actor with a Hollywood career of long-standing. So how did Bronagh Gallagher find the time to record a cracking new solo record?
Eamonn McCann, 13 Jun 2012
Bronagh Gallagher has always packed more punch as a singer than she’s been credited with. That might be about to change with her first album in eight years and a circuit of Ireland to promote it.
Written and executive-produced by herself, Bronagh Gallagher ranges wide for its subject matter – checking in at Dublin, Dorset, London, Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, Mexico City. But emotionally it’s clearly deep-rooted in personal experience.
Its style is soul-flecked country overlaid with blues, and with a short sharp story in every song. As for what she’s been upto since her Precious Soul debut came out in 2004, Gallagher’s appeared alongside Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs, starred in the quirky cult comedy Pramface on BBB3 and is mulling over the offer of a second series, played in the National Theatre production of War Horse, has another film awaiting release and a new play hopefully opening in September. Plus she’s a singer with an album to plug and an eight-piece band to pay.
“I have no sense of entitlement. You can’t have in this business. It’s brutal. I watch people receiving accolades and I’m hoping they have the strength that they’ll need to survive. I am more prepared now. I have approached this tour like a professional woman – with a business plan even. It’s a real challenge to take a band on the road. Recording is easy by comparison. A record will maybe have a life of two years. You can let it happen. A tour is happening now.
“You learn. I have a healthy amount of confidence these days. I think that blinding ambition can be destructive. But a blinding lack of confidence can be debilitating. I know that this is the record that I wanted to make and what I want now is for people to hear it.”
She has always had an intriguing persona on stage. It’s widely been remarked that her between-song banter in a strong Derry accent comes close to semi-improv observational stand-up. Throws her coat on the floor.
“My mammy would kill me for that. ‘What are you throwing your good coat on the floor for?’ Everybody has a good coat. Does that mean we all have a bad coat too?”