Music & Me
I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember and started playing guitar when I was around eleven or twelve years old. Wherever I’ve lived or travelled over the last fifteen years I’ve looked for opportunities to perform in pubs, bars and cafés, at parties and open mic nights, or busking in the street. I’ve always had a wide repertoire of songs covering everything from sixties rock’n’roll to classic acoustic rock, britpop and indie, Irish folk, singer-songwriters, etc… In the past I tred to keep up to date with new stuff as much as possible, but that takes a fair bit of time and effort, so I don’t really have my finger on the pulse in that regard any more.
I mostly perform alone but I really enjoy playing and singing with others too. With my good buddies Nigel Hughes and David Graham I performed as part of Hipster, an acoustic trio that entertained the good people of Limerick for a few years back at the start of the century. We still play together now and then, although the setlist is starting to age a bit by now.
I try to make time to play and sing as much as possible. During my time in Amsterdam I did covers gigs about once a month, usually in an Irish bar, and otherwise I played at open mic nights, singer-songwriter nights and the like whenever I had the chance. Back in Geneva again since 2011, there’s been less time for music with family and work commitments, but I’m still managing to play here and there from time to time. Two recent gigs worth mentioning were my 40th birthday celebrations, where a whole heap of my friends joined me on stage, and my support slot for Luka Bloom’s April 2017 visit to Geneva.
Here I’ve put together a list of all the places I’ve performed down through the years
Since 2014 I’ve been appearing now and again at George Leitenberger‘s wonderful SOIR BLEU event in the Usine Kugler. He’s a superb musician and songwriter who has gathered an impressive community of performers around him. George introduced me to Roddy McKinnon, a very talented guitarist who joined me for a four-hour St Patrick’s Day marathon in Mulligans, March 2017. And Dan Shaw is yet another of the SOIR BLEU community I’ve enjoyed sharing the stage with.
If you’d like to talk to me about playing at an event mail me at: mail[at]eoghan.ch.
I started writing songs in July 2002 in a flat above The Dubliner in Oslo – I remember it well because I had long given up hope on ever writing anything. It’s not something I do all the time and I often wonder why I do it at all when there are more great songs in the world than I’ll ever have the chance to hear or sing. But I do get a kick out of “giving birth” to a song that wasn’t there before. And singing my songs for people that want to hear them can be very fulfilling.
I try to take inspiration from contemporary songwriters like Neil Finn, Badly Drawn Boy, Ben Folds, Josh Ritter and Elliott Smith, as well as those classic writers like the Beatles, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, etc… Ultimately I aim to write songs that people will want to listen to, maybe sing along with, and to hear again.
The first five recordings in the SoundCloud player above are full band demos that were recorded in August 2008 at Silverwood Studios in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Gavin Ralston engineered, mixed and mastered them, also playing lead guitar and keyboards. Aonghus Ralston played bass and Tom Domican was on drums. The wonderful Maeve Sweeney can be heard as Liza on Dear Liza and added lovely harmonies elsewhere.
- You can download all of the August 2008 recordings in a zipped folder here.
Otherwise I’ve just recorded at home using basic equipment and not much patience on my part. But I think there are some nice moments still, particularly on the first rough recordings of the songs above. This folder contains a bunch of rough recordings from around 2007. Compare, for example, this earlier version of Dear Liza recorded with Maeve in a classroom in Listowel in summer 2008, with the little guitar line added later:
I haven’t really done much recording in the last two to three years, what with the move to Amsterdam, the wedding, the new job, the move back to Geneva, the baby, the next new job, etc… I wrote a few songs during my time in Amsterdam, but not nearly as much as I thought I might. In September 2013 I recorded four of those songs at DBR Studios in Lausanne, with Martin Bernasconi in the driving seat. You can find those recordings at the top of this page or here, on SoundCloud.
A lot my writing recently has been “to order” in one way or another. In mid-2012 I wrote a comedy song for an event I played at in July 2012, there was a song for Mairéad and Phil’s wedding, a song sold at auction, a challenge to write about an endangered species, plus songs for my sons, younger and older.
Hipster is an acoustic trio consisting of myself, David Graham and Nigel Hughes…three guitars, three voices. We’ve taken a few trips to a house in the middle of the French countryside to try to write hits that would make us rich. We’ve failed so far, although I’m pretty sure our Christmas song will do the job some day. While there’s a stripped back version solo version in the SoundCloud player above, it’s David on lead vocals on this recording: