Songs in the Key of Life
Songs in the Key of Life is my newish show on Dublin station TXFM, where every week one guest pops in to talk about their lives and play some of the songs that have been meaningful to them. Below is a list of all the artists and well-known types who have been on to date, and there are links included, where available, to bring you straight to the programme, so you can listen back to interviews with the likes of Tori Amos, Damien Dempsey, Joseph O’Connor, Elbow, Paddy Casey, John Carney, Steve Wall, Liam O’Maonlai, Colm Mac Con Iomaire and many more.
Hope you enjoy!
August 9th — Damien Dempsey
Donaghmede’s renowned son Damien Dempsey arrived into studio for a candid discussion about music, his single status (his mother is still at him about it) and his feelings about performing alongside his heroes, including Bruce Springsteen. He also sang a bit of Hot Chocolate’s You Sexy Thing, which was deadly!
August 2nd — Paddy Casey
Paddy Casey has been famous for his music since he was barely out of his teens. Spotted by Sony rep Hugh Murray, Casey was once managed by Paul McGuinness (U2, PJ Harvey), but quit his major label to do things his way. Casey talked new directions and suggested great, great tunes by Parliament, Stevie Wonder and New Order.
July 26th — Liam O’Maonlai
Frontman of the The Hot House Flowers, Liam O’Maonlai opened up about his Dublin origins, learning how to kiss (and wanting to do it again) and his career in music, from performing at the Eurovision to ploughing a solo path. Brill tunes by Aretha Franklin, Prince and the Bothy Band featured. ..
July 19th — Stuart Clark
He might be best known as the deputy editor of Irish music bible Hot Press, but Stuart Clark was once a pirate DJ on the high seas, and has the stories (and the, ahem, unusual piercings, as he reveals) to prove it. Fantastic tunes from The Clash, Manic Street Preachers and The Lightning Seeds were all part of the programme. . .
July 12th — John Carney
One of our favourite guests on the series so far, Irish director John Carney (Once, Begin Again) gave out to me roundly for forgetting the song Mary’s Prayer, and vividly described telling terrible fibs to Billy Corgan, getting ditched by Scarlett Johansson and even sang a little bit of Mary’s Prayer himself. . .
July 5th — Steve Wall
As frontman with The Stunning and The Walls, Steve Wall has long been one of Ireland’s best loved performers. On the show, Steve chatted about forming a band more or less by accident, growing up with music and getting his music featured in new film Begin Again. He also picked out a fantastic selection of eclectic tracks…
June 28th — Elbow
Guy Garver and Pete Turner, aka two of the members of Mercury Prize-winning British band Elbow, were in Dublin to play in Kilmainham to a cast of thousands — and I met up with them before the gig to get their take on life, music and their slow, unexpected route to success.
June 21st — Willy Vlautin
Singer-songwriter with Richmond Fontaine and the Delines will be on the show this weekend — he’ll be talking about his music and also his writing — he’s penned several brilliant novels, including my personal favourite Lean on Pete — as wonderful a novel as you’ll ever read.
June 14th — Colm Mac Con Iomaire
The Frames and Swell Season violinist didn’t hold back as he talked about his early years with the Frames — and his fears that he was going to get dumped out of the band. He also picked out a wonderful selection of tracks from artists including Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and Thin Lizzy.
June 7th — Mick Flannery
It turns out the shy Cork singer-songwriter is actually a bit of a pop fan. Tunes by Eminem and Phil Collins featured, as Mick explained how his drummer Christian Best broke his wrist dancing on the bar to Collins’ Easy Lover.
May 31st — Tim Winton
The Australian Booker Prize nominated author talked about his love of sharks (he recently accidentally went swimming with one) and his life in writing — and played some tunes reminiscent of the outback — Nutbush City Limits from Tina Turner and Ike featured…
May 24th — Maria Doyle Kennedy
The singer and actress discussed her most recent TV projects, including Downton Abbey, and picked out a colourful selection of tracks, many by female singers such as Cat Dowling and Patti Smith.
May 17th — Joseph O’Connor
The bestselling author didn’t pick out any tunes by his sister Sinead, but did discuss their childhood in Dublin, and his path to success. Prog-rock did feature in the set list, which we just about survived. ..
May 10th — Tori Amos
A 90s legend, Tori Amos recently returned to the fray with a strong new record — having arrived in Dublin to play two nights at the Olympia, she picked out tunes by the likes of Joni Mitchell and Peter Gabriel and talked about her Christian background, her life as a star and motherhood.
May 3rd — Paul Noonan of Bell X1
The lead singer of Bell X1, one of Ireland’s biggest bands, dropped in to talk about his first band with Damien Rice, fatherhood, his albums and love of some pretty unexpected show tunes. ..
April 25th — Kevin Godley of 10cc
Kevin Godley is responsible for some pretty enduring songs (made in the 70s, I’m Not in Love was most recently featured on the Bridget Jones soundtrack) and has turned entrepreneur with his Whole World Band app — an ambitious Dublin start-up which aims to bring musicians together over his app to make brilliant music.
April 19th — Emma Donoghue
The Booker Prize-nominated author of Room opened up about her life in Canada and her decision to have children with her female partner Chris, as well as her thoughts on writing.
April 12th — Ben Watt of Everything But the Girl
The musician has turned author with an excellent new memoir, but he’s also a BBC Radio 6 DJ, so his selection of tunes was as eclectic as it was wonderful. He also opened up about his battles with depression and his life with partner, Everything But the Girl singer Tracy Thorn.
April 5th — Andy Cairns of Therapy?
The band are celebrating 20 years of their million-selling album Troublegum, so Andy was in top form to come in and chat about his background, growing up in the North, and his love of a great indie-pop tune.