Welcome to our open mic, featuring a selection of live performers as well as recordings from Carolan’s history.
Thanks to the following for playing live for us.
Since March 2012 when Thomas first started on Liverpool’s open-mic scene he has toured the UK with Glenn Tilbrook, China Crisis and Ian McNabb. He has also opened up for Squeeze, Difford & Tilbrook, Ian McCulloch & Ian Broudie, Steve Cradock and The Pretty Things. His eclectic sound is influenced by Rock/Pop of the 20th century in particular, Paul McCartney. He plays all his own instruments and writes and arranges every part on recordings. thomasmcconnell.co.uk
Louise is Singer & Songwriter from West Yorkshire who is studying Music at the University of Liverpool. soundcloud.com/louisequasiewoode
Little Rivers is the project of Belfast native Callum Cairns. After spontaneously releasing the ‘We, I’ EP in late 2012 with no prior recordings or gigs, a storm of critical interest quickly followed. Support slots with artists such as Soak and Rams’ Pocket Radio unveiled delicate and emotionally-drenched songs that quietly stunned audiences around Ireland over a set of sporadic live dates. http://www.littlerivers.co.uk
All We Are
All We Are are a global gathering made up of Ireland’s Richard ‘O Flynn (drums, vocals), Norway’s Guro Gikling (bass, vocals) and Brazil’s Luis Santos (guitar, vocals), who met at university in Liverpool. A total democracy, the band writes all music and lyrics together. Inspired by a shared love of hip-hop and soul music, Guro calls their sound “psychedelic boogie”. thisisallweare.co.uk
Jo cut her teeth as a lead guitarist performing in a variety of bands/duos/solo projects: Covers and Originals. From acoustic blues to ‘80s and most things in between. She has played electric and acoustic, lead and rhythm guitar with a number of original artists as well as performing for their studio recordings and International tours. Her influences, though widely spun, have defined and quenched roots in alternative rock, blues and folk-rock. She has also been involved as a co-organiser in various events over the last few years, including Big Her Night, a charity evening to celebrate International Women’s Day and Rock the Lane. jobywater.com
We will also be a playing a selection of recordings from Carolan’s history throughout the session. The following videos can be replayed by scanning the front of the guitar.
Gypsy Jazz virtuoso and grand-nephew of the legendary Django, Lulo met Carolan in the Green Room at Nottingham’ Lakeside theatre where he composed a new tune called “Catch the Moment”.
BBC Radio Two’s Folk Musician of the year for 2012, Tim Edey played the haunting tune “Give a Hand” on Carolan during a live show at Southwell.
Rising Jazz star Remi Harris plays the jazz standard “Coquette” on Carolan while taking time out from playing at the Beeston Jazz Festival to visit the Mixed Reality lab.
Session guitarist Kevin knows a thing or two about guitars having played with Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, Thomas Dolby and Prefab Sprout among others. He even played in Bowie’s band a Live Aid. Kevin takes a few minutes out from being interviewed to play us a brief tune on Carolan.
Joe Barber, a young slide blues player from Nottingham impresses with this version of the classic ‘Statesboro Blues.’
Owner of Beeston’s Guitar Spot (music writer for the Beestonian and mentor for young Joe Barber) Jimmy Wiggington recounted some fine stories of guitars he had bought and sold over the years and even had stolen and buried in a nearby park. No wonder he’s got the blues.
Nottingham guitarist Steve Pinnock was our guinea pig for a recording session at the Lakeside Recital Hall where we experimented with different ways to capture Carolan’s voice. Here he puts Carolan through its paces which a dazzling array of techniques on his composition “Irish Eyes”.
Although he is based in London, Carolan met Duncan at the annual conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Duncan has invented a set of digital bagpipes which seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. Here’s q quick jam of two pipe tunes written by Gordon Duncan, “Andy Renwick’s Ferret” and “Break Yer Bass Drone”.
The Vat and Fiddle Session
Carolan is a regular at Irish music sessions in and around Nottingham (and further afield when it get’s the chance). Here’s a quick tune from the Sunday afternoon Vat and Fiddle session.
The MRL Laser Cutter
Lastly here’s a video of the Mixed Reality Lab’s Laser Cutter etching an cutting the Celtic knot work design into Carolan’s soundboard. This delicate operation took a couple of hours but here we’ve speeded it up to just two minutes. Back in the day this would almost certainly made it onto BBC along with the ‘potters wheel’.