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Baker's Dozen

Worker's Playtime: Billy Bragg's Favourite Albums
Colm McAuliffe , March 18th, 2013 07:47

To celebrate the release of his notably personal new album Tooth & Nail today, the outspoken, political singer-songwriter talks Colm McAuliffe through his top records


Colm Mac Con Iomaire - Cúinne An Ghiorria
Well, I'm glad you pronounced his name because I certainly can't! It's a beautiful album. About five years ago, I was performing at the Other Voices festival in Dingle and he was playing with the band that recorded this album and he gave me a copy. And I was very thankful - people often do that and I try to listen to them. I stuck it on in my car and I was like 'boom'. I was taken somewhere else. It's just a beautiful piece of mood music. If you're looking for an inheritor for Astral Weeks, this is it. I can't think of the number of people I've bought this album for. The last time we toured around Ireland a couple of years ago, I picked this up, along with a Paul Brady and a Lisa Hannigan album, put it on in the van and everyone was like "can put that on again?" There's something intangible about this because there's no lyrics, a real Sunday morning record. And I think he goes a little bit further than pure folk, there's a bit of jazz in there, that's why I mention Astral Weeks because Van Morrison has gone beyond himself, reached to a place where no one had ever been before and Colm's doing that on this record. There are other great violin players - Ali Bain for example, you hear him and you're in the Highlands - but with this record, you can be anywhere, in your house and he brings something out that wasn’t there before. It's more than just folk music. Calling it folk music would put people off, it's very contemporary. I’d love to collaborate with him and perhaps then I'll learn how to pronounce his name properly!