Culture Northern Ireland, Wednesday June 13, 2012
Bronagh Gallagher, Natural Born Storyteller: One of Derry~Londonderry's most well-known faces continues to surprise with her soulful voice
Bronagh Gallagher has been catching up on her shut-eye. Sleep was something in short supply when the Derry~Londonderry singer was touring her new, eponymous album around Ireland earlier this year. Not that Gallagher is complaining. She loved every minute of being back on the road with her band of musicians.
'I was getting to bed every night at 4am and then singing again the following night,' she says in a quickly-snatched phone-call. 'Running the whole ship myself meant I had to get up early every day. There's so much to do promoting the album, but thank God, the feedback so far has been fantastic.
'We played gigs in Cork, Galway and Limerick and we got a great response. This album has been a real labour of love for me so I want to work it 24/7. I want to saturate the place with it, make sure I cover all corners.'
And while there's always time for a bit of rock and roll bad behaviour here and there, Gallagher is adamant that, in order to get the best out of any tour, a safety first, health conscious regime must be developed and adhered to – most of the time, at least.
'I'm getting to do what I love with a great band of people, and I also do yoga, which is brilliant. I've been doing it for 10 years now, fairly intensively for the past five. Physically, it's a great help, but mentally, it gets me through things.'
As we chat, Gallagher explains that she likes to surround herself with people she knows and loves. 'My god-child (Jordan Buckspan), is one of my backing singers. Her mum Shelley, who is a great friend of mine from New York, is one of my backing singers too. It's a real family affair.'
Hot Press, Wednesday June 6, 2012
Second album brimful of enriching soulfulness
Bronagh Gallagher’s debut album Precious Soul was released in 2004. You could observe therefore that this follow-up, co-produced with guitarist extraordinaire Conor Brady, is way overdue. Now that it’s here, however, let us rejoice. Bronagh Gallagher is a superb record.
In a way that is reminiscent of Duffy’s stunning debut, Gallagher nods repeatedly in the direction of the ‘60s and early ‘70s to marvellous effect, adding her own soulful vocal twist on top of seminal influences like Al Green, Otis and Dusty Springfield.
Her soul trading opens with the stirring Motown pastiche ‘Fool’, before immediately shifting down the gears for the sultry ‘Here They Go Again’, with the band conjuring a delicious gospel feel under Gallagher’s gripping vocal. The partially-autobiographical ‘Mexico’ is a sinister story of gangsters and love underpinned by a menacing drum pattern. ’Love Will Find You’, meanwhile, gets lowdown and bluesy, with a swelling keyboard and Gallagher’s voice coming straight outta Harlem. There’s a similar feel to ‘Not A Star’, its striking trumpet and Gallagher’s smouldering vocal giving it a visceral power. ‘Make A Move’ is so catchy it must be illegal.
Bronagh Gallagher has the poise and the artistry to evoke the full flavour of music created decades back and a world away. It helps that Brady has surrounded her with vintage musicians and backing vocalists capable of bridging the gap between the music of then with the vitality of now. But ultimately this suitably eponymous record is a triumph for Bronagh Gallagher herself. Let’s hope it achieves even half of Duffy’s success.
Jackie Hayden, Hot Press
The Irish News, Monday June 4, 2012
BRONAGH Gallagher, our very own Bronagh Gallagher, is quite simply a star. It’s over 20 years since the unknown Derry actress was cast as ballsy backing singer Bernie McGloughlin in The Commitments.
In between carving a massively successful screen and stage career – Pulp Fiction, Star Wars and Mary Reilly are among her credits – she has developed her love of blues and soul music.
The result is a remarkable self-titled album.
She has written the songs, assembled the 10-piece band, who possess impeccable credentials, and created a show that is entertaining, moving, slick, moving, soulful and did I say moving? There is real raw emotion being communicated here and the audience at the Limelight showed their appreciation of both the music and the inter-song repartee.
On the final night of a tour which included Derry, Galway, Dublin and Cork, Gallagher was genuine and funny, using her ability to mimic accents to perform mini-stand-up routines each time the band took a breather.
he star quality extends to each aspect of the show, from the singer’s designer dress with feather boa neckline to the pedigree of each band member. The brass section are from the RTE house band, the drummer is from The Frames and guitarist Conor Brady – a former Commitment – brings original and soulful solos at all the right times.
Highlights included the opening song Here They Go Again, the new single Fool and the spine-tingling proto-classic Love Will Find You.
Suspend your disbelief in the power of live music and catch her next time she plays.
If you’re not moved by Bronagh, you’ve got no soul.
Courtesy of The Irish News
The Irish Times, June 2012
For some, she will always be the brassy backing singer from The Commitments. For other, she's a familiar face who pops up every now and again in home-grown and British dramas. Yet Bronagh Gallagher has several strings to her creative bow, including a talent for penning thundering power ballads and soulful musings. On this second album, Gallagher's lungs are in top form as she belts out a dynamic display, with deep roots in down-and-dirty blues. Credit must also go to the band of accomplished musicians with which she has surrounded herself. Her voice and their uplifting musical orchestrations make for suitable pairing. Highlights include Fool, Love Will Find You and I've Been Waiting. SM
Golden Plec, June 4, 2012
Bronagh Gallagher at Whelans on Friday June 1st
An enthusiastic crowd descended upon Whelans for the launch of Bronagh Gallagher’s most recent album (the self-titled ‘Bronagh Gallagher’), and expectations were high for the night’s music.
Four piece band Fear of Folk (they kindly supported Tea and Toast) start of the night with their country / folk sound. Pleasant, but predictable, they ultimately lose attention of the audience as each song melts into each other, unchanging and maintaining the same generic country twang throughout. A bit more variance could prove a huge difference.
However, as Bronagh Gallagher takes the stage for her self-proclaimed homecoming gig, she is welcomed with open arms. Joined by her band, she starts the night off with an easy sway, opening with the track ‘Here They Go Again’. As Gallagher bursts into ‘Mexico’, the room is practically set alight. Accompanied by combination of bright bass riffs and strong rhythms, Gallagher makes her soulful testimony of passion, lust and love as she tells the crowd a story of two lovers living in Mexico. ‘Love Will Find You’ details the pains of unrequited love, along with a recount of some of her more obsessive cleaning habits. As she asks the crowd to imagine they’re sitting in a church in Mississippi, the influence at work here becomes clear. Soulful, and dripping with those traditional, dramatic gospel vocal parts recognisable from the southern regions of the USA, it’s almost as if you’re really there.