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Aine Cahill presents

Tuesday, 11 December 2018 at 20:00

Aine Cahill

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Ticket Type Sales End Price * Fee Quantity
General Admission
Strictly over 18s. ID Required. Tickets are non-refundable (except if event is cancelled). Right of admission reserved.
11 Dec 2018 €15.00 €1.64
* Prices include VAT

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From the moment Áine Cahill made her TV debut to millions in 2016, she was set for fame. Plucked from a pub stage at Glastonbury to perform live on the BBC’s festival coverage, before Coldplay’s set on the Sunday night, she mesmerised viewers who could scarcely believe that she wasn’t already a star. In fact, the then 21 year old was a naïve newcomer from a village in County Cavan, being managed by her postman. Oh, and she’d just spent a week sleeping in a van.
Overnight, Áine’s social media stats exploded. On Spotify alone, 150,000 signed up to hear more of her passionate, powerhouse vocals and selfwritten, storytelling songs. She was inundated with offers from excited industry insiders. In Ireland, radio stations added Áine to their playlists.
Within weeks, she had a manager, who has represented everyone from David Bowie and Depeche Mode to the Rolling Stones and the Spice Girls.She signed to a major international booking agency renowned for representing global superstars. “It was like finding myself in a fairy tale,” says Áine. “Since the age of 19, all I’d wanted to do was make music, but I couldn’t see how that would happen.
Suddenly, I could spend my days writing songs and my nights singing them. For a while, I worried that I would wake up and discover it had been a dream.”
In truth, Áine’s fairy tale began two years earlier, when she stumbled across
her astonishing voice. The sports-mad, middle child of five – she played
Gaelic football for her country – had grown up with little interest in music. She
had always assumed that she couldn’t sing – she was told to mime in the
choir at primary school and had been turned down for the choir in
“No one in my family was much in to music,” recalls Áine. “We had a Britney
cassette in the car and my sisters and I sometimes pretended to be the Spice
Girls, although there were only three of us. I was a tomboy who played sports
five days a week. That was my life until I hit 16 and heard Lady Gaga doing
an acoustic performance of Paparazzi on the radio, just her on piano. I’d
never listened to lyrics before. I didn’t have a favourite singer. But suddenly I
adored Lady Gaga and I wanted to play the piano.”
Áine got a keyboard for Christmas and taught herself to play Gaga songs
from YouTube tutorials. But it was an impromptu singalong in her final year at
school that proved the turning point.
“I was hanging about in the concert hall, as I always did, when one of my
mates started playing Adele’s Someone Like You on the piano,” she recalls.
“Lots of us were singing along, but when I began belting out the chorus,
everyone stopped and stared at me. It was a real WTF? moment. Even I was
like, ‘Oh my God, is that me?’ It was as if I’d woken up one morning with this
Having immersed herself in Lana Del Rey, Marina & The Diamonds and
Marilyn Monroe films, Áine began writing songs, including White Piano,
inspired by Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
“I had never been able to express my emotions and never been good at
English at school, but I took to writing songs straight away,” she says. “I was 19
and I wasn’t happy. I longed to get my feelings out and with music it was
“I’d use other people’s stories – something I’d seen in a film or on TV – to talk
about myself. I became obsessed with old films because of the soundtracks,
in particular the strings. I like songs to be visual, it’s why I love Lana.”
Áine played a few shows with a neighbour at a youth club – she covered
Marina’s Teen Idle, a song that remains in her set today - but her first proper
gig was at a local café, which put on singers every other Thursday.
“There was no stage, you just stood in the corner,” says Áine. “I was the
support. I played five of my own songs at a piano that was way too high for
me. I looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
She got a job in a hotel to pay for a local producer to record an EP, Paper
Crown, which she posted on Soundcloud. When it was named the best
unsigned EP of 2014 by a music magazine, Áine worked more shifts to fund
her playing sporadic shows with a band, including a competition-winning slot
at Ireland’s Electric Picnic festival. She self-released the sensual, cinematic
song Black Dahlia and began picking up radio play.
In early 2016, Áine twice took the band to London, where they played
Camden’s Dublin Castle and got an invite to perform at Glastonbury for no
“We went for a full week and all slept in a van,” says Áine. “We were only
there to do a set on the Friday in what we thought would be a tent, but
turned out to be a pub. I did 13 original songs and two covers –Teen Idle and
Bad & Beautiful, a mash-up of Gaga’s Bad Romance and Lana’s Young and
Beautiful – and by the end there were 60 people watching, which was
amazing. Afterwards, we got a message saying we’d been picked to play
the backstage bit for TV.”
On the Saturday, watching Adele’s headline set, Áine kept checking her
phone, waiting for a call that never came. Finally, on Sunday, she was given
the slot pre Coldplay and, with just a pianist, performed a spellbinding,
acoustic rendition of Black Dahlia.
Áine was widely described as an Irish Adele, although a wisecracking Lanameets-
Marina would have been more accurate. What was obvious to
everyone who saw her, however, was that Áine was a voice in a generation
who wouldn’t require comparisons for long.
Áine saw out the year that changed her life playing her biggest ever gig, a
charity show at Dublin’s 3Arena alongside Kodaline and Gavin James. She
sobbed the first time she heard her songs accompanied by an orchestra
because the strings sounded exactly as they always had in her head.
2017 was spent playing scores of shows and festivals and supporting Kodaline
on tour. Last March, Áine put the intoxicating track Plastic online and in
October released her final indie single, the slinky show-stopper Blood
Diamonds, before signing with East West Records.
“It’s actually the third song I ever wrote, but I wanted it to be produced
properly,” says Áine, who teamed up with the London-based musician
Courage (Stormzy, Ray BLK) for the release. “I pictured this lady wearing furs
and diamonds, believing she’s special, but really she’s a delusional bitch. I’m
disgusted by blood diamonds. What sort of person could wear them for the
sake of showing off?”
“I’m a frank writer. Whatever I’m thinking goes straight on the page. I have
opinions and I express them. I’ve never bothered with love songs and I’ll
never be someone with nothing to say. Oh, and expect a fair bit of swearing.
I’m Irish, it’s drilled in to me.”
This year will mostly be devoted to writing and releasing new material,
although Áine continues to play live and a few festivals have been booked.
She has been co-writing, but only on her own terms.
“I’ve got here on my own songs,” she says. “I’m happy to have help and I
won’t be a bitch, but I’ll never sing a song that isn’t me. I have to be myself.”
Her forthcoming single, Beauty Is A Lie is case in point, it’s a sassy, spectral
beauty “calling out all the bullshit we see day to day on social media. We all
do it. People only show an edited version of themselves, the side they think is
‘the best’, but this is the world we are living in. I hate it, but I love it at the
same time”

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Cyprus Avenue
Caroline Street

Tuesday, 11 December 2018 at 20:00

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