australia tour press / march 2014

Lisa went on her first ever tour of Australia in March, including some support slots with Glen Hansard. Here’s some reviews, chats & songs she played for the radio along the way…

Interview with Lisa on Melbourne’s PBS The Breakfast Spread on March 14 starting about 92:30.
2 songs & a chat on The Music Show on ABC Radio National here.
On The Conversation Hour at ABC Melbourne radio.
Interview & songs (cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “April Come She Will”) on Tune Up with Stuart Coupe on FBI 94.5 in Sydney
Songs & a chat on Sideways Through Sound on 2SER in Sydney

Review of Sydney Opera House show with Glen Hansard on March 20:
Time Out Sydney: “But as good as Hansard was – and he worked himself up into some truly thrilling frenzies – the night was stolen by special guest Lisa O’Neill. A folk artist with a voice that’s haunting and broken and big and lilting all at once, O’Neill makes pain sound pretty damn amazing. And then she goes and sings a song about feeding her Elvis puppet Irish stew. Seek her out.”

Reviews from Sydney Opera House show with Glen Hansard on March 17:
The Sydney Morning Herald“Lisa O’Neill’s songs were like a few layers of skin being peeled back, especially the stunning England Has My Man. They were sung by a tiny woman whose body and face contorted with each line as if reliving it all again, whose voice was both ancient and childlike and whose power came from her compelling narrative spell, whether it be an old folk song sung a cappella, her own graceful Dreaming or, when she returned late in Hansard’s set, a hilarious and yet touching song about Elvis Presley coming to life in her kitchen and being fed Irish stew.”

The Music – “Cavan singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill, a petite woman with a charming presence and a harrowingly compelling voice, was a perfect opener. Performing with a maturity and intensity that could almost match that of Hansard, O’Neill effortlessly struck an emotional chord with the audience. Her stunning England Has My Man saw O’Neill’s emotionally contorted voice seep in and under everyone’s skin and her return later in Hansard’s set to perform a song about feeding Elvis Presley Irish stew definitely cemented her popularity.”

The AU Review“O’Neill is what I imagine to be an embodiment of a what you’d find in a quaint Irish pub; powerful and narrative-driven songwriting that comes from the heart like a punch to the gut. Vocally she’s strong with a yodel twinge and that distinctly Irish upper inflection. In her all too brief 5 song set we were treated to tales of love won and lost.”

Interview with Rhythms Magazine (jpg)
Interview with Unpaved magazine in Melbourne
Review from Port Fairy Folk Festival at The Sydney Morning Herald
Gig previews at The Age

Review of Same Cloth Or Not in the Sydney Morning Herald – March 16
8/10 - When Lisa O’Neill starts singing, it has crevices and odd turns, sounding more weathered than broken, rich with history and knowledge years beyond the 30-something she’s spent on Irish earth. Think of it as like a fishing boat that is all creaks and stretched bones, but knows the way through the shallows. In that sense, O’Neill brings both old British folk tones as well as the idiosyncratic but intense approach of American Karen Dalton, and applies it to new songs that bring you deep into lives explained in oddly different poetic tones. ‘‘ I was a piano, I was a piano,’’ she exclaims at the end of Apiana. ‘‘ I took him to Mary’s park/Where he took his heart from my pocket and he ran into the burning sun,’’ she sings in the title track. If you like Emmylou Harris’ spookier, atmospheric records, this could be an album for you. – Bernard Zuel