Friday 24 February 2017

Soul sisters vying for gig prize are a classical act

A novel girl band aims to be playing alongside top pop acts soon, writes Alison O'Riordan

It's a new take on the female-fronted band. Maud in Cahoots -- made up of Dubliners and sisters Maud and Zoe Reardon -- are one of the talented four bands selected by a panel of music-industry experts to move forward to the 'Our Thursdays' national showcase in Belfast this Thursday.

The two classically trained sisters with gorgeously toned soul voices and good looks, who moved to New York three years ago, are down to the final battle of four bands for the prize of sharing the stage with Snow Patrol on Arthur Guinness day.

"We moved to New York with belongings amounting to nothing more than a violin and a bag of clothes. We wanted the freedom to experiment a little bit more with our music because you are anonymous over there and you don't have the insecurities that come with knowing everyone. So it was a great place for me to put my neck on the line," said Maud Reardon.

The Reardons write powerful contemporary pop songs that convey the high emotion of being in your early twenties in a big city. One of the things that marks the songs out is that they are accompanied by the classical instruments of violin, tuba, cello, piano and drums.

Maud became an accomplished violinist at the age of six but her first love was always singing.

"My background is in classical music and I come from an instrumental background rather than pop culture. Our music does not encompass the normal kind of rock-band instruments, they are classical instruments, however the instruments are used in a more pop way," she said.

'Our Thursdays', this year's addition to the Arthur's Day celebrations, honouring the remarkable legacy of Arthur Guinness, gives emerging Irish acts the opportunity to be part of the Arthur's Day artist line-up on September 23 alongside international artists including Snow Patrol.

Speaking about the four bands, Jonny Quinn from Snow Patrol said: "The level of talent that we have seen from the showcases has been incredible. It has made our job as judges extremely difficult. We look forward to playing alongside one of these guys on September 23."

Meanwhile, the girls will play the Love Letters stage in the Body and Soul area at Electric Picnic today.

Although based in New York for now, Maud and her sister will go wherever opportunities arise: "My main goal now is to get signed. I am very proud of how far I have managed to take Maud in Cahoots on my own and am now looking to find the right people to bring me to the next level. If those people are Irish, all the better."

Sunday Independent

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