Entertainment Music

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Getting Brendan Gleeson to start singing is easy...

Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson

Asked how she managed to get Irish movie star Brendan Gleeson to sing The Rocky Road To Dublin on the new Dervish album The Great Irish Songbook, Cathy says they took the simple route.

"We just called him. We have known Brendan for a good few years. He's a friend. We've played in sessions with him. He was at a party in my house in Sligo. I think I bade farewell at quarter to nine in the morning. It was maybe five years ago. I have a kind of party house where people come back for tunes."

So what does Brendan play?

"He plays mandolin and fiddle. Fiddle, mostly. He was on a Music Network Tour with Dirk Powell, Michael McGoldrick. The gig wasn't long enough for them so they came back to my house to continue it!" laughs Cathy.

"Brendan is very personable. He loves trad music. Plus, we did most of the music on Calvary" - the 2014 movie in which Brendan starred as a priest - "so we know him."

With The Rocky Road To Dublin, Cathy says that Brendan "wasn't a million per cent comfortable with singing, to be quite honest. But he is such a brilliant actor, and this song you can act it out as well as sing it.

"He said: 'Sure, I'll give it a go. Don't worry if it is rubbish. I won't be offended if you don't use it.'

"So we did use it. We love it. His brother Barry was there as well. He came up from Galway. He sings on it as well. So that relaxed him."

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