Tuesday 11 December 2018

My first: Cathy Davey

Sophie Gorman

Singer Cathy Davey gives her 'firsts'.

Words?

Probably 'no'. It wasn't so much that I was always turning things down or refusing to do things -- more that in every picture of me as a small child, I have a very stern and disapproving look on my face, which is strange as they're always associated with very happy memories.

Memory?

My next door neighbour bringing me to the bathroom of her house when I was about three and she was only a little older than that, and persuading me to lean my head over the bidet whilst she proceeded to hack off all my hair. She even used a razor to complete the job. The worst bit, though, was getting the soap she'd used to wash it in my eyes as I peered at the chunks of my hair sailing down the plughole.

Confession?

Hearing the Easter bunny climb up to the top bunk of the beds to hide the Easter eggs when I was supposed to be asleep in the bottom bunk. When the search began the next morning, I dashed straight to where I knew the eggs were and was in such a hurry that I accidentally put my knee through one of the eggs. So I took the unbroken one and left the smashed one for my sister. She thought that the Easter bunny had left her a broken one and I only admitted that I'd been responsible many years later.

Influence?

Freddie Mercury, and I was determined I would marry him from a very young age. I would listen very devoutly to him singing whenever one of Queen's songs came on the radio and I loved the image of a husband being a man with a moustache who could sing such amazing songs.

Big break?

Hearing Stina Nordenstam for the very first time and realising that the fact that I had the voice of a mouse didn't mean I couldn't be a singer. I was in art school in Thomastown, Kilkenny, at the time and spent all my spare time writing music without any real belief that it could go anywhere. Suddenly, I had a new hope that just maybe music could be my life.

Play?

The Christmas play when I was in first class in primary school. One of the teachers had decided that I should sing Silent Night a cappella. I was so scared that she told me to look straight ahead at the window right at the back of the room. But, on the night of the performance, there was a girl in front of the window and she laughed at me the whole way through. It was one of the most traumatic moments of my life.

Film?

ET at the cinema in Bray and it changed my life -- at least for a little while. On the way home, I remember hanging on to the roof of the car and my dad trying to push my head in, but I was screaming for ET and crying.

Album?

Appetite for Destruction by Guns N' Roses. I was a bit of a late starter but I did become a little bit obsessed with that album. I even wore the tight jeans and the chequered shirts. And I was a huge fan of Slash and even got the same style of guitar as him.

Concert?

An Emotional Fish in a free gig in St Stephen's Green when I was 16. I went with a gang of school friends and their performance blew our minds. I remember going to another gig of theirs in the airport and we ended up stranded and they had to give us a lift back to town.

Book?

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien and it was read to me every night by my dad when I was about four. He put on the most amazing voices and really brought all the characters to life.

Holiday?

A boat trip down the Shannon when I was five. I was absolutely gripped by the need to jump into the river, much to my mother's fear and annoyance. I would jump in when no one was looking, forcing my poor father to jump in fully clothed to fish me out.

Date?

With a boy called Nathan who lived down the road when I was 13. One of my best friends was going out with his brother, which should have made the perfect foursome. But Nathan would never kiss me. I think there was too much for him to worry about, and so our romance was doomed from the beginning.

Cathy appears at Droichead Arts Centre on May 3 for the Drogheda Arts Festival; www.droghedaartsfestival.ie

She will also be performing in the Olympia on June 20

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