Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Eileen Quigley find out more about her…
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I am originally from Glasgow of Irish parents but have lived in the West Midlands, England for several years. I first got into music when I was a child. My dad would put the record player on the kitchen table on a Saturday evening and we would gather round and listen to Jim Reeves, who had the most amazing tone to his voice, Johnny Cash with his country sound, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, (Irish folk music) and I also liked to listen to the Corries (Scottish folk music). As for pop music at the time I liked the big tunes from the likes of Slade, Mud, Sweet, Bay City Rollers. I studied for my O'Grades listening to Don Williams' (country) album on repeat.
I don't know that I have any musical influences now, but I enjoy listening to Martyn Joseph, Mary Gauthier, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Leonard Cohen so you could say that I have an eclectic taste in music.
How would you describe your sound?
I would describe my sound as lyric led, accompanied by acoustic guitar. The lyric is always the most important aspect of a song to me, whether it be to tell a personal story, reflect on life, social commentary or general observations.
I wouldn't want my work to be pigeon holed into any specific genre, other than singer/songwriter.
What's your local music scene like?
The local music scene is the West Midlands is pretty buoyant with plenty of opportunities for open mics, folk clubs and songwriter nights (where only original songs are allowed).
There is also mac arts centre in Birmingham which runs courses throughout the year to meet with like minded songwriters to try out new ideas and offers opportunities for collaboration. At the end of every term there is also a showcase event for attendees to perform in front of an audience.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
I am due to release my 4 track debut EP 'Jumpers for Goalposts' on Friday 25/5/18 which I am excited about, so I plan to do gigs to promote the EP before and after its release, so I will be seeking out those opportunities.
Track by Track
'Jumpers for Goalposts'
A look back at a carefree days growing up in a Glasgow tenement and playing out with peers where we made our own entertainment.
'The Philosopher and Ska Band'
The first two verses of this song I wrote immediately after hearing about the Clutha tragedy in Glasgow in 2013 and thinking of the people in my hometown. It remained as just the two verses until I saw a photograph in the paper of the final victim to die as a result of the tragedy. Before I moved to the Midlands I worked alongside Joe Cusker who was a housing manager for Glasgow City Housing and who cared deeply about social housing.
I wrote this song after observing a fresh bouquet of flowers I had received. I noticed over a period of days and weeks that different types of flowers died before others but at the end it was only the artificial elements of the bouquet that remained. This made me think of analogies of life in today's world.
'Soundtrack of life'
This song is quite simply about trying to being positive throughout the ups and downs of life, and that life carries on regardless.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with Mary Gauthier or Martyn Joseph.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
I used to play stand up drums (floor tom and snare, Mo Tucker stylee) with my partner Andy. One weekend when we were invited to play at the Stratford beer festival and while waiting to perform we were standing at the side of the room leaning against a board which was propped up against a wall and the board slid down as did we landing on the ground. However having had a few real ales we thought it was hilarious as did the audience and we carried on to complete an enjoyable and well received set.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
I have completed the London Marathon in 3hrs 51minutes (1998) which required a great deal of dedication and effort but was an amazing experience. A bit like song writing really.