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Happy that people are having a listen

Fionn Regan, one of the new breed of Irish singer-songwriters destined for bigger things, discusses the interest he's generating.

The Irish music scene seems to have gone through a rebirth over recent years. The emergence of credible artists such as singer-songwriters like Gemma Hayes, Damien Rice and David Kitt has heralded a new generation of recognised Irish talent both at home and on the international front. A name that will undoubtedly be joining these ranks very soon is a young man from Bray called Fionn Regan.

Fionns' first single 'Little miss drunk' was released in July last year to a circus of media interest. Although he has yet to release a full album, his first effort, 'Reservoir EP' was released in January. The explosion of interest generated by this humble effort was not something that Fionn anticipated. "I try not to think too much, especially about releases, 'cause you never know, you could just pick a bad week. There are millions of people releasing stuff, hugely talented people, who never make it because for some reason people didn't pick up on it that week."

Comparisons have been made to such musical legends as Neil Young, Elliot Smith and Jeff Buckley. Fionn's music exudes a very intimate atmosphere thus he is a veteran of venues such as Dublin's The Ruby Sessions and London's The Barfly. On the day of his performance in Dublin's Ambassador Theatre as support to Turin Brakes, he commented on his outlook for the show and such a change in venue size. "It's always good when the venue gets bigger, but that can mean sometimes a little noisier too. But that's just the way it goes. Sometimes you can be in a small little room and people could be going crazy."

Currently based in both Dublin and Brighton, Fionn is aware of the conflicting advantages of both small and large music scenes. "Obviously, the bigger the place, you make a smaller splash," he commented while discussing his efforts in Britain. Thus he is delighted at the current explosion of interest that the 'Reservoir EP' has received of late. "It could've been that no-one paid attention to it, but, yea, I'm definitely happy that people are having a listen."

Fionn is also aware of the difficulties many Irish artists have faced in the past, insisting that Dublin's music scene is quite abundant, but not fully appreciated. "There are lots of cool little bands out there. I'd love to go around and get all their little EPs individually. I think there is actually quite a healthy music scene in Dublin."

Hoping to record a full album soon, Fionn expressed a desire to make a more conscious effort compared to his previous releases. "The last album was quite rough and ready. I just slammed down the tunes. I tried to capture them and tried not to think about it too much. I'm not too sure, but I think there might be more thinking to this one."

There are also rumours that he may be performing at this year's Glastonbury Festival amongst others. There is an endearing awkwardness to Fionn, something he says he maintained from years of keeping his head-down posture whilst walking around rougher areas of Dublin! This is only heightened by the isolated image of just himself and his acoustic guitar in the centre of the stage at the Ambassador in Dublin.

To watch Fionn perform is in itself enough to generate the emotions his songs purvey. They are a mixture of harrowing and pitch-perfect vocals twined with intricate guitar plucking, melodic harmonies. He conveys a talent far beyond his young 23 years and ultimately there is a feeling that this young man is going to become very important indeed.


by Bernadette Johnston

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