Who are you and where are you from?
Hannah Mary Peel. I was born in Craigavon and we lived near Lurgan… but somehow ended up in Barnsley, South Yorkshire for school… My family live back in Fermanagh now! I have a strange accent.
Who are your favourite artists from home?
SOAK / The Darkling Air / Die Hexen / Arvo Party / Villagers / Duke Special / Rory Nellis / The Frames … so many amazing artists at home. I’ve heard of more too from being part of the NI Music Prize with AwakeBut Always Dreaming but was disappointed to be the only solo female artist on the list! Hoping that changes for 2018.
What’s it really like touring?
Tough on the body. Yet being on stage is glorious and fun and really makes up for the bus sleeping and lack of sleep and comfort.
What’s your favourite city/town/venue to play?
That keeps changing… I recently played in York and Birmingham supporting Alison Moyet and had were a total surprise with the audience reaction. In Ireland I love McGrorys in Culdaff so its great to go back! I really like the De la Warr Pavillion in East Sussex. Its a beautiful venue and overlooks the sea. Also the Ramsgate Music Hall is a brilliantly run venue and the quirky stage trap door is the only way up from the green room.
What has been your biggest achievement of the year?
Writing, recording and releasing an album that I truly loved working on. Combining my love of brass bands and synths was a dream come true and its been wonderful to see it reach people and get there reactions. I’ve had a wonderful year.
What has been the worst moment of the year?
The first day of supporting Alison Moyet! I was thrown in completely at the deep end with many factors and truly hit rock bottom for a day or two before finding light with the shows and getting to know her and the fab crew.
What was the worst piece of advice you were given?
Four years ago… “Stay away from making music for TV, its not cool.” My managers at the time were dinosaurs. To be an independent artist you need to have lots of strings to your bow to survive and I love writing music for picture.
What do you do to relax?
Leave London, go to Donegal and run the beaches hoping to not meet anyone.
What are you reading?
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – true story behind the cells used in every lab across the world … all from one lady!
How about TV, anything good on the box?
Blue Planet 2 or Stranger Things on Netflix
Do you have a favourite YouTube video?
The one with the dog saying ‘maple syrup’ and also Donna Summer singing ‘I feel Love’.
What website do you visit most?
What is your favourite:
Court and Spark – Joni Mitchell
‘Running up that Hill’ – Kate Bush
Lost classic song?
‘Warm Leatherette’ by The Normal. Covered live by many artists including Grace Jones and Nine Inch Nails and Duran Duran.
Death Waltz records.
Who is your favourite current artist?
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
A new artist that you are most excited about?
They aren’t technically new but I’ve heard snippets of a new collaboration between my pals Wrangler and John Grant and it truly has me excited! Look out for it in 2018.
What was the last great gig you have seen?
Father John Misty at Shepherds Bush in London.
My memory has blocked this out…
What should we expect from your Irish shows?
Myself on synths, violin and vocals with the chivalrous Daisy on drums… taking you deep into the rabbit hole of the mind through memories, dreamlike beauty and confusions. We play the album Awake But Always Dreaming.
Catch the mesmerising sounds of Hannah Peel, live at Voodoo, Belfast, on Saturday 2nd December. Highly recommended.