With her debut Under Mountains album just released, twenty year old Scottish singer songwriter Rachel Semanni is decamping to Ireland for a series of live dates around the country.
Who are you and where are you from?
Rachel Sermanni. Carrbridge.
Who are your favourite artists from your hometown?
I live in a very small town. There are many artists. One woman has a gallery and pottery on the
main street. They are also chainsaw carvers, there’s an event in Carrbridge every year for The
World Chainsaw Carving championships. It is around the same time as the porridge champs.
What’s it really like touring?
It is, perhaps, all to do with perspective, like any job. You can look on it as an opportunity and
seize the chance to explore, both places and humans. Places and humans, on tour, come in such great variety. It’s very colourful. It can also be perceived with less enthusiasm. On some days this is inevitable but I would encourage any ‘tourers’ to break out of this cycle and not indulge in the loneliness for too long because you end up spending your time in front of a computer in a hotel room with strangers scraping at the walls around you and you could be anywhere.
What’s your favourite city/town/venue to play?
I just spent three days in Amsterdam. I like that place. Also has a great venue, Paradiso. And another three days in Paris also. That was amazing. I’d like to spend more time there. I had a walk around Vienna when I was on tour last year and that had a huge impression on me. So many beautiful images frozen in my head from this sublime, cold evening spent walking the
What’s your ideal festival line-up?
Lots of strange bohemian, jazz, old dance stuff.
Tell us a tour story…
So, in Vienna, on my walk, I found a niknak shop. I bought these meditation balls. The ones you spin in your hand. I sat in my room and spun them in my hands for about 2 hours when I got back. They make a very good noise.
What has been your biggest achievement of the last year?
Probably releasing an album (of course, with the help of millions of other people).
What do you do to relax?
I like drawing and doing anything that isn’t scouring Facebook (which I find myself doing sometimes), I like writing. I have many sketchbooks and note pads. A real relaxing thing to do is life drawing on a Tuesday night at The Flying Duck in Glasgow when I’m free. I like running and stretching my body.
What are you reading?
I just finished To Kill a Mockingbird. I am always reading some form of poetry. Just now I delve
into Ginsberg a lot and a book called Concentric Cirlces by a man called Yang Lian.
How about TV, anything good on the box?
I don’t watch much. Last night we watched a bit of Family Guy and it was quite funny.
Who would you most like to collaborate with if you got the chance?
Maybe someone within a different circle from the one I find myself in. Perhaps something strange and electronic…or a huge choir, or an orchestra.
What is the worst cover you’ve ever performed?
We have always enjoyed the covers. We played ‘Love Song’ for a friend’s wedding. I must listen to more of the Cure.
Have you ever trashed your equipment? When and why?
No. But I am prone to leaving tuners and leads about by accident.
What website do you visit most?
Jimjamceilidhband.co.uk. They’re just the best.
What is your favourite…
…album of the last year?
PJ Harvey, Let England Shake
… Record label?
I like the ethos of Bella Union. I like all I’ve heard from that one.
A new artist that you are most excited about?
What was the last great gig went to?
Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward and Fisher at Hootenanny’s in Inverness.
What should we expect from your Irish shows?
I play with the guitar and sing. So this is what you can expect to see. The sounds will hopefully
surpass the physical, though, and people can settle into some cloudy atmosphere. That’d be
real nice if they managed to do that with me..
Rachel Sermanni plays the following shows:
Sat 29th Sep Hole in the Wall, Kilkenny. Doors 9.00pm. Tickets €10
Sun 30th Sep The Crane Lane, Cork. Doors 11.30pm. Tickets FREE
Tues 2nd Oct Portrush Playhouse, Portrush. Doors 7.30pm. Tickets £7
Wed 3rd Oct Voodoo, Belfast. Doors 9.00pm. Tickets £7
Thurs 4th Oct Bourkes Bar, Limerick. Doors 7.30pm. Tickets FREE
Fri 5th Oct Whelans, Dublin. Doors 7.30pm. Tickets €11
Sat 6th Oct Monroe’s Tavern, Galway. Doors 9.00pm. Tickets €5
Sun 7th Oct Arts Centre, Wexford. Doors 7.30pm. Tickets €10