THE one-night only Imagining Ireland concert returns to London next month – boasting an awesome, female only line-up.
Stars Imelda May, Lisa O’Neill, Lankum lead singer Radie Peat and Art-pop auter Soak lead the bill for the annual event, which for 2020 embodies a ‘Speaking up, Speaking Louder’ theme – which champions the cultural change in Ireland over recent years which has seen women truly find their voices.
To add to the already impressive collection of female musicians signed up for the gig, wordsmiths Sinéad Gleeson, Deborah Levy, Wendy Erskine, Sara Baume and Denise Chaila are also taking part.
Co-curator Sinéad Gleeson explained: “The theme for Imagining Ireland is 'Speaking Up, Speaking Louder' which to me, embodies all the social and cultural change that has happened in Ireland in recent years.
“After decades of silence, women have finally found their voices.
“Many did so in music and words, two things that are very important to me.I wanted this line-up to be inclusive and diverse; to showcase the huge number of talented women telling stories with songs or essays or short stories.”
With so much strong female Irish talent on the scene right now, organisers had no problem filling the bill for the night, if anything they had to focus on how to get the line-up just right.
“The biggest problem was how to scale it down, with so much talent to choose from,” Ms Gleeson explains.
“These are contemporary performers, speaking of the now, like Imelda May and SOAK - Radie Peat and Lisa O'Neill's work seems to amplify history and the past too.
“While Wendy Erskine documents the politics and culture of Northern Ireland with wit and humour.”
She adds: “I saw Denise Chaila perform a devastating piece about #MeToo at a festival and because she's an electrifying performer, I wanted her to part of this.
“To have Deborah Levy - an excellent writer who is as at home in memoir and poetry as drama and novels - is a big highlight.
“Bringing this troupe of funny, smart, articulate women together has been a joy, and I can't wait for London audiences to hear them.”
IMAGINING IRELAND: Speaking Up, Singing Louder is at London’s Barbican Hall from 7.30pm on Friday, February 21. For tickets click here.