Irish musician Róisín O opened for the New York Gospel Stars in Solingen on Friday night. Yet, for many of the audience members she stole the show.
The 26-year-old girl from Dublin took to the stage with a guitar, keyboard and a crystal clear voice with an impressive vocal range. She played songs from her debut album The Secret Life of Blue which was released in 2012 and reached #21 in the Irish Album Charts, as well as a few newer songs like Word-Strong.
Next to her musical talents and voice, Róisín O surprised and delighted the German audience with speaking German while explaining her upcoming tour. Not many performers would have bothered to learn a few sentences in another language, and audience definitely appreciated it.
The singer, whose full name is Róisín O’Reilly, is no stranger to the stage, which is evident when you see her perform. She’s the daughter of Irish folk singer Mary Black and the sister of Danny O’Reilly of The Coronas and has performed at venues world-wide.
I managed to grab her for a minute at the interval to have a quick but lovely chat while she was signing autographs.
It’s nearly 9pm when my door bell rings and Alex Hofmann stands grinning in my hallway. The author of Menschen mit Meer (lit.: People with Sea), a book about people with autism that was published by Kleine Wege in 2013, gives me a hug, gets comfy on the couch – and pulls a thermos out of her handbag.
“I totally forgot I’d made tea and I didn’t want to let it go to waste,” she explains while I go and get mugs and she pulls something else out of her bag.
“There are a few homemade Christmas cookies in this box. Help yourself!”
We talk about this and that; about space and psychology, autism and Menschen mit Meer, and our interview is almost an afterthought.
Es ist fast neun Uhr abends, als es an der Tür klingelt und Alex Hofmann grinsend bei mir auf der Matte steht. Die Autorin von Menschen mit Meer, ein Buch über Menschen mit Autismus das 2013 im Verlag Kleine Wege erschienen ist, umarmt mich kurz, macht es sich auf dem Sofa bequem – und holt als allererstes eine große Thermoskanne aus der Tasche.
“Ich hatte voll vergessen, dass ich frischen Tee aufgesetzt hatte und den wollte ich nicht wegschütten,” erklärt sie, während ich Tassen hole und sie noch etwas aus der Tasche hervorzieht.
“In der Dose sind unter anderem selbstgebackene Weihnachtsplätzchen. Greif zu!”
For Throwback Thursday, I dug up this interview with author Claire Lewis, who published her first book A Sick Work of Art in 2009. I spoke to UoC alumna Claire for the University of Cumbria’s student newspaper The Informer in October 2009.