Philip Fogarty
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Philip Fogarty

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Philip Fogarty is giving a short tour to mark the release of his new recording Lambs, and was in St. Nicholas's Collegiate Church last week. The night after his Galway show he played in that bastion of rock 'n' roll, the Swiss embassy in Dublin.

The church provided a great setting for Fogarty, and was reminiscent of the surrounding for RTE's Other Voices. Fogarty alternated between the bodhran and the accordion for most of the evening but his sound is far from traditional. Joined by Eddie Dee on bass, Aileen Maloney on violin and Anna Lardi on violin, keyboards and effects Fogarty goes off on melodic, electronica-infused tangents. Sleepless was inspired by a childhood fear of the dark and how it was alleviated by the month of June. The song has a suitably dreamlike quality as Fogarty and his band create delicate, playful music that brings to mind the work of Amelie composer Yann Tiernsen.

What's left ventures into darker territory. It's a song about the aftermath of something so shocking that it uproots your life. Fogarty doesn't say exactly what this is but it is refreshing to hear challenging music that encourages the listener to fill in the blanks.

Eddie Dee's bass playing is precise and smooth, while Lardi's and Maloney's duelling violins are wonderful and the electronic beats never overpower the music. Tying all this together is Fogarty's voice, which has a world-music quality to it and also has tones of Peter Gabriel. This was an evening of bold inventive music. Check out www.philipfogarty.com to hear some of his songs and for upcoming shows.

Jimi McDonnell - Galway City Tribune


To mark the release of his new album 'lambs', Crusheen native Philip Fogarty embarks today on a short nationwide tour that takes in Glor on Wednesday night next February 28th. Now living in Galway after a stay in Cork for a number of years, the Clare musician and his band make a welcome return to the Ennis venue following a well received gig there late last year. Fogarty worked for a time as a studio and touring session musician with rock bands like Rubyhorse and The Fabulous Solfas before commencing his solo career. Brought up in the thriving traditional music scene of his native county, (his first instrument was the button accordion), Philip includes traditional influences in his current work that also include contemporary, rock and electronica.

His band is made up of Fogarty himself, Eddie Dee, Aileen Maloney and Anna Lardi. "There's a lot of instrument swapping going on in the band", says the Crusheen man. "Eddie plays bass primarily but he also plays percussion and keyboards. Aileen sticks pretty much to the violin. Anna also plays violin, as well as keyboards, percussion, drums and melodica and I play bodhran, a bit of percussion, button accordion and piano," reveals Fogarty. "It's kind of like musical chairs and we actually do move around physically from instrument to instrument during gigs."

With such a varied array of instruments, the sound is pretty eclectic, I suggest. "It's ecclectic within a certain range, I suppose. But I would like to think that it all hangs together and there is a central feel to it," he replies. Mixed musical influences have established a fresh sound for the singer/musician/composer and in the contemporary world of predictable and uninspiring music it's refreshing to hear someone whose desire is to create and explore as well as connect. Wednsday's Glor gig promises to be an experience of a different kind. Philip Fogarty and friends mix a unique vocal and songwriting style with a fascinating instrumental soundscape. Fogarty's music is fresh, original and never dull.

Gerry Quinn - Clare People Weekender


we cling to the raft and look for a sign of the shore
the sea is a healer, it bathes me with time where i'm sore
and it's so long since i've been like this
just drifting along with the waves one day at a time
i've a road in front
and a road behind
and one more day to live
with the wind in my hair
and the sun in my face
and one more day to live
we follow the pathway
it leads you whereever it might
shadowy figures
walking from dark into light
and it's so strange where we're heading
didn't understand it back then
and i don't either now
(One more day to live)

From the stark, heart-wrenching elegance of 'One more day' with its spare and discreet piano accompaniment, Philip Fogarty's music is a constant and rewarding voyage of discovery.
As an artist, a musician, he is very hard to pin down. He slips fairly seamlessly between 'styles' as he voyages towards creating his own.
These songs are not the stumblings of a dilettante, rather the strivings of a serious artist to explore boundaries. He can't abide the use of the word "experimental", himself; reckoning, rightly, that it's the kiss of death for a relatively unknown musician.
This is a situation that is rapidly about to change. National radio has started to sit up and take notice, John Creedon of 'Late date' RTE1 in particular (local radio please note!). A substantial Irish tour is now being launched (more of this anon) and a wider audience is about to get "that Fogarty feeling".
Live performance is his love but 'records' have to be sold to put some bread on the table with, preferably, a scrape or two of butter.
This, after the critically acclaimed but financially modest success of his first album "Endangered Breed", he has joined the internet generation and both his 'old' and 'new' music; 'Lambs', are now available to download on www.philipfogarty.com and are beginning to generate a few slices of wholemeal in Yen and Zlotys and the like.
'Endangered Breed' also got him gigs with the likes of The Frames and The Cowboy Junkies.
We have a terribly bad habit, in this neck of the woods, of taking it for granted that we are knee-deep in assorted talent and tend to overlook or blink at anything that ain't as big as the SawDocs or Druid. Folk of that calibre and experience would be the first to say that a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. Folk with the courage to take that step and the vision to see the goal are generally worth listening to. Fogarty is. There are post-industrial licks of Seamus Heaney and Phillip Larkin but this is absolutely not derivative work.
Now, the fact is everybody (but everybody) has influences but Fogarty is a true original.
A Clareman who came through the Comhaltas system, he knows Trad but is no slave to it. There are touches of everything from Dan Fogelberg to the Pogues via Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits and I dare say he's listened to a German electronic band or two but nothing dominates. This isn't just stuff he has listened to. What he does is write and write really well. Oh, that and sing.
It is truly a shame that the honourable phrase singer-songwriter has somehow been debased and dismissed by the hip/hop/rap generation; for this is what he is. That indefinable combination of craftsman and technician which produces magic.
Prolific in private output, he ruthlessly prunes the public results and bins vastly more than he airs. This, in itself, says a great deal. As in any worth-while writing the spaces between the lines often say as much (or more) as the lines themselves.
There can be a deceptive simplicity to his lyrics but they amply repay repeated listening when allied to his emotional, intimate voice.

so this is where it started
and this is where we left
the last of what we were
the frequencies have changed
you twist that dial around
and hear the airwaves sing
repeating once again
you know that there’s a stranger in your skin
but you’ve got a piece of me with you
so don’t go all weird on me now
poison streams are running through the soil you thought you knew
say the word and it begins
i know that you’ll break through
(Don't go all weird on me now)

"Some people have beeen prophesying the death of all things musical for some time now, pointing to the web and uncontrolled copying. I think music did OK for itself for thousands of years before the music industry and it'll do just fine too after the industry is gone," Fogarty muses. "In a funny sort of way, technology might eventually lead us back to where we started. Where there were only a limited number of ways a musician could live off music and a much more direct relationship between the musician and the listeners."
Ah, he's getting philosophical! Seeing the look on my face he adds, "Even if you look at the situation right now on the Internet and ignore for a moment, at your peril, the legal aspect... Paying for music now is a bit like supporting a busker."
My look of perplexity must have gone up a notch because he - Tuam Herald


Discography

Endangered Breed, EP, 1999
Songs for Animals, LP, 2001
Short Stories, EP, 2004
Lambs, LP, 2004

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Bio

“Philip Fogarty is a musician confounding expectations and opening new vistas at the borderlands of musical adventure”
- Galway Now

“...positively shines with an austere, semi-minimalist beauty.”
- Jeremy Schlosberg, Fingertips

Philip Fogarty is a solo artist from Ireland who worked for some years in the Irish scene as a session musician and singer. As a solo artist he has been fronting his own band, playing nationwide and touring in Europe and the United States, having appeared in billings alongside The Frames and the Cowboy Junkies, following the release of the critically-acclaimed “endangered breed”. He has also participated in media hookups destined for the U.S. Cable networks and some footage for transmission on the continent as well as collaborating in multimedia installations with Swiss artist Monika Von Aarburg.

Following an extensive period of studio work, he has once more recently taken up the reins on the live front, his early sell-out dates featuring much of the material from his forthcoming recording, “lambs”. The website, philipfogarty.com, now features its own independent paid download system where all tracks may be bought in the mp3 format.

To mark the release of “lambs” Philip Fogarty embarked on a very well received nationwide tour of Ireland at the end of February of 2007, taking in Galway, Dublin, Clifden, Wexford, Cork and Clare. Dates on the continent are planned for later this year.

Hitherto known for large soundscapes and full-on production, current gigs focus on a more intimate approach in smaller venues, with a shift away from heavy sequencing towards a sparser, more organic style.

Philip Fogarty’s music has been placed in context with that of many widely varying artists, inviting comparisons with Primal Scream, Radiohead, The The, Jethro Tull, Kate Bush and Sun Ra, to name but a few. As with all artists of mixed musical origins, his work has proved difficult to categorise meaningfully, the music featuring many undercurrents from the artist’s own background of Irish traditional, contemporary, rock and electronica, and yet there is an undeniable thread of identity running through it, an authorative stamp of originality which is uniquely his. His live work fuses together many disparate elements in tandem with his distinctive vocals, from classical and traditional violins to vocoded microphone percussion, from bodhran to synth work and delay feedback effects, along with other conventional instruments such as bass, piano, guitar and drums, running the gamut from walls of noise to the sparsest of soundscapes, as counterpoint to a unique vocal and songwriting style.