Society of Sound – Cara Dillon live in Belfast

Cara Dillon has a rare talent that you only come across a handful of times in your whole life. Her staggeringly beautiful voice has the ability to reach inside the soul of a song and imbue material with not only profound sweetness but also poignancy and depth.

Cara hails from Dungiven in Northern Ireland and over the past 20 years has achieved an unequalled reputation as being at the forefront of traditional Irish music. She was brought up in a close musical family immersed in the rich cultural heritage of her native Co Derry. Having won the All Ireland Traditional Singing Trophy aged only 14 she went on to sign with Blanco Y Negro (Warners) at 19 and then with the enviably hip Rough Trade Records who released her first 3 solo albums which have earned astonishing critical success and showered her with countless awards.

She has always been an artist with integrity and a broad commercial appeal and over the years has lent her vocals to an extremely varied spectrum of work from guesting on Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells III to singing the opening and closing songs on Disney’s latest Tinker Bell movie, singing at the opening ceremony of the Ryder Cup or an underground Trance hit in 2006 to name but a few.

Her fourth solo album, Hill Of Thieves, was released in 2009 to huge critical acclaim and, as well as being commercially her most successful, it has also been received as her most important work to date. It’s her “return to roots” album and subsequently won the most coveted award for folk and acoustic music in the UK, Album of The Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in February 2010.

Following the success of Hill Of Thieves it was decided to assemble the stellar traditional musicians who featured on the album for one night only to recreate the album and a few of her earlier songs in the spectacular surroundings of Belfast’s prestigious Grand Opera House. The concert was filmed for a DVD with 7 cameras in High Definition and the audio was captured in exquisite detail by Ben Findlay (engineer for Jeff Beck, Peter Gabriel, Yusuf Islam, Goldfrapp etc). The resulting performances are brimming with atmosphere and passion with moments of pure magic unfolding onstage. The all-acoustic band skilfully weave a beautiful and thrilling backdrop for Cara as she relates the stories from these traditional songs with great emotion and experience.

It’s a performance at the very forefront of traditional Irish music and captures Cara at the very top of her game.

Live at the Grand Opera House (BW30) by Cara Dillon, released on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound in November 2010

By Online Editor

Published on Thu, 18 November 10

Further reading

John Metcalfe announces new album and reveals first track ‘Xylem’

Tree is set for release on vinyl, CD and digitally via Real World Records on 22 September 2023.

Bokanté receive two Grammy nominations for latest album ‘History’

The album has been shortlisted for ‘Best Global Album’ and 'Best Engineered Album (non-classical...

Track of the Day: ‘Chavale’ by Kerieva, from Dub No Frontiers

Today sees the release of Kerieva’s ‘Chavale’, the second track to be revealed from the forthc...

Africa comes to Real World: revisiting albums by six legendary artists

Jane Cornwell explores our new reissue series 'Africa Sessions at Real World'.