Music from the Heart

Whichever way the wind blows - Remembering Fergus O'Farrell

Do you believe in magic? Not the supernatural one but the one when there's no need to say anything, when you just feel the love and connection. Thursday February 2nd marked the 1st anniversary of the death of Fergus O'Farrell of Interference, singer with a golden voice and inspiring human being. Glen Hansard gathered friends and collaborators to celebrate the man. The first gig took place on February 2nd at Cork Opera House and the second one was in Vicar street in Dublin on February 5th. You could certainly feel the magic there.

Philip King started the evening with Rumi's poem "Where everything is music". It brought emotions to the venue and captured everyone's heart. You could feel the love and respect in the air, whether it was from the side of the band or the audience. Everyone was enjoying themselves on stage and everyone knew Ferg would want the night to be exactly like this. A big celebration. Filmmaker Michael McCormack introduced Breaking Out, a documentary in which he followed Ferg's life and art for more than ten years. The footage also contains recording with Glen Hansard and The Frames in January of last year, shortly before Ferg's passing. It's a very powerful material and as the trailer says "a story you will never forget". An Indiegogo campaign was launched at the Cork Opera House on Feb 2nd to help finish the project so please go to, search for "Breaking Out film" and support this beautiful project. Thank you.

So many special guests came to sing a song or two, these included Mundy, Jerry Fish or Liam Ó Maonlaí of Hothouse Flowers who brought everyone to a different world with his version of Killer species. Jack O'Rourke sang Leonie, a very old song that never made it on cd and the song brought a lot of people to tears. Another very touching moment came with Malcom MacClancy, co-founder of Interference and co-writer of Fergus' who shared with the audience the lyrics of I owe you nothing, the last song the two were working on. The song has been recorded so it will hopefully see the light at some stage.

It seems the talent and love for music has passed to the next generation. Max Vearncombe, son of Camilla Griehsel and Colin Vearncombe aka Black, sang a beautiful version of I'm your man. O'Farrell's nephew Luke Butler played the guitar in one of the songs, west Cork singer Ciara O'Driscoll sang an evocative version of I was looking for someone and Ferg's niece Roisín Little ended the night with an Irish language version of Gold. Breathtaking.

There were images of O'Farrell's paintings shown during the night alongside various photos and lines from the songs. Ferg may have left us but his legacy lives on and this is not the end. Wonderful to see this family of brilliant musicians trusting each other on stage and the result is just unforgettable. There might have been people who didn’t know Fergus or haven’t had a chance to see the band live but the power of the songs just gets you anyway and you realize this man really was the master of his art.

The long awaited second album, The Sweet Spot, was launched at the gigs as well. It contains O’Farrell’s most beautiful work including Sail on which featured on Other voices or Something right, co-written again with Malcolm MacClancy. Very happy nights.



 Photo: Richie Tyndall

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