1st November (Fri.)
Headlining at Wexford Fringe Festival Spiegeltent on the Quay, Wexford town
Tickets available from Wexford Arts Centre http://www.wexfordartscentre.ie/
and Whites for Music on Main street
Sat Nov 30th
Joe's Pub The NY Christmas Show @7 pm
(The Public Theatre) New York,
425 Lafayette St New York, NY 10003
Sat Dec 7th
7.00 PM The Beal Bocht
The Bronx Christmas Show
445 W 238th St Bronx,
Take the 1 train to 238 street stop
Thurs. 19th Dec
20 South 2nd St
PA 19106, USA
+1 215-928-0978 to purchase tickets http://www.tinangel.com/tickets.html
Turner Pierces Gloom & Hawley at the Savoy
Arriving at the Savoy Theatre in Cork, I thought maybe I had happened up on a Civil Defence troupe on night manoeuvres given the marked security presence in position front of house. Expecting a rowdy clientele, I was somewhat disappointed to find the audience attending the Richard Hawley gig at the recently reopened venue were quite a sedate, middle aged, predominantly male crowd. The Sheffield entertainer cut an inky, sombre figure dressed all in black, in drainpipe jeans and leather jacket .
Standing on the stage end of a balcony ( yes be warned those of us who are no longer young - it is standing only at this venue), I noted that Hawley's feet were embedded in a semi circle of two dozen or so foot pedals, sockets and goodness knows what other high tech accoutrements. The vibe was mellow, almost hypnotic. His baritone voice is rich, treacly and rather soothing. The band, a quartet of guitars with drums were smartly dressed in dark suits and exuded an aura of being far too cool to move to much from their static pose and the audience seemed almost reverential observers. Adding to the trancey ambiance, a rather unusual effect highlighted in neon light the lower half of the people standing at the glass balconies, almost like those swimming pool widows in theme park restaurants, revealing lines of blue jeaned and legging clad limbs.
Vaguely disconcerting! Half way through the set there was a tap on my shoulder as a security guard told me that 'Sitting on the floor is 'Verboten' at the Savoy.
On the other side a of town , the mood on Douglas Road was anything but mellow and detached as Wexford singer and one man band extraordinaire Pierce Turner was whipping up the crowd in the back room of Coughlan's Pub.
Turner, an unorthodox figure has the rugged look of a man who would be as comfortable at the wheel of a tractor as striking a stage pose. Referencing all sorts of musical styles from the sacred to the profane in his songs, always with a sense of humour and a soupcon of irony, Turner was exuberant, fun and the atmosphere was terrific.
Blessed with a rather fine tenor voice and a firm sustained legato vocal style owing something to liturgical influences, I suspect. There was a strong choral element to the songs and the audience sang along with gusto in the refrains, You could imagine some of the songs working very well on the terraces.
A flick through his biography suggests he has had an fascinating musical journey including hooking up with Philip Glass. Why have.I not heard more of him.? He is surely a national treasure and as good as some of the other lauded music stars we hear about.
Cognoscenti in the audience included Ger Wolfe and bassist Paul Frost and Mick Hannigan of Cork Film Festival and Andrew Desmond of Whazon Cork My pick for solo gig of the year without a doubt . Shannon region promoters, take note and bring him this direction soon please!
Pierce Turner at Kilkenny Arts Festival 2010
Irish Times Review : August 9, 2010
Telling stories and singing songs at the KAF,
Over the first weekend of the Kilkenny Arts Festival, two acts in particular stood out. On Saturday evening, while Robert Fisk was delivering the Hubert Butler lecture in St Canice’s Cathedral, Pierce Turner was ripping it up in Kilkenny’s Parade Tower with his blend of singing, storytelling and more than a touch of vaudeville.
Turner divides his time between Wexford and New York and here, with accompaniment from Karen Dervan and Lynda O’Connor on viola and violin respectively, he bounced between piano, guitar, and a bit of xylophone, and interspersed his set with various stories relevant to his songs. His show opener was a narrated short story with some projected images about two men enjoying a marvellous conversation. The set was exciting stuff, with plenty of humour and skill and a real traditional feel, in that the audience wasn’t so much listening to a series of songs, as been told a long story, with all the different elements interlinking along the way through song, spoken word and even the odd few shapes that Turner was throwing on stage.
On Sunday, Erik Friedlander brought his Block Ice and Propane project to the Set Theatre, and although it was a much more contemplative affair, it had a lot in common with Turner’s show. Friedlander is the son of Lee Friedlander, a US photographer, and every summer the family Friedlander would be packed into an ageing pick-up truck, with some accommodation built on top, and they would take off on a mad, few months’ long dash from the east to the west coast. Friedlander’s father like to make the most of the summer months, the beautiful light and the long days.
The result is a cache of photographs that depicts the US from coast to coast, and hundreds of pictures of little Erik, his sister, parents and oddball aunts and uncles, supplemented by some haunting films by Bill Morrison. Block Ice and Propane (Friedlander specifically referred to it as a “project” rather than an album) is directly inspired by this, and Friedlander narrates various slides of his family and tells a few very charming stories about what sounds like nothing less than a great American adventure during the 1960s and 1970s.
The music itself is stunning, switching from raw, meditative laments of open prairies to rollicking, blistering reels which rip of Friedlander’s carbon-fibre cello with astonishing alacrity and technique. Some of the tracks are sophisticated and delicate, whereas others sound like they have just rolled in off the Appalachian mountains.
So where do this unlikely pair meet? Well, Turner’s show was not entirely solo whereas Friedlander was, but both were crossing a lot of boundaries with these concerts. There was a modern, multimedia element to both, but the beauty was in the very act of telling stories, using music and sound, film, video and instruments, in a very naturalistic and accomplished way. Many performers get up to sing their songs and think it is enough – and in many cases, it is. But in these two acts we have performers, from very different places and very different backgrounds, who go a step further in bringing their message out into the open, and creating an experience that is all the more immersive and engaging,
Pierce Turner at Carnegie Hall
Tibet House Annual Benefit Concert 2010
The New York Times
Regina Spektor, whose piano playing invoked Russian Romanticism, sang about fears in “Après Moi” and “The Sword and the Pen” — which wonders, “What if nothing is safe?” — and about human conceptions of God in “Laughing With.” Pierce Turner, a piano-playing Irish songwriter with tinges of opera and Joni Mitchell, sang his “Yogi With a Broken Heart,” joined by Mr. Glass on keyboard. (View on You Tube)
About 30 seconds into his opener “The Passenger” at New York’s Carnegie Hall Friday night, Iggy Pop declared, “Aw, fuck this shirt,” tore off his black V-neck sweater and tossed it stage right to a waiting Patti Smith, who caught it and giddily hopped up and down while swinging like she’d just caught a wedding bouquet. It was a rare moment even for the Tibet House Benefit Concert, an annual event that raises money to preserve the country’s threatened culture. The benefit, now in its 20th year, has hosted unlikely collaborations like Moby and David Bowie performing “Heroes” in 2003 and Ray Davies and Debbie Harry trading verses on “Lola” in 2007. This year marked the 60th anniversary of the 1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet, and the show kicked off with several Tibetan monks performing a haunting chant in front of a large painting of the region’s sprawling Potala Palace. The setup was sparse: most performers shared the same drums and amps, and the Patti Smith Group acted as house band. Early in the night, composer Phillip Glass introduced Irish singer Pierce Turner, who sat at the grand piano and performed the soaring, Bowie-reminiscent “Yogi with a Broken Heart.” Regina Spektor later played an apocalyptic set including the bone-chilling “Laughing,” which featured gloomy strings. The 30-year-old Bronx singer joked about finally making it to the legendary hall. “I’ve always wanted to play Carnegie Hall,” she said. “And now I have lipstick on my nose.”
WEXFORD MAN PIERCE IS ONE OF THE 50 THINGS TO LOVE ABOUT IRELAND. Sunday Tribune May 28th -
By John Meagherff Wallis who has written the 2006 The Rough Guide to Ireland has written his 50 Irish delights about the country, alongside, the smell of a turf fire, sausages and champ and Flann O'Brien, he sites Pierce as:
Pierce Turner -
Christy Moore had it exactly right "I love the way Pierce Turner sings." Why this Wexford- born, seemingly undiscovered genius of a songwriter receives less press attention in Ireland than a dog show at the RDS is utterly beyond me.
Geoff Walllis The Rough Guide to Ireland 2006
Numbered amongst Pierce Turner fans are movie stars like Brad Pitt who took the risk of going to a show at Whelans of Dublin, where he could have been mobbed. (After the show Brad even sent one of his bodyguards down to the stage to buy a C.D.) and Timothy Hutton who fought to get hold of the famous marching cymbals, used in one of Turner's songs. Unfortunately, page 6 of the New York Post got hold of the story and his cover was blown.
Either you know, love and think Pierce Turner is a huge star, or you never heard of him, and couldn't care less. But one thing for sure is you're not over exposed to him. Also it's for sure that if you see a Turner show you will leave with an impression of some kind. Most likely it will be a good one. It has been written in more than one reputable paper that a Turner show is an awe inspiring experience.
Hot Press / Heineken voted him Irish solo performer of the year in 1995. New York Magazine called him an undiscovered Gem and put him on the front cover. John Peel said Turner's recording of his own song "Wicklow hills" was one of the singles of the decade. In the Hot Press anniversary issue they listed him as one of Ireland's most important artists of the last Twenty years. You would have to be a complete couch potato or more of a fashion fan than music fan, not to be curious. There will be many more chances to see P.T. with his band of strings in the new millennium. Stay in touch. Join Pierce's mailing list.
Loaded by John Meagher
day & night
Irish Independent 19 June 2009
Wexford troubadour Pierce Turner plays Dublin's Sugar Club tomorrow night. Never one of the most profolic of performers, he has been especially quiet of late. But the singer-songwriter has used that time productively, not least in March of this year, when he had the honour of being personally chosen by one of the leading figures in contemporary classical music, Philip Glass, to perform at a New York event he was curating. To give a measure of the esteem with which Glass holds Turner, the other people he asked to perform were Patti Smith and Suzanne Vega.
Turner tells me that he and Glass - whose movie soundtrack work includes the groundbreaking Koyaaniqatsi and Notes on a Scandal, as well as his celebrated take on Bowies'e Low and "Heroes" albums - are planning to work on a new collection together.
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TURNER, THE "BOY" GENIUS
By Pius Meagher
I wonder have any of you out there ever felt really sorry for a multitude of people all at once? Well I felt like Gandhi last Friday night in Cleeres when I witnessed one of the best shows I've ever seen; so sorry did I feel for the umpteen thousand blind apostles in Croke park listening to little motormouth Bon Bon preach his tiny mind out, backed by the Blunt, Barry and Drum Drum. The real gig was in Kilkenny this night (Friday last), and we had a real genius: Pierce Turner. He doesn't patronize his fans with misguided information, nor does he leave politics ruin his wonderful music; and, you suspect, that if he had millions of bucks, in the bank he'd put his money where his mouth is and not be a cod messiah.
Beginning on his own with his trusty keyboard, he sang the title track to his new album, and what a euphoric beginning: "This is my song for the year, and I am the boy to be with." The song is about how certain birds try to win their mates by singing the sweetest song, he says "the better the song, the better the quality of bird" before he gave us an example of how it sometimes applies to humans in his hilarious Tommy Cooper-ish amazement: "I mean look at Julia Roberts and your man, Lyle Lovett- Jaysus!" Anyway, the songs did the most important talking of the night, he played more of the new stuff while still playing material from 3 Minute World (I think he feels he's not totally finished touring it yet).
The songs are masterpieces; rich, layered tapestries that are so sweet and tragic that your heart literally moves from it's place. After The Bright and The Early he picks up the guitar and is joined by the lovely Katie O'Connor on violin: The Sky and The Ground, Zero Here, and the DIY classic, Mayhem which thumped like an industrial festival. He is a musical GENIUS (I use that word very sparingly as its often misguided and overused). He is our BRIAN WILSON (I use that name hardly ever, but he's in the same league). After his brilliant new single, Jazz came Mannana In Manhattan and an hour-and-a-half was gone in what seemed like mere seconds - yes, time does fly when you're having fun. But we wouldn't let him get away that quick and he returned with the Ballad of Rory Gallagher and arguably the most hair- raising song ever, Wicklow Hills with its yearning call for isolation, begging to hide one's face away when something big falls apart: " Tell everybody I'm gone away for ten years" he sings, and you hope he never takes his own classic literally. This was the gig of the year. We hope he won't take so long to return to Kilkenny next time. We are blessed to have this national treasure.
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A breathtaking and wonderful performance, featuring Pierce in great voice, a three-piece electric backing band, and the surprise appearance of Fred Parcells. Joe's Pub has a terrific sound system, and it really shined during the full band songs, particularly in Snakes & Ladders and Wicklow Hills where a lesser system might have distorted. Highlights for me included a solo-at-piano Thunderstorm, and Mr. Smith in its original rock-band arrangement. The place was packed, the positive energy was so thick you could cut it with a knife, and Pierce gave a show for the ages. What a night! -
Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 Post subject: Pierce at Joe's Pub (Public Theatre) NYC, 2004-10-30 "I was so busy complaining that you don't play in New York enough I think I forgot to mention how great the Joe's Pub gig was. The new songs were beautiful and the new arrangement on Animal made it even more hee-larious. So when did you say the next is show gonna be?"
-Jaimee Nov 01, 2004
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The Dublin Gigs
Pierce returned to his, by now, spiritual home in Dublin, Whelans, and proceeded to tear the roof off the place. The "best fucking audience in the world" he said last night and nobody could argue with that. Despite a quite substantial volume in the venue it was becoming difficult to hear him over the massed chorus. Was there anybody there last night that did not know *all* the words to the songs?
I have always wondered what makes a Pierce show so unique and it was evidenced last night when you looked at all the faces (which could be seen clearly in the way the venue was lit), everybody had a huge grin on their face. Certainly a lot to enjoy with a few classic Pierceisms - especially the one about it being raining in the "Sunny South-East" for the past 3 months and that people who had put out their washing to dry were unable to get back out to take it in - so long it had been that one person recently found a birds nest in their underwear. Also lots of dancing - which led to more than a few clicks in the PA because of his radio mike "gadget" getting a bit of a hammering.
On at 9.30 or thereabouts and gave a superb set. Snazzy new jacket which had been designed for him (and the designer was in the audience, too). I wouldn't quite say he is a poser but he certainly enjoyed modelling the jacket for us - more than once, too. A few changes in the quartet since I saw them in Wexford at Christmas but a fine performance from everyone - especially Emer on Cello who, we were told, had her car stolen earlier in the evening.
The setlist ran something like the following. I am not certain of the order of the encores but this is close. Only significant omission was that we did not get Musha and that meant that Pierce finally left the stage to rousing chants of "Animal." Looked to me like the venue wanted to close him down Pre-arrival introduction was Divinity
1. You can never know/Faith - great strong opening and an almighty chorus for Faith"
2. Oh Ireland
4. Busy Man
5. Manana in Manhatten
8. All Messed Up - great attention from the noisy crowd for this one.
9. Say You Don't Mind
10. 3 Minute World
11. Snakes and Ladders
12. Don't want her to feel that way
13. A life in the day (great, great, great version with all the usual theatrics and the "sleep" at the end)
14. Moonbeam Josephine
15. Dirty Old Town (a nice surprise - close to the MIM version)
16. Wicklow Hills Encores:
17. Orange Coloured Sun (superb solo acoustic version - even more restrained than usual)
18. Lithium (my ears are still ringing from the massed chorus)
19. One Minute More
20. Big, Big Bruise (solo and appeared to be played due to popular demand)
21. Band of Gold (come on Pierce, when are we going to get a live recorded version of this complete with the "rap"? A new "Saturday Night Yap") There were numerous requests for this one too.
In attendance and namechecked by Pierce was Brian Kerr, Ireland's new soccer manager. He was interviewed recently in an Irish newspaper and, when asked his favourite musician, he replied that it was the "madman from Wexford." I went along with two music fans who I introduced to Pierce's music last year. Their first time seeing him live and were they impressed or what? Citing Sean O Riada on the way home, they said he was one very identifiable influence. I only wish that I could make it back down home to the Peoples Republic of Cork for next Thursday's gig. First appearance in the Peoples Republic since October '01 (?) in the Lobby with Vicky Clancy - and that was one of the most enjoyable ever. Some of the citizens can't wait, I hear. A very satisfying night for artist and crowd, it seemed. Hope we get to see him again before he heads back home soon.
A review of Pierce's Whelans - Dublin gig on Sat. 22nd Feb.
from a Corkman in exile lving in Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
The Vicar Street gig was fabulous: the one thing I always say about Pierce's gigs: they're fun and you come away smiling. Can't say that about a lot of gigs! The new album is absolutely superb - better than we could expect and probably much better than we lowlifes deserve. The wonderful arrangements, thematic sequencing and the killer songs.... our hero has exceeded all our expectations. Pierce is De Man. I think I'll head down to Wexford for the gig. And maybe Limerick too...
Best wishes, Jess - Dublin May 21, 2001
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What I like about Pierce Turner and his music
The first time I saw Pierce Turner play, I wasn't so sure I'd like him. He was performing in a very hip downtown bar, which was known for martini cocktails and not for pints of Guiness. The audience was all dressed in black and I saw more than one beret.
By the time our man Pierce hit the stage, I was already bored by their ironic conversation and had a bad taste in my mouth from the gin and vermouth. He was going to have to work to win me over.
He did. He had all the passion of punk rock with none of the attitude. His songs told stories about Wexford, Dublin, or my own East Village with choruses when we were invited to sing along. The best part was when he jumped off the stage and actually started dancing on the tables! Some of the patrons seemed put off (what with cocktails spilling and all), but I loved it! I was hooked.
Now Pierce plays every Sunday at Swift and I try not to miss him. I can't think of a better way to fortify myself for the week to come than with a few hours of song, dance, good stories and Pierce Turner - and at Swift the Guinness is on tap.
Jaimee Young - Manhattan
The question should be - what don't I like about Pierce's music? Nothing! Pierce is the ultimate in a good time on a Sunday night! Sunday nights are depressing, because Monday's always come, but Pierce makes me forget about all of that, Pierce your spirit, enthusiasm and joie de vie are all but unknown in the music world. You are the man! I always leave your show with a smile on my face, no matter what bullshit is going on in my life.
Thanks for being you! I'd like to sing with you more, but I'll take what I can get.
lots of love Maura xoxox Ryan Manhattan
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