Imagining Ireland

at Barbican Centre, London

This event has been and gone.

Celebrating the rise in women’s voices in Irish arts and culture, some of the most pivotal of those artists from across Irish literature, music and poetry come together.

Music for the evening includes Imelda May’s jazz-tinged vocals from Love. Life. Flesh. Blood., her bold, personal album; Lisa O’Neill breathes new life into songs passed through generations; art-pop auteur SOAK’s songs of startling candour; singer of the band Lankum and solo artist, Radie Peat – a leading voice in new folk; and poetry and music meet in the work of Denise Chaila, a Zambian-Irish rapper giving voice to a transatlantic odyssey.

From the literary world, Deborah Levy is the author of seven novels, including booker prize nominated Swimming Home and Hot Milk, as well as two works of memoir, Things I Don’t Want To Know and The Cost of Living. The evening also includes Wendy Erskine (Sweet Home), Sinéad Gleeson (Constellations), Sara Baume (A Line Made by Walking) and Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen (The Importance of Being Aisling).


Imelda May

Imelda May appearing at this event

One of Ireland's most celebrated female artists, Imelda May takes you on a twistin' ride influenced by the likes of Wanda Jackson, Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent, but all delivered with Imelda's own unique voice and lyrics. Her stompin' anthems 'Johnny Got A Boom Boom', 'Psycho' and 'Inside Out' all sounded like 1950s classics. However, the modern queen of Rockabilly has since broadened her sound, now taking in elements of blues, rock, soul, gospel and jazz.

See 4 tour dates featuring Imelda May

Lisa O'Neill

Lisa O'Neill appearing at this event

An indie folk singer/songwriter from Cavan, Ireland. Kevin Rowland of Dexy's, a keen observer of Irish culture and its folk traditions, was enraptured by her music, stating "Lisa O’ Neill is the purest music artist I have come across in a long time. She is a true artist – totally uncompromising with an almost naive attitude to what she does, which makes for some of the purest music I’ve heard."

See Lisa O'Neill tour dates


Soak appearing at this event

Soak is young Derry singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Bridie Monds-Watson. A raw and emotional singer, she has won widespread praise, and comparisons ranging from Laura Marling to Beach House, for her textured tales of adolescence, family and friendship.

See Soak tour dates

Also Appearing

Radie Peat, Denise Chaila

Barbican Centre

  • Silk Street
  • London
  • EC2Y 8DS

0207 638 8891
Disabled Booking:
020 7638 8891
Disabled access:
Silver Status