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  • Writer's pictureCHRIS FARLIE

The Long Road: Interstate Stage - Aoife O'Donovan


Some times the festival Gods are kind and yet on at least a few occasions at Long Road the line up was so good that you needed to simultaneously be in three places at once. With the laws of physics unable to be broken #TEAMw21 raced from one stage to another to catch as much as possible of Aoife ( E-fur) O'Donovan, for to have missed her totally would have been a crime.


On arriving at the Interstate Stage there were definitely some odd things occurring. The stage was bathed in strange yellowish light none of which seemed to be focused on Aoife in her white Bruce Springsteen t shirt, leaving her to be a voice in the dark.


Our belated time with Aoife started with "Hornets" a song written with Sarah Jarosz and sometimes played along with Nicklecreek's Sara Watkins in their "I'm With Her" band. As the song began the stage lighting turned to blue yet Aoife still was in the darkness. "Hornets" would see Aoife fire off the lyrics occasionally at some speed, she also had the strange ability to never quite take the path you expected her to take with her song yet she never failed to totally grab the attention.

Aoife would draw attention to her t shirt at the start of the next number and mention that she does a show performing the whole of Springsteen's "Nebraska" album - tonight we just get the one song "Open All Night". Once again the lines would be fired out a speed with some Bruce "Whoo hoo's" added in for good measure.


Another more traditional cover would follow with "The Lakes of Pontchartrain" with Aoife once again holding the audience in the palm of her hand, Her delivery this time much slower and considered, her guitar style equally more gentle.


Heading off to Denmark the next morning her final tune was the uptempo "Passengers", the closing track on her rather wonderful double disc "Age Of Apathy" cd which she would stay and sign for those captivated by her performance. The most poppy of the songs that we managed to see, this may not have had quite the calypso feel of the recorded version however it was still a great way to close things out.


Next time come what may, Aoife is getting our undivided attention even if Bruce himself is on the other stage!

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