‘I can play the cheese grater and frying pan’

Gwyneth Herbet plays in Bennigans on August 11 and McGrory's Culdaff on 13th.
Gwyneth Herbet plays in Bennigans on August 11 and McGrory's Culdaff on 13th.

@erinhutcheon

But what you wouldn’t expect to see from Gwyneth Herbert when she plays two gigs in the North West next week, is her using bits and pieces from the kitchen to make music.

Gwyneth’s a dab hand at playing the cheese grater, but now that she’s grated her drumstick down to the last bit, she’s moved on to the frying pan. But if you want to find out what she’s doing with it, you’ll just have to come along on the night.

The musician will play a set in Bennigans next Tuesday, August 11 and McGrory’s Culdaff on Thursday.

“We’re in the middle of quite an unusual tour,” she told the ‘Journal.’ “I’d never been to Ireland before so we decided to mark the visit by playing in lots of different little venues. So far we’ve played in a grocer’s store and a small hotel.”

Gwyneth’s never played in Bennigans before but says she’s heard it’s renowned for jazz.

“I was already planning a trip to Ireland so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to play at some intimate venues. For me it’s chance to have a different type of musical adventure.”

To sum up what Gwyneth does in one sentence isn’t easy. She’s a performer and musician, but she also loves storytelling and combining the stories with her music.

Gwyneth has also performed her own film score at the British Film Institute; composed for the London Sinfonietta; presented for BBC Radio 3 and 4; co-created three musicals and a feature-length art film; staged a multi-lingual show in Mombasa; and had her arrangement of a Swahili folk-song performed by 100,000 children at once. She has released six critically-acclaimed albums and toured across the world, sharing stages with the likes of Boy George, Amy Winehouse and John Cooper Clarke.

As well as her voice in Derry, Gwyneth will also play the ukulele, french horn, assorted percussion and cheese-grater alongside boy-wunderkind pianist Ned Cartwright.

She’s a couple of dates into her tour and as well as sampling the Irish cider, Gwyneth’s taken the opportunity to gather up some Irish stories.

“We have had a great response so far,” she said. “And lots of people are singing along in the bars.”

Gwyneth plays Bennigans Bar on Tuesday night and McGrory’s on Thursday night.