Songbird Mairead wows

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Derry songbird Mairead Carlin says she’s still reeling after what she’s described as the “overwhelming and amazingly special experience” of performing at last week’s spectacular Sons and Daughters concert.

The 23-year-old, originally from Griffith Park in Culmore, treated audiences to a spellbinding performance of Scarlet Ribbons, which was dedicated to Derry’s factory girls at the event which kicked off Derry’s year as City of Culture. She also performed alongside Glee star Damian McGinty.

Now back in London where she’s been based since 2007, the Derry born talent is preparing for the launch of her debut album, Songbook.

“It was a real privilege to be asked to do Sons and Daughters and to get the chance to be amongst some of the greatest talents Derry’s ever produced. To be able to watch them perform and see how they work was such a huge learning experience for me,” says Mairead.

While she supported American music icon Don McClean during his tour last year and performed to a sell-out audience in the Royal Albert Hall, Mairead says she was more nervous performing in front of an audience in her home town.

“I’m always nervous but I just try not to think about it,” she says. “When I’m singing I like closing my eyes and switching off from the world but I have to admit, I knew the audience in Derry would be very knowledgeable about their music so it was definitely more nerve wracking than usual!”

Last year, Mairead sang in front of a live audience of 80,000 and a TV audience of millions at the Ireland/England Rugby international at Twickenham on St. Patrick’s Day but says performing at home brings with it a “unique and special feeling”.

“I feel so lucky to have had those experiences and each one of them was amazing,” she says.

She’s hoping to get the chance to perform in her home city again during 2013 but is currently concentrating on the release of her upcoming album.

“My album Songbook will be released in the Spring and I’m just looking forward to seeing where that takes me,” she adds.

Read an indepth interview with Mairead in this weekend’s Sunday Journal.

For more information on Mairead visit www.maireadsongbook.com