IRELAND IS awash with singer-songwriters so it takes someone special to stand out from the hordes of ‘three chords and the truth’ merchants - Fionn Regan is one such individual.
The Wicklowman emerged in 2006 with his magical debut album The End Of History, which shared its title with the 1992 book by right wing US political theorist and economist Francis Fukuyama.
Its mix of nimble and dextrously picked acoustic guitar and playful, surrealistic lyrics were a breath of fresh air, encapsulated in songs like ‘Put A Penny In The Slot’: “We came across three men/they had church candles/wrapped in newspaper./I bought two from them and I lit one for you/I hope the message made its way down the wire.”
Although never shy to acknowledge Christy Moore and Paul Simon as his heroes, Fionn’s individuality still shone through and placed him both at the head of the singer-songwriter pack, but also outside it as well.
The End Of History enjoyed great critical praise and Choice and Mercury Music Prize nominations. The next three years saw Fionn undertake a hectic schedule of touring Ireland, Britain, and the States, overseeing the release of the album in foreign markets, and writing new material.
The follow-up, The Shadow Of An Empire emerged in 2010 and while not as startling as its predecessor still contained some memorable lyrics, particularly on ‘Genocide Matinee’: “Is that Christopher Columbus in the projection rooms, assigning coupons and handing out tokens?...Throw you to the truncheon of authority that treats you with no dignity?”
Fionn is busy at work on album number three and early reports suggest it will be a strong release. To get a taste of what’s to come go to www.fionnregan.com to get a free download of the track ‘100 Acres Of Sycamore’.
Fionn returns to Galway to play a Galway Arts Festival show at the Róisín Dubh this Sunday at 9pm. At his previous shows in the Dominick Street venue, the stage was set up to resemble an antiques shop, in which a group of musicians just happened to be playing. See what he has in store musically and visually this weekend.