BERLIN HAS long been a place of inspiration to musicians, like David Bowie who recorded Heroes there in 1977, and later to U2 in the early 1990s.
Following in those footsteps is Mick Flannery, the stonemason turned singer-songwriter, who returns to the Róisín Dubh this Saturday at 8pm, to promote his new album, By The Rule, which was written in Berlin.
Observing the German capital’s citizens while sitting in cafés was an inspiration to the Irishman.
“I’d be a bit of a detective about people, the way they are, how they behave,” Flannery admits. “You have to care about them. If you only want to write about your own experiences, your own break-ups and trials, you can do that without leaving the house.”
Surprisingly, another inspiration was Eminem.
“There’s things he does with words that no-one else does,” says Flannery. “He rhymes two words with one word, the two syllables of one word will match two separate words, internal rhyming, skip rhymes.”
By The Rule was recorded in Ireland with help from O Emperor’s Phil Christie (piano ) and Alan Comerford (guitar ). “They were finding things in the songs and I thought the things they were finding were nice,” says Flannery.
The songwriter is proud of the album and feels it reveals more of his own true self than previous works.
“I sound like myself here,” he says. “I’ve been trying to get away from singing with that old American twang which is left over from listening to too much Tom Waits. When you get to the end of your twenties, you become less self-obsessed. You become calmer. It gradually becomes easier to be yourself.”
Tickets are available at www.roisindubh.net, the Ticket Desk at OMG Zhivago, Shop Street, and The Róisín Dubh.