Up Close and Personal: Gemma Hayes Launches New Irish Music Series on Hot Press YouTube


If you haven’t had the chance to buy tickets for the intimate Up close and personal shows in The Grand Social, fear not, because these six exclusive listening nights are being aired by Hot Press – kicking off tonight with Gemma Hayes…

Tonight, January 20, the first of the long-awaited Up close and personal the series is set to air on heat press Youtube channel – live at 7 p.m., featuring insights and compelling performances from Gemma Hayes, as we revisit her acclaimed debut album, night by my side (2002).

Making her long-awaited return to the stage after five years, Gemma discusses the making of her Mercury Prize-nominated album with Lucy O’Toole, during an intimate show taped at The Grand Social, Dublin. Co-produced by Dave Odlum and David Fridmann, night by my side gained legendary status among fans, including Rachel Lyons of Pillow Queens, who was in attendance that night.

The show – which will air in full tonight – features the first-ever live performance of ‘My God’, alongside three other tracks from the album, while Gemma also shares exclusive info on a new album currently in the works. .

As well as featuring some deeply personal insights from Gemma, the discussion also finds her reflecting on the unique spirit of the Irish music scene of the late 90s and early 2000s in which she was immersed.

Gemma Hayes talks to Hot Press’ Lucy O’Toole. Photo by Alison Kenny.

Tonight’s show is the first of six, scheduled to air over the next few weeks.

As part of our Up close and personal series, we’ve selected six seminal Irish albums, spanning decades and genres, and dove deep into each LP. Chronicle of important developments and historical moments – from the release of Planxty in 1973 to the Villagers Awayland in 2013 – the Up close and personal explores 40 years of Irish music history, with revealing new revelations and reflections shared by the artists at the center of the albums. For fans, students and practitioners of Irish music, this is a must-have series.

“These six special events turned out to be absolutely brilliant evenings,” enthused Hot Press editor Niall Stokes. “There was such a sense of occasion, and also warmth. It was fantastic – and inspiring – to hear the artists reminisce about the circumstances surrounding the release of the records and to hear them talk in detail about how wonderful songs are written, and great albums come together.”

The complete program, posted online at 7 p.m. each evening, includes:

Gemma Hayes – night by my side (tonight January 20) – Presented by Lucy O’Toole

Marie Coughlan- Tired and emotional (January 27) – Presented by Paul Nolan

Damien Dempsey– Seize the day (February 3) – Presented by Lucy O’Toole

Ash (Tim Wheeler) – 1977 (February 10) – Hosted by Paul McLoone

Villager (Conor J. O’Brien) – Awayland (February 17) – Hosted by Paul McLoone

Planxty (Andy Irvine and Donald Lunny) – Planxty (February 24) – Hosted by Pat Carty

look Up close and personal with Gemma Hayes below – uploaded at 7 p.m. tonight, January 20:

This special series of intimate conversations is produced in association with Aidan Shortall of Up Close and Personal Promotions and supported by the Live Performance Support Scheme and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. Our thanks to all participants.


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