Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Ian Street
Gigs Correspondent
7:14 AM 2nd July 2024

A Trio Of Differences: Ciana O’Muireadhaigh, Evie Kitching & Floorkin

And now for something completely different. Normally, when I go and see a gig, to a certain extent, whatever the genre, I have some idea of the roots of that music, where it's coming from, and what it's trying to do. However, for this show, I’m totally out of my comfort zone. The venue is the upstairs of an old warehouse (The Attic) just off Kirkstall Road in Leeds, but when I walk in, I’m confronted with a grand piano strung with fairy lights.

First up, it's a privilege to witness the first ever performance by Evie Kitching, who effortlessly shrugs off any nerves she may be feeling to showcase a series of compositions that somehow reminded me of the landscape where I grew up and gave me feelings of joy. In listening to Evie’s compositions, I realised that I had no reference points, so I simply had to relax, let the music wash over me, and let words, images, and feelings float to the forefront of my mind. I realised that this would be the theme of the evening, urging me to go with the flow.

The duo Floorkin again featured the piano, but accompanied by electronica and drums. Several of the pieces were improvised, and I found the drum accompaniment beguiling as almost every part of the drums was gently tapped (not hit) apart from the actual skins. It created something very modern, but it felt steeped in tradition.

This feeling continued and expanded in Ciana O’Muireadhaigh’s set. Violins, an acoustic guitar, and a member of Flookin joined her as she created enigmatic soundscapes that felt cinematic in scope. The overwhelming feeling was one of warmth and generosity, like arriving at a cosy Irish pub after a bracing walk through the mist. This feeling was enhanced when Ciana played an emotive version of Danny Boy, then took up the tin whistle and was joined by a couple of singers to finish the evening. There was a homeliness and longing for Ciana’s compositions that gave me a real feeling of hope, which is a pretty amazing thing to experience.

It felt great to be watching young artists at the start of their careers. The talent was obvious, and it will be fascinating to see where it takes them. It was also a really good reminder to get out of your comfort zone and go see something that you might not normally do.

Ciana O’Muireadhaigh and supporting artists, Evie Kitching, & Floorkin appeared at The Attic, Leeds