Monday marked a special edition of School Night at Bardot, as the weekly free showcase partnered with Ireland Week to bring together four acts from the island, highlighted by favorite singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan.
Lisa Hannigan was able to do the impossible — get a Hollywood crowd to stop networking for 40 minutes and watch her in silence. She kicked off her solo set with the beautiful and heartbreaking “Little Bird”, a song that showcases the entirety of her vast vocal talent.
Hannigan then played a couple from last year’s magnificent record At Swim, and quickly the crowd was in their feels. The roof of Bardot was closed and it got warm and toasty in there pretty quickly. I do think I was probably sweating just as a way to avoid crying.
She played a number of songs from her fantastic back catalog — including the title track from her second album Passenger. Every time Hannigan’s pitch-perfect voice reached an octave many singers can only dream of, I saw people shake their head in disbelief and awe. Seeing her in a room of a few hundred was a real treat, the last time she was in Los Angeles she played a mesmerizing show at the Teragram Ballroom.
After her set, I got to chat with Lisa and found her to be utterly charming. I solicited advice on which European music festivals I need to hit, and she told me I should just make a pilgrimage out of it. We talked about Depeche Mode playing LA this week (she saw them a while back and said they played all the hits, “which was mega”) and I told her she needed to hit In N Out Burger before she heads back to Ireland. It’s always eye-opening when you meet singers who write songs full of heart daggers and they are completely and utterly joyful.
The other Irish acts on the bill were pretty entertaining as well. The lead singer in electropop act ELM was wearing a pink khaki-type onesie and had a sort of Ellie Goulding quality to his voice. The cellist really added depth to their sound. The Strypes were a fun rock n roll band that kind of felt a bit Catfish and the Bottlemen meets Huey Lewis and the News. All Tvvins closed out the evening with a fun alt-rock set.
October is turning out to be a helluva month for School Night — in two weeks, BØRNS plays a headline show that is sure to have a line around the block, so get there early. Get the details on that show here. Now in the spirit of seeing Lisa Hannigan and Depeche Mode playing LA this week, watch her cover “Personal Jesus”:
Photos courtesy of Justin Higuchi