Laurie Shaw visits Ballina Salmon Festival to take inspiration for new album - Visit North Mayo

As part of Ballina 2023 celebrations, indie musician Laurie Shaw visited Ballina during ‘Salmon Festival’ week. Soaking up the atmosphere and taking inspiration to write an album about the town, past and present. 

Laurie Shaw pictured on Heritage day at the Salmon Festival 2023 📷Ribbon Legs Music

During the week he took in the festival atmosphere, learned about the towns’ history, supped pints and met the local characters. All these experiences will be combined to release the ‘Ballina album’ in late September. Who knows what Ballina folklore (Archies curry chips, the Belleek woods flasher etc.) will be immortalised in song? How cool!

Shaw will perform songs from the album at the October Nights Festival in Ballina Arts Centre on October 28th.

About the album Shaw said: “On the ‘Ballina album’ I’ll be approaching it very much as an outsider and trying to make sense of the place through its locals and its history. I really like the idea of the past, present and future of Ballina and juxtaposing its modern history with its folklore”. 

A Prolific Musician

Shaw, a musician, film-maker and artist, is originally from The Wirral (near Liverpool) and now lives in Cork. The respected Nialler9 music website described him as “the most prolific artist in the world”. By the age of twenty-three, he had released a staggering eighty albums including seven in 2022. 

Shaw has already drawn comparisons to musical luminaries like Bob Dylan, Morrissey, Elvis Costello, Arctic Monkeys and Jarvis Cocker. He has previously performed at festivals including Electric Picnic, Body & Soul.

The Ballina Album project had secured some funding from the Ballina 2023 Community Events Fund and from a number of private donors. Further donations to assist with the production of a specially commissioned magazine and video are welcome.

Ahead of his visit in July, Laurie had already started researching the town but is urging people from Ballina to get in contact with him with suggestions for the album. 

Shaw says: ‘Tell me what’s unique about Ballina; the historical, weird, funny, odd aspects about the town; the local heroes; the crazy nights; the famous and infamous people; Ballina folklore’’.

Have you an interesting tale of the town? Submit your stories or make a donation to the project by emailing [email protected]

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