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The Life Of Ryan
How did a one-time Riverdance hoofer end up busking in Glasgow and supporting The Script? Ryan Sheridan explains all.
Peter Murphy, 03 May 2011
“Give it to me and let me rock out,” he says with a grin. “I absolutely loved every minute of it. I was getting far too used to it. Usually when you’re doing support slots they don’t give a shit about you really – you go on, you do your thing and the sound man turns it up halfway, the house lights could be on – but The Script took us in, the crew set up the stage perfect for us, we had a big banner, they lit it up, lights flashing, the sound was fully up – I felt like it was my own gig. Three nights in the O2, and at the last one I didn’t want to go off the stage at all, I was only short of losing my mind. I’m lucky I had a guitar on, ‘cos if I didn’t I’d have been crowd surfing.”
When it came to committing that live energy to tape, Sheridan chose to work with critically acclaimed solo artist and producer-about-town Joe Chester.
“He kept it very raw and organic,” Ryan explains, “we never overdubbed everything. He uses old-style effects, that old-style tape echo. I don’t think anybody expected what we came out with, because there were only two of us playing on the street, but we brightened up the sound and added piano riffs: I always want to make every song epic, for some reason. I’m delighted with the way it came out.”
Sheridan’s songs certainly translate well to radio: his single ‘Jigsaw’ has been played off the air for the last six months.
“I can’t believe it,” he says. “ It was released in September and it’s still being played. Not a lot of national radio plays a lot of Irish stuff.”
Presumably he’d be in favour of the Canadian broadcasting model, whereby national radio is obliged to play a percentage of domestic artists.
“Absolutely. Our culture is music and dance, and we’re being fed Rihanna five times in an hour, and then Adele – the slowest song on the radio.”
Sheridan seems to have vaulted that particular barrier, due in no small part to a fruitful partnership with the Rubyworks label, whose roster (Fight Like Apes, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Mary Coughlan, Gavin Friday, Sinéad O’Connor, Wallis Bird) suggests a miniature version of the Island label in its prime.