- 10 Apr 01
While commercial success hasn’t exactly come a-knockin’ on his door, Pierce Turner, in stoical mood, tells Liam Fay why he’s not all that bothered at the relative lack of lolly rolling in but how with his new live album Manaña In Manhattan just released, the wily Wexford wizard believes his time will come . . . Pic: Cathal Dawson.
I try to make music that will take people somewhere else, somewhere beyond the daily bullshit, and make them feel that life is dignified and special after all,” says Pierce Turner. “I’m trying to do something original and I’m trying to do something that is spiritual in some way. It’s a lofty goal, I know, but that’s what I want to do.”
Whenever a rock musician starts talking like this, it’s usually time to release the safety catch on your rocket launcher and take aim. Too many songwriters excel at that most pernicious form of instrumental accompaniment, the blowing of their own trumpets. They’d rather write agendas than songs, forgetting that while most musical manifestos have the shelf-life of an ice cube, a good tune lasts forever. In this as in so much else, however, Pierce Turner is a notable exception.
Turner is the most innovative and inspiring Irish songwriter working anywhere in the world today, bar none. Regular readers will know that I have been championing his work in these pages for some years now, and nothing he has done during that period has even faintly diminished my enthusiasm. Listening to his albums or watching him play live, I still get a real sense of the thrill that should always but only rarely does attend the making of music, free of the usual muffling layers of routine, bombast and cliché.