- 02 May 01
In the magical, wind-swept landscape of Ireland's remote north-west the cameras roll as U2's Bono and Maire of Clannad make the video for their collaborative single "In A Lifetime". Bill Graham joins the entourage at work and at play and talks to the main protagonists.
I have had my share of strange experiences but I few as incongruous as driving in convoy with an empty hearse through Northern Ireland on the same day as Peter Barry and Tom King are meeting at Stormont for the first session of the Anglo-Irish Conference. I have seen some strange musical alliances but few as odd as an acoustic guitar, an accordion and, for god’s sake, bagpipes being by a video crew in a bar in Gweedore
Even if Bono is on board for this most bizarre of occasions, the location should immediately identify those really responsible. Gweedore, of course, is Clannad’s home. With them, surreal combinations are commonplace. After all, this is a group whose apprenticeship was spent singing versions of The Beach Boys and Joni Mitchell, translated by their grandfather for local Gaelic pantomimes!
In the nicest possible way, I’ve learnt my lesson: Clannad are impossible to interview. There’s always one more anecdote left, one further twist to their tale. You talk to Maire Ni Bhraonain for two hours, share other informal sessions with her and the rest of the band and think you’ve tracked down their true trivia secrets when she admits to having had the same juvenile music teacher as Dana and Feargal Sharkey and sharing ballet lessons with aforemetioned Eurovision winner!