20th February 2014
Download interview with Sligo Weekender by clicking the link: Kieran Goss interview with Sligo Weekender, 20.02.2014
29th & 30th August 2011
Download a two part interview with Kieran by clicking the links: Part 1 / Part 2
9th March 2009
THE IRISH TIMES
Kieran Goss is known for his affable on-stage persona and rapport with his audience, but this has not stopped him mining a darker seam in his latest album, writes Siobhán Long.
SONGS OF MEMORIES turning from sepia to full colour; of separation and loss; and maybe, just maybe, of the triumph of hope over experience. Kieran Goss’s eighth album isn’t quite as shiny and happy as his early writing, or indeed as his affable on-stage persona.
Recent personal traumas have left their mark. Having lost both his mother and sister-in-law to cancer, as well as supporting his wife through her own recovery from breast cancer, Goss has taken a pummelling in his private life. Still, there are artistic riches to be found in adversity, and Goss isn’t the first songwriter to discover that.
The truth is that great art is often the product of personal crisis. John Martyn’s classic album, Solid Air, mightn’t have seen the light of day were it not for the personal grief he experienced (Martyn composed the title track in response to the suicide of fellow musician Nick Drake). And what of the marital strife that informed Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks? You can almost touch the enmity on Loudon Wainwright’s cynically titled More Love Songs, a post-separation anxiety record of gargantuan proportions. The human heart seems to find its best expression during tough times.
Goss recorded his latest collection, I’ll Be Seeing You in Nashville, with Gabe Rhodes, son of country singer Kimmie Rhodes, co-producing alongside him. It’s a stripped-down, spare collection, shot through with Goss’s undeniable lyrical tenderness. The depth of the songwriting demands repeated listening, and return visits are amply rewarded, with layers revealing themselves slowly over time.
Goss is more than comfortable with such patient appreciation. He’s not in hot pursuit of the lightning hit or the instantly hummable three-minute wonder. Maybe that’s what comes from maintaining a career for two decades and making eight albums.
“See what Johnny Cash achieved in his 70s,” Goss muses. “For someone to dig that deep is like a light at the end of a tunnel. I’ve been on the edges of commercial success and I’ve seen the fickleness of it and how transient it is. Of course, we all love our little bits of fame and recognition, but you also have to recognise that what it’s about is the work, and the quality of the work.”
“I genuinely do believe that part of that package is that the tide comes in and the tide goes out. It’s part of the deal, and if you don’t accept that, you’re going to have some difficult days when the sun’s not shining on you.”
Goss’s trump card, ever since he first stepped on to a stage in the late 1980s, has been his rapport with his audience. He’s an artist who thrives on the challenge of the heckler, whose store of impromptu on-stage witticisms would be the envy of many a professional comedian. But the fact is, he’s not a comedian; he’s a singer/songwriter, and sometimes he has to remind himself of that when he’s on stage.
“I think there’s a balancing act that you have to strike,” he says. “I would like to think that really good performing is about being yourself, but you also have to know that it’s an amplified version of yourself. You’re turning up the colour on things that are genuine, because you are entertaining people who’ve come out and paid good money to see you.”
“What loses me, though, is when I go to see an international artist and it’s like a West End show. They’ve turned it up to within an inch of its life. I don’t like that. I feel like I’ve been short-changed in some way. When I go to a show, I need to feel that I’ve really got some genuine communication with that person. That’s a balancing act, and as you get older, you get to do it better. So I think I’ve learned to talk less during my shows, because it can distract from the songs.”
PEOPLE WHO AREN’T on intimate listening terms with songwriters such as Leonard Cohen have a tendency to consign his work to a dustbin labelled “depression city”. Contrary to such cliched thinking, though, songs of death, loss and life’s rougher edges are often the most life-affirming snapshots. How many of us have had our eyes opened by a lyric that spoke to us directly? Or been rattled by an emotion expressed in a song that we presumed was ours alone?
Goss seems to know a thing or two about the universality of human experience, but he’s not in the business of using his songs to expunge guilt, exorcise grief or slough off the pain that life brings with it.
“I think that you have to allow your personal experience to feed in emotionally to your songs,” he says. “But it’s not therapy, it’s a song. That can be a fatal mistake. That seemed to be a trend for a while: singer/songwriters seemed to represent a moan-fest and, to me, that’s a very juvenile way to see songwriting. It’s based on the songwriter being the centre of the world, whereas what I want to do is to apply the craft of songwriting to details in my life to make them universal in some way. There’s a good chance that what touches a nerve in my life will be going on for other people too.”
Goss’s particular talent is in allowing songs such as I’ll Be Seeing You to breathe a life all their own. He doesn’t spell out his personal experience, line by bleeding line. Instead, he suggests, invokes, conjures, summons. Feelings and sensations are the stuff of his songs, not interminable verses cataloguing personal trauma. It’s finding the universal in the particular, and Goss has managed to make use of that all-too-rare gift with enormous subtlety and understatement.
Maybe his decision to take time out, to allow time for gestation, is part of the explanation for his insights? “For me, I keep writing until I know, in some instinctive way, that I have nothing to write about today,” he says candidly. “It’s a scary place, because we all fear that we never will have again. But what I know now, that I didn’t know 20 years ago, is that you go off and you live your life, and writing becomes a part of it again. At some point, I think every artist fears that they’ve done what they’re going to do, and that there’s nothing more. But you know, we all need time out.”
“You don’t stop being a writer. You just give it time. If you don’t allow that in your life, then you’re allowing your ego, your sense of what the world expects of you, to dictate the terms for you as an artist. That’s just an ego trip, and for me, more than anything, this journey has been a journey in control of ego.”
DER LANGE WEG VON BELFAST NACH ULM
ULM – Wenn sich am Tag der Arbeit fast hundert Menschen im Roxy treffen, dann muss dort etwas Besonderes sein. Keine Veranstaltung, die dem Feiertag entspricht, aber eine Demonstration. Eine, die jeden berührt, der an ihr teilnehmen kann: Kieran Goss. Er demonstriert, allein auf der kleinen Bühne nur mit Gitarre und einem Mikrofon, wie man die Herzen der Zuhörer erreicht.
Bezeichnend ist der Titel seiner Tour und des aktuellen Albums: Red-Letter Day, was so viel bedeutet, wie ein ganz persönlicher Feiertag, den man sich im Kalender rot anstreicht. Der kleine Nordire, der erst in den letzten Jahren bekannt wurde, schreibt einfach tolle Lieder, jedes mit wunderschönem Text. Wenn er singt, weiß man wieder, wie eindringlich sanfte Musik sein kann.
Von Jura zur Musik
Fast jeder Song schmeichelt sich unaufdringlich ins Ohr. Man hat das seltene Gefühl, sich selbst und seine sentimentalen Gedanken wieder zu finden. Kieran Goss ist einer, der auszog, sich selbst ein Leben in Zufriedenheit zu bereiten. Der sympathische Musiker studiert in Belfast Jura und arbeiter über zwei Jahre als Anwalt. Die Wirren der 80er-Jahre vertrieben ihn aus Nordirland. In den Vereinigten Staaten jobbte er als professioneller Musiker.
Zurück in Europa, entscheidet er, dass er nicht wieder in die Anwalts-kanzlei zurückkehrt, sondern allein mit seinem musikalischen Talent sein Geld verdient. Zwei Jahre singt der Ire in den Straßen Kölns und erlernt so nebenbei ein ausgezeichnetes Deutsch. Das ermöglicht auch dem Konzertbesucher, die Lieder und Geschichten, die aufrichtigen Bekenntnisse des Song-schreibers zu verstehen. Nach der Pause etwa gibt Kieran Goss etwas Liebenswertes zum Besten: Soeben habe er ein nettes Gespräch mit einer Besucherin gehabt. Auf seine Frage, warum sie gerade in sein Konzert komme, antwortete sie, dass sie über ihn gelesen habe, er sei Der Tipp des Tages. Er ist sichtlich stolz und verspricht, sich auch weiterhin anzustrengen.
Ein Mann mit Humor
Trotz allem Zauber, der seinen Liedern innewohnt, lebt Kieran seinen Humor aus. Man spürt, dass dieser Mann seinen Weg gefunden hat, sein Leben lebt und dieses nur all zu gern mit den Zuhörern teilen möchte. Das Spaß ist enorm, der Auftritt erstklassig. Liegt es nun am Tag der Arbeit oder an den ersten schönes Sonnen-stunden des Jahres?
6th February 2009
THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH
On Life, Love and Loss: Kieran Goss talks to Jane Bell of The Belfast Telegraph about the background to his new album, I’ll Be Seeing You.
Kieran Goss left his 19th century country cottage in west Sligo for a state-of-the-art studio in Austin, Texas to record his latest album, I’ll Be Seeing You. But the transatlantic journey from the damp and chill of the isolated Irish countryside to the shimmering city heat of the American South was nothing at all compared to the tortuous emotional journey that had come before.
For Kieran and his wife and music partner, Ann, have been through a rough couple of years since she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Cruelly, in the midst of this most personal of battles, Kieran’s beloved mother, Josie, who had raised 15 children to adulthood, lost her life to another form of this terrible disease.
And in the same period his younger brother Cormac’s wife, Alison, also died of cancer. As a family, it felt like an “all-out attack”, he says. “As though war had been declared.”
“I actually left my mother’s wake in Newry to drive back to Sligo to take Ann to chemotherapy. Then, after resting a few hours, we turned around and drove back to Newry to go to my mother’s funeral the next day.”
It was, to say the least, a bleak time. Not surprisingly, the couple “went to ground” while reeling from the blow of diagnosis after Ann found a lump in her breast while they were in Nashville, where Kieran spends part of the year recording and writing.
The ordeal of a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy was eased by her being able to be treated close to home in Sligo General Hospital.
Now that she is well again and they have come out the other side, they are speaking out, from personal experience, in support of the local health services that gave Ann her life back.
Kieran says he’s not a political animal, but this is an issue he is passionate about. “I want any woman who is in this situation to have available the excellent care that Ann had,” he says. “I want it to be free of charge and that she shouldn’t have to drive for six hours to access it.”
“Being able to go to a local hospital close to home for treatment beats any centre of excellence hundreds of miles away,” he argues. Certainly, their cosy, country retreat near the sea in west Sligo was Ann’s refuge during the long storm towards recovery.
Somehow, despite it all, they managed to hold on to a sense of humour and an appreciation of what makes life worth living.
“When Ann went into hospital in Sligo,” Kieran recalls, “one of the radiologists reassured her breezily: ‘Now you needn’t be worried, because everything that Kylie had in Paris, you can get here’.”
“It’s a great line,” he smiles, “but, as well as humour, it also shows great warmth and humanity, typical of how we were treated.” He is deeply proud of how Ann coped and the strength she demonstrated throughout.
“One of the things I’ve learned is that what, in many ways, distinguishes people is how they handle adversity,” says Kieran.
The death of his mother from cancer, in the midst of it all, was a deep sorrow. Lovingly called by her girlhood name of ‘Josie Roe’ by her big brood of 15 children — eight sons and seven daughters — she devoted herself to running the home and family while her husband William worked all hours in the garage business to support them all.
Kieran, the tenth child, fell somewhere in the middle. “We all had our jobs — with 17 people in the house, you have to delegate,” he says. “And certainly, there’s a great support structure.”
“I don’t know what it’s like to grow up in anything other than a big family but the upbringing I had, the value systems and structures of it, seem to be disappearing.”
“Coming from such a huge family, you do have a side to you that’s extrovert. If you want to be heard at all, that part of you becomes capable of performing at some level in a big crowd. That’s the part of me that’s the performer. It’s very easy for me to be on stage, it always has been. I know from working with other artists that some go through excruciating dramas stepping out in front of an audience. But I never did. I love it.”
“Yet I also have an introverted side. My mother would find me in a wee quiet corner reading or with my guitar and there would be bedlam going on around me yet I’d be completely switched off. Even now my wife sometimes finds it irritating — saying ‘You’re here and you’re not here’.”
The star has never been afraid to go his own way. Having graduated in law from Queen’s University Belfast, he went on to study as a solicitor at the Institute. But the reality of practising law was “all consuming” and left no room for music or many of the other things he wanted to do with his life — so he gave it up.
“It wasn’t as simple as giving up law for music,” he explains. “I gave up law to go out and have adventures, to travel. Having a guitar facilitated that. In Germany I busked and played in pubs. Somewhere along the way songwriting became the thing.”
He doesn’t recall any objection to the career swerve from his parents, only support. “I was in my early twenties and maybe not old enough to realise my parents could have had anxieties.”
“I’m not a parent, I don’t have children but I can now well imagine that they had concerns, thoughts of ‘he’s blown it’ or ‘it’s just a phase’, but both my parents were very supportive.”
“My father’s take on it was, ‘You’re a free man, go and do what you want to do’. But he did say ‘If you’re going to be a musician, work as hard at it as you would if you were going to build up a business as a lawyer.’ There was always that work ethic.”
William Goss, aged 84 and long retired, was a keen accordion player as a younger man, before a father’s responsibilities edged it out. When the family bought him a new instrument for a recent birthday, he picked it up and played with ease after a gap of many decades.
Having turned his back on the law, Kieran continued to be his own man — releasing his work on his own label, Cog Communications. When he first took that step back in 1997, it wasn’t the cool thing to do. “I remember deliberately trying not to tell people we recorded albums at home because there was some sort of vibe within the music industry that assumed it meant you couldn’t afford a big studio or you couldn’t get a record deal.”
“Maybe it’s the old legal experience, I don’t know, but my instinct was to do my own thing. I’m not a gang person, in that sense. It’s been interpreted as some sort of business decision but I see it more as an artistic decision, a natural extension of the way I work.”
“It’s more about staying true to a vision. It meant I had to go and build my own support structures. It’s not all about me. I have fantastic people around me. One thing I do know is that it’s people who make things happen.” And he names a string of talented individuals who bring their production expertise to bear and others on the ground, from agent to publicist, who keep the wheels turning.
Chief among them, of course, is Ann. A graphic designer, she was a singer in an a capella band and sings backing vocals on the recent albums. Along with Gareth Hughes on double bass they are a small, close performing unit.
Kieran (46) had just come off a hugely successful tour with Frances Black when he met his future wife, nine years his junior, in 1993 at a friend’s birthday party and they bonded over music.
The couple travel together from gig to gig, Kieran reckoning Ann is a keener, more inquisitive traveller than he is. His musical independence means he can, if he chooses, perform to 600 people in a church hall in a village in Germany, as well as the big audiences.
The intimacy of a small venue “informs you” as a performer, he says. “Up close and personal, you get a better sense of how an audience is responding to particular songs.”
“Of course, it’s also nice to see your name in big letters for three nights at a huge venue. But playing to those 600 people in a village hall is just as valid as a packed Albert Hall.”
He’s looking forward, with some trepidation, to playing at the Canal Court Hotel, Newry, on February 15 — the first time before a truly ‘home’ audience in 20 years.
“It’s a bit freaky,” he admits. “There’s a bit of me that’s a little bit scared. We all reinvent ourselves on stage to some extent. When I’m on stage it’s very much me but with the colours turned up — it’s an amplified me. I’m not so hyper in real life as I am on stage.”
“In Newry, with my auntie and a guy I went to school with in the audience, I’ll be more self-conscious. But playing in Newry is long overdue. I’m going back home.”
His biggest hit was Out of My Head, which is ironic because Kieran Goss is surely one of the most level-headed artists in the business.
But the tune that most people will have heard and recognised is his hit song Clear Day from the album Blue Sky Sunrise, which the Progressive Building Society used on its adverts.
“You just never know where the music will end up,” he says. “The national railway in Japan wanted to use one of my songs on their ads. The music can take on a life of its own.”
As he launches this eighth album (while busily writing his ninth) he says: “I’ll Be Seeing You is an album of reflection, within the context I’ve described. As an artist I reflect on what’s going on in my life. There would be something wrong if I was writing the same songs at 46 that I was writing at 16.”
“There’s an element of sadness in the album but, for me, it’s not self-indulgent. There’s also a strong vein of optimism, hope and joy.”
I’ll Be Seeing You
Kieran Goss, seit fast 20 Jahren Karriere einer der berühmtesten Söhne Irlands, wird seiner Heimat erneut untreu. Für sein achtes Soloalbum „I’ll Be Seeing You“ verließ er die grüne Insel Richtung Austin, Texas, um dort in einer losen Abfolge von minimalistischen Akustiksessions mit Gabe Rhodes und anderen Gästen ein wundervolles kleines Stück Musik aufzunehmen.
Die letzte Zeit war hart für Kieran Goss. Immer wieder war die Familie mit Krankheit und Tod konfrontiert. Um so verwunderlicher, dass uns Goss hier ein so offenes, nachdenkliches aber doch positiv gestimmtes und jammerfreies Album liefert, das so unverstellt aus der Seele kommt. So ehrlich und gutherzig, dass auch grollende Feinde handgemachter, rechtschaffener Lagerfeuermusik damit besänftigt werden können. Zwei Gitarren, Klavier, ein quasi unhörbarer Bass und alle gefühlten 10 Minuten ein „plock“ auf einer Trommel - mehr braucht Goss nicht, um seinen Seelenstriptease zu unterstützen. „Ich habe weniger Angst, mich zu öffnen und in meinen Liedern Verletzbarkeit zu zeigen“, so Goss, „in meinem Songwriting gehe ich tief in die Materie, wie wir unser Leben gestalten und wie wir die Karten spielen, die uns ausgeteilt worden sind.“
Erinnerungen an seine Kinderzeit in Irland („One Boy’s Treasure“) wechseln da mit tiefen Liebes(kummer)liedern, die bis hin zur spirituellen, übergreifenden Liebe alle Facetten ausleuchtet („Into Your Arms“, „No Good Without You“, „Sweet Forgiveness“). Der andere Aspekt des Albums ist die oben beschriebene heitere Seite: „Shining Like A Sun“ und „Make The Morning Shine“ sind glasklare, positive, geradezu pantheistische Stücke.Das Titelstück und auch „Over And Over“ ruhen in freundlichen Country-Arrangements mit vielschichtigen Chören von hinterwäldlerischem Charme, wie sie nur ein Ire hinbekommt, ohne dass man Konservativismus wittert. „The Reason Why“ oder die Rockabilly-angehauchten „Let Me Take You Home Tonight“ oder „The One That Got Away“ sind die freundlichsten Nummern, seit die Kinks „Waterloo Sunset“ oder „Holiday“ akustisch gespielt haben. Und „Smile“ hat alles, was uns fehlt, seit Cat Stevens zu Yusuf Islam wurde. Wunderschön und groß.
Bewertung Wertung: ausgezeichnet.
The 12 songs on this album are simply lovely; simple and emotive notes that communicate real emotions and real feelings. They are the reflections of a modern day troubadour looking back on a life of loves, losses and memories…
Andy Snipper, MUSIC-NEWS.COM
Let me tell you what I’m a sucker for, music-wise: a good tune, warm production, no pretensions, latent energy, evocative musicianship and just a little bit of thought behind all of it. This rather attractive album by Irishman Kieran Goss has a little bit of all of the above and, for that reason, gets my thumbs-up.
I’ll Be Seeing You is Goss’s 8th album which is quite a feat in itself because I haven’t heard his music before, even after 20 years in music retail. This has to change – this is a very agreeable set of songs... the title track is a sumptuous wander through sun-streaked hillsides or rain-battered seashores towards the final curtain... the true standout for me is the Lilac Time and Simon & Garfunkel-esque closer Make The Morning Shine... the beautiful instrumentation and lulling vocals ensure that this is a chestnut worth peeling and savouring: the final sixty seconds are the kind of sixty seconds you wish were present for sixty minutes, indeed very pretty.
Radio 2 territory beckons... I advise you to check him out.
Paul Pledger, ALLGIGS.CO.UK
Eight albums on and Kieran Goss is in reflective mood. I’ll Be Seeing You is a spare, ruminative collection shot through with the emotional turmoil that’s beset his personal life. Death and illness have coloured his experiences in recent years, but Goss has allowed them to filter richly into his songwriting without ever resorting to maudlin self-pity. The album is bookended by two pristine snapshots of life’s magical ordinariness (One Boy’s Treasure and the gently anthemic Make The Morning Shine), and there’s much evidence that Goss is digging deeper in his songwriting than ever before. At times the bareboned production sounds under-developed, but with such vignettes as Into Your Arms sounding like the illicit offspring of Townes Van Zandt and George Jones, Goss is clearly on a road to somewhere very interesting.
Joe Breen, THE IRISH TIMES
Goss really has grown into a very good songwriter, with an ear for gorgeous melodies and a gift for direct, heartfelt lyrics. There are numerous examples here, but perhaps the best is Smile, which in its effortless shift from verse to instantly memorable chorus is every bit as good as anything Neil Finn (Crowded House) has penned.
Co-written with the likes of Brendan Murphy (The 4 of Us) and Kimmie Rhodes, I’ll Be Seeing You was made as Goss’s mother and sister-in-law succumbed to cancer, and while his wife was receiving (successful) cancer treatment, so understandably the mood is muted and often sombre.
But there are lighter moments — The One That Got Away, Let Me Take You Home Tonight — and through the pain and hurt emerges defiance, dignity and optimism, all borne along on a clutch of exceptionally easy on the ear tunes.
Neil McKay, SUNDAY LIFE
He has a natural way with a melody and the enviable knack of crafting songs that never outstay their welcome and sound like they’ve been around forever.
Jackie Hayden, HOT PRESS
Twenty years on from his debut album, it’s good to hear that Kieran Goss is still adept at his stock in trade; superior folk-pop songs with sparse arrangements... Lyrically, some songs, such as Shining Like A Sun and the whimsical, dusty-road ditty, The Reason Why, land sunny-side up; others, like I’ll Be Seeing You and Into Your Arms, have longing on their mind and evoke a slight tug on the heart-strings. Either way, whatever emotional trials have beset the writer in recent times, he lines his troubles with a winningly amiable optimism, a gift that should keep his song-writing powers in demand for years to come.
Johnnie Craig, SUNDAY BUSINESS POST
Yet another album full of very fine roots/folk that makes you realise why he is such a highly regarded songwriter.
Kieran Goss, long hailed as one of Ireland’s leading songwriters, is also loved for his warm and witty performance and such moments are captured on this release... Goss is clearly an accomplished songwriter crafting some melodic masterpieces that can change direction when you least expect it. The CD has something for everyone; New Day is definitely one of the highlights with the clear backing vocals offered by Annie Kinsella. Smile is yet another beautifully melodic ballad that underlines why Goss is considered one of Ireland’s leading songwriters... If you are a Kieran Goss fan you are going to have this CD on your wish list. If you haven’t considered his work before then this album is well worth a listen.
DIGMO / A:MUZE
Despite both being hailed as one of Ireland’s leading songwriters and well-loved for his warm and witty live performances, Kieran Goss has only now finally got around to releasing his first live recording, Kieran Goss Trio Live.
This excellent 17-song album, featuring Gareth Hughes on double bass and Ann Kinsella on backing vocals, captures all that is good about any concert by this extraordinary talent, from his high-quality songs to his masterful interaction with his audience, all delivered with natural humour and sincerity in his laid-back signature style. Get your hands on one.
Blue Sky Sunrise
Blue Sky Sunrise is a beautifully-tailored trip into the songwriter’s craft.
Ralph McLean, SUNDAY LIFE
The last track, Nothing’s Changed Again, is in my opinion, the best on Blue Sky Sunrise… it is perhaps the most profound song he has ever written... Cautious and mysterious, Nothing’s Changed Again is like a song the great Texan singer-songwriter Guy Clark might have written.
Paddy Kehoe, RTE GUIDE
There’s no doubt this is a rootsier, gutsier and more liberated Goss than we’ve heard before... Gotta Get To You and Blue Sky Sunrise reflect an exuberant, almost puckish side of Goss previously not exhibited outside of his often hilarious live shows... Now That I’m Letting Go has soaring open-air harmonies to die for, and his duet with Kimmie Rhodes on Why Should I Be Lonely is a real gem, full of all the back porch charm we expect from Emmylou... Many of the artists who emerged alongside Goss in the eighties have since faded from view. If they want to effect a comeback, they might need to follow his lead and take a risk or two.
Jackie Hayden, HOT PRESS
Out Of My Head... The Best Of Kieran Goss
This is a great big warm blanket of a record. Untarnished with borrowed accents or strutting poses, it’s a no-holds barred celebration of the considerable back catalogue that this funny, charismatic and exceedingly consistent singer/songwriter has amassed stealthily over the past decade. From the pared down a cappella version of Brand New Star to the country-tinged I Don’t Want To Stop Loving You and the big sky canvas that is I Close My Eyes, Kieran Goss is a three-dimensional writer with an uncanny ear for the right tune. A recent collaboration with Jimmy MacCarthy and Sheppard Solomon, That’s What Love Is For possesses Goss’ clarity peppered with MacCarthy’s more obtuse reference points. A mighty fine marker on the path.
Siobhán Long, THE IRISH TIMES
The single Out of My Head is already a big hit in Ireland and rightly so; it’s one of those songs that will be played on the radio for years to come. Like all of Goss’s songs, this one grows on you more every time you hear it. I Don’t Want to Stop Loving You is an interesting piece - I can easily imagine Willie Nelson or Kris Kristofferson recording it with great success. The next track, I Close My Eyes is another fine song, which hints at New Zealand band, Crowded House. This train of comparisons does not imply plagarism, rather that Goss’s songs fit very well into such illustrious company.
THE WORLD OF HIBERNIA
Worse Than Pride
Goss’s brand of folk/pop that borders on alternative is tender and insightful, honest and raw, and shows a songwriting talent of great depth. Worse Than Pride is a beauty.
Three or four listens in, you feel that these songs have been with you for a lifetime. That, I suppose, is the acid test for someone whose purpose in writing is to have their voice heard by the widest possible audience. Many of these songs are destined to be played off the radio, and to be covered by wedding bands the length and breadth of the country. Seriously, I can see numbers like Out of My Head and Running for a Reason being highly sought after by those looking for top quality material.
There is a quiet, insistent spell to these eleven tracks that leaves them turning over in your head long into the night.
THE IRISH TIMES
Worse Than Pride is a very fine album, yet another landmark in the career of a very gifted writer. Listen well and often. You’ll be glad you did.
THE IRISH INDEPENDENT
If the thought of buying an album dominated by the acoustic guitar is alien to you - wise up! Worse Than Pride may just change your ideas about impact in music, and convince you that less is more.
Reviews: Live Shows
Danny Boy Festival, Derry, Northern Ireland,
31 August 2011
KIERAN GOSS... ONE MAN AND HIS GUITAR – HEAVEN: The last time Kieran Goss performed in Limavady it was in a tent on a football pitch but, thankfully for the County Down man, the town has come a long way since then.
There wasnt a tent in sight for Goss who played an intimate gig to an engrossed audience in the multi-million pound Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre. From the minute the lights went down, the Mayobridge man was right at home.
Goss was fantastic on Saturday night, pouring out one gem after another for the crowd. New songs, old favourites and some he had borrowed from others, Goss was superb. His voice is divine, echoing at time legends like James Taylor and Willie Nelson. Couple that with his affable manner with the crowd, his concert was pure relaxation and no-one wanted it to end. He has said in interviews he likes to talk but doesnt want the humour to detract from his songs, but there is no fear of that. Goss is funny, very funny, but as much as the stories about his days in the Newry band, Night Shift working the parochial hall circuit and witnessing many a fight provoked belly-busting laughter, nothing could take away from Gosss music. Songs such as Brand New Star, Reasons To Leave and Out of My Head are just far too good.
Goss told the audience at the end of the show the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre is a beautiful building that people need to support. Keep on bringing artists of his calibre and the Centre will have no problem there. Fans just hope it wont be another five years before Goss is back in the Roe Valley.
Goss is now off on an extensive European tour and next year he has a gig in Derrys Playhouse Theatre. Fans, and even those who don’t know this incredible artist that well, mark your diary because a night at a Kieran Goss concert is a treat.
One man, his guitar and his songs. Heaven.
Goss’s talent is to make everything he does appear effortless. The songs are expertly crafted… Goss sings them with an easy charm and confidence to just-so guitar accompaniments.
SUNDAY HERALD SCOTLAND (Rob Adams)
Kattwinkelsche Fabrik, Wermelskirchen, Germany,
05 October 2012
Download a review of Kieran’s show at Kattwinkelsche Fabrik, Wermelskirchen, by clicking here.
WESTDEUTSCHE ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG
Ebertbad, Oberhausen, Germany,
21 January 2010
Download a review of Kieran’s show at Ebertbad, Oberhausen, by clicking here.
Forum, Bad Saulgau, Germany,
16 January 2010
Download a review of Kieran’s show at The Forum, Bad Saulgau, by clicking here.
Harmonie, Bonn, Germany,
14 January 2010
Download a review of Kieran’s show at Harmonie, Bonn, by clicking here.
Savoy Kino, Bordesholm, Germany,
08 January 2010
Download a review of Kieran’s show at Savoy Kino, Bordesholm, by clicking here.
BELFAST TELEGRAPH (Damien Murray)
Grand Opera House, Belfast, Northern Ireland,
20/21/22 March 2008
Any concert by one of our best singer/songwriters and performers, Kieran Goss, is not to be missed, but when his line-up of special guests includes such American luminaries as Rodney Crowell, Beth Nielsen Chapman and Kimmie Rhodes plus local artist, Brendan Murphy, it just doesn’t get any better!
The sheer quality of this bill may have generated high expectations, but on the opening night of its three-night residency at the Opera House, I doubt that even songwriters of the calibre of those on stage could come up with words to truly describe just how special this piece of ‘songwriter’s heaven’ actually was.
This acoustic-driven evening was perfectly hosted in his cool, comic and charming style by Goss, flanked on either side by his superb musical sidekicks, Gareth Hughes on double bass and Ann Kinsella on vocals; the trio acting as house band for all performers with the relaxed and informal approach being a successful factor of the show.
I was heartened to see so many of our talented singer/songwriters in the audience for, if anyone had wished to improve their craft, there was not one bad song amongst the two dozen performed at this ‘singer/songwriter masterclass’.
As each guest took it in turn to perform with Goss for their allocated three-song set, their offerings sat comfortably in the show, as most were, like his, seemingly simple and gently melodic.
If I was forced to suggest highlights (an impossible task), I would go for the sweet and distinctive vocals of Rhodes in her parental wish for a child, Love And Happiness For You; Murphy’s matured style in Why Should I Be Lonely; finger-pickin’ Crowell’s I Know Love Is All I Need; Chapman’s vocal clarity during her extremely personal, Sand And Water; Goss with Reasons To Leave; and the ensemble finale version of the McPeake family classic, Will You Go, Lassie, Go.
Full marks to both Goss and, especially, promoter David Hull for this unique show... if only it could become an annual event, the possibilities for guests are endless.
Kieran is one of the most gifted performers around today. He has an amazing ability to reach out to his audience and connect with them in a very special way. This guy is the real deal, and that’s what makes him the star he is.
One man, one guitar and a voice sent express mail from heaven.
TIME OUT MAGAZINE
Probably the finest entertainer in the land.
THE IRISH NEWS
The sense of fun is tremendous, the playing first rate and the songs are sheer quality. The encores were genuine, but only because the man is too.
THE IRISH TIMES
Kieran Goss clearly demonstrated just why he is regarded as one of Ireland’s finest songwriters and most polished entertainers... (he) moved effortlessly through an irresistible concoction of upbeat, optimistic compositions, sensitive love songs and an hilarious laid-back banter... Goss held his listeners absolutely spellbound.
THE CORK EXAMINER