THIS highly acclaimed singer-songwriter has won a number of awards including Best Irish Female Artist and at the start of her recording career 10 years ago was nominated for a Mercury.
Her music has been featured in numerous American TV programmes and a number of films, none of which I have watched or seen.
I didn’t know much about her but, after reading the promotional blurb, it was clear she is talented and original.
Hayes plays guitar and sings with keyboards and percussion accompaniment. Her songs are often quite intense – she told the audience she doesn’t really do happy songs.
Her most upbeat one was a cover of Kate Bush’s Cloudbusting and the most memorable was Oliver, based on her experience of being bullied at school as a young child.
Throughout her performance you could have heard a pin drop.
In contrast to the Tyneside Irish Festival’s party music programme, Hayes’s slow tempo and deep lyrics were perfect for a damp, miserable midweek autumn night.
When she finished her encore and left the stage, the word I heard repeated from other members of the audience was “impressive”. I too was impressed.