Cut-glass Celtic music show promised for eastern crowd

Cara Dillon in concert at South Holland Centre, Spalding, on Saturday at 7.30pm.
Cara Dillon in concert at South Holland Centre, Spalding, on Saturday at 7.30pm.
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With a career ranging from Disney’s Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue to Man In The Rain with Mike Oldfield and Ordinary Day with Judge Jules, who knows what to expect from Cara Dillon when she comes to Spalding on Saturday.

The Northern Ireland-born folk singer brings her Celtic serenades to South Holland Centre for a performance that should reach far beyond her natural audience.

Award-winning Irish folk singer Cara Dillon is in concert at South Holland Centre, Spalding, on Saturday.

Award-winning Irish folk singer Cara Dillon is in concert at South Holland Centre, Spalding, on Saturday.

But how does the award-winning mum-of-three propose to win over her south Lincolnshire audience normally used to getting their taste of all things Irish at Brennan’s Bar in Winsover Road?

Cara said: “It will be my first time in Spalding and I always look forward to performing in a new place.

“For most people, it’ll be the first time they will have seen me live and that makes for a very special experience for me.

“I love meeting the audience and fans after the show and try to sign as many CDs and pictures as I can.

“I think I’ve only played in Lincolnshire a handful of times before so I’m really looking forward to returning.”

Cara was born in Dungiven, County Derry, whose other musical exports have included Dana, Feargal Sharkey and Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud fame.

But from the moment she won the All-Ireland singing trophy as a 14-year-old, it was clear that Cara’s musical journey would go in a totally different direction.

“I describe it as Irish Folk, with some singer-songwriter tendencies thrown in,” Cara said.

“But everything my husband Sam Lakeman and I do together has an identity unique to us and hopefully people who listen can find themes and soundscapes that sound familiar across our whole back catalogue.

“First and foremost, we were a musical partnership shortly before we became an item and it’s this love of the same music and shared tastes that has defined our sound.

“We both feel that we’re stronger together than apart – so it’s a partnership clear and simple.”

After signing for the Warner record label at 19 as a member of the band Equation, Cara followed a solo path with Sam (also a band member at the time) a year later which resulted in her self-titled debut album, Cara Dillon, in 2001.

“I’d be lying if I said that the biggest influence in the music isn’t Sam as he arranges all the music and produces the albums,” Cara said.

“He was brought up on Dartmoor in Devon and had a very unique upbringing, saturated in music from his parents who were folk musicians themselves, which means he’s extremely well-versed in traditional Irish, Scottish and English folk music, alongside American singer-songwriters, pop and rock.

“Together, we share the same taste and goals so it makes for a pretty incredible partnership.”

Cara comes to Spalding having recently been nominated in the Folk Singer of the Year category at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

“It’s going to be a great gig on Saturday and, as they say where I’m from, ‘it’ll be great craic’,” Cara said.