Preview: Gemma Hayes, Electric Circus

Gemma Hayes Irish singer-songwriter. Pic: Comp
Gemma Hayes Irish singer-songwriter. Pic: Comp
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Maverick Irish singer-songwriter Gemma Hayes’ nine-date run promoting her fifth and latest album Bones + Longing brings her to the Capital’s Electric Circus on Friday, following the release of her new single Palomino

The 37-year-old alt-folk, rock singer was Mercury Prize nominated for her debut, Night On My Side, in 2002, and won the Meteor award in Ireland for The Roads Don’t Love You in 2006.

But Friday will not be her first visit to Edinburgh. She recalls, “I think it was at sneaky Pete’s back in 2012 . I remember the crowd being so quiet and attentive that I was a bit freaked out …. in a good way.

“The Edinburgh crowd is always an incredibly warm (but initially quiet!) audience. I’m looking forward to playing Electric Circus this time.

“People in Edinburgh are probably sick of hearing this, but it’s a very handsome city. I’m also looking forward to taking a look around the galleries, especially the collective gallery on Calton Hill. It’s the home of new, emerging artists and i have heard great things about it.

“But more than anything I’m looking forward to just taking a stroll around the town and of course I’m looking forward to the gig!

“I’m touring with a full band, which I haven’t done in years, so we get to play more loud, upbeat tunes and can do proper justice to the new album in the set.

“Of course, there’s still some laid-back, mellow numbers, but I am so enjoying having another guitarist and a bass player on stage with us .

“If people have heard my music - especially the new album - I want to really bring it alive for them. This new band have played a few gigs together now and its getting pretty tight

“It allows me to perform in a way that I haven’t been able to when I’ve previously played an unplugged set. My live shows are now about ‘chemistry’ happening when we perform with a full band. And bringing out the intensity of the songs for that moment of interaction with the live audience.

“Brian Reynolds at Synergy Concerts has promoted a few shows with me over the years, and I want to repay his loyalty and belief in my music by giving a great performance. And I am hoping to see some fresh faces in the crowd as well.”

She formed her own label GH music, (now Chasing Dragons) to self-release Hollow Of Morning in 2008 and Let It Break (2011). Her music has spanned intimate singer-songwriter folky ballads, anthemic lo-fi pop rock and dreamy shoegazing noise attacks.

Bones + Longing was recorded in Dublin, London, and France, and produced by longtime collaborator David Odlum (The Frames, Josh Ritter). Guitars were played by Gemma and David Odlum, various keyboards and backing vocals by Romy.

Gemma Hayes with support from Andrew Mitchell (Hazeyb Janes/Idlewild), The Electric Circus, Edinbugh, Friday, 7pm, over 14s, £16.50. Tickets on website:, 0131-2264224