Arts Q&A: Grainne Duffy on Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, Eugene McCabe and chocolate

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week Monaghan singer-songwriter Grainne Duffy

Castleblaney singer-songwriter and guitarist Grainne Duffy, who is on tour across Ireland this spring
Castleblaney singer-songwriter and guitarist Grainne Duffy, who is on tour across Ireland this spring

1. When did you think about music as a career and what were your first steps into it?

I started singing with my sisters in a band when I was a teenager. That really wet my appetite and it was then I decided that I wanted to be a musician.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

I went to see Bob Dylan the last time he was in Ireland and that was beyond inspiring. I recently shared the stage with Sharon Shannon which was a treat for me as I love her music and playing. I also saw Stanley Clarke in Ronnie Scott's in London when I was there for my 21st birthday and I loved it. Rolling Stones at Slane was pretty amazing too.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

The Stones of course.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island?

Rumours by Fleetwood Mac as I never get tired of it. I'd also like Exile on Main Street by Rolling Stones and Love and Theft by Bob Dylan.

5. And the book?

Death and Nightingales by Eugene McCabe, Animal Farm by George Orwell and Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird is a real classic in morality and honour.

6. Top three films?

Withnail & I, Beetlejuice and and the beautiful love story, The Piano.

7. Worst film you’ve seen?

Not sure it's the worst but I definitely didn't enjoy Benjamin Button.

8. Favourite authors?

Eugene McCabe, George Orwell and Harper Lee.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

I like running and swimming. Watching wise, I enjoy tennis. Roger Federer is a genius to watch.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

Italy or somewhere on the coast in our little island of Ireland.

11. Pet hate?

Negativity and ignorance. The opposite can yield some beautiful results so why be negative or ignorant? Life is difficult enough with those traits.

12. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? Beetroot salad to start, followed by a nicely cooked piece of fish with greens and roast potatoes.

Dessert? Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

Drink? Hot water. But a really nice coffee, once a day is perfect.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

My friend from my first day at primary school – Sinead. She is still my best buddy today and the most positive friend anyone could ask for.

14. Is there a God?

I am a nature and animal lover, so Mother Nature is my God.

:: Grainne Duffy plays: The Courtyard Theatre, Newtownabbey on March 3; Armagh's Marketplace Theatre on March 4; Enniskillen's Ardhowen Theatre on March 31 and Down Arts Centre on April 1. Grainneduffy.com.