Arts Q&A: Cara Dillon on Kate Bush, Laura Marling, ABBA and Mary Poppins

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, singer Cara Dillon

Dungiven native Cara Dillon's new album, Wanderer, is out now

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

My first thoughts about a career in music were when I was asked to join a band [Equation] that had been offered a record deal with Warner Music Group when I was 19. Before that, music had always been just a hobby and I never really took it too seriously. I had sung in a band with my friends as a teenager and I sang with De Dannan and Phil Coulter as a special guest. Then this amazing opportunity came out of nowhere I jumped at it.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

Kate Bush in Hammersmith Apollo, London, in 2014 was hands down the best live show I have ever been to – simply incredible. Laura Marling in Colston Hall, Bristol earlier this year was breathtaking and inspirational and JuJu in The Cheese and Grain, Frome, in 2012 was loud, vibey and overwhelming. This was as much a surprise to the band as it was to us in the audience.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

ABBA would be the best wedding band EVER.

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

Kate Bush's The Hounds Of Love.

5. And the book you’d take to a desert island?

How To Build An Emergency Watercraft… for Dummies.

6. Top three films?

The Shawshank Redemption, Mary Poppins and 300.

7. Worst film you’ve seen?

Lost In Translation left me totally unimpressed.

8. Favourite authors?

Roald Dahl, W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

None – unless Ireland are playing at anything.

10. Ideal holiday destination?


11. Pet hate?

Limp handshakes and never knowing how many cheeks to kiss when greeting someone.

12. What’s your favourite:




Anything with dark chocolate.



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

My husband Sam [Lakeman]. He was in the band I was asked to join back in 1995.

14. Is there a God?


Cara Dillon's new album Wanderer is out now. She plays Armagh's Marketplace Theatre on December 14, Derry's Millennium Forum on December 16 and Belfast's Ulster Hall on December 17

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