Musician Hannah Peel on Joni Mitchell, Arcade Fire and Edna O'Brien

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, northern Irish singer-songwriter Hannah Peel

Co Armagh singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger Hannah Peel will be supporting John Grant at Bangor's Open House Festival next month

1. When did you think about a career in music what were your first steps into it? I feel very lucky to have had parents that always encouraged me from an early age to work hard at something that I loved. I have friends whose parents were not so open. There was never a clear point of starting, but studying music in Liverpool gave me a great grounding into how the industry can work. If I weren't making music full time, I would still be attached to it in another form like teaching or music therapy.

2. Best gigs you've been to? Arcade Fire in The Round, London, July 2017; Jóhann Jóhannsson at the Barbican in London, December 2016 and Morton Subotnick in Krakow, Poland in 2011.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band? The Flaming Lips – you know it will always be the best show.

4. The record you'd take to a desert island? Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark. It's my favourite all time record. The first album I learnt to properly sing – every lyric and chord is etched in my mind and I still never bore of it. I know it so well that it could double up as a plate or maybe a heat warped hat.

5. And the book? Anything right-wing political to use as fuel for a fire.

6. Top three films? Blade Runner, Once Upon a Time in America and North by Northwest.

7. Worst film you've seen and why? That's hard as even some of the worst movies have redeeming qualities. But I truly did not enjoy watching The Blair Witch Project. Disturbingly bad, with a splash of marketing genius.

8. Favourite authors? Edna O'Brien, Raymond Carver and Haruki Murakami.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team? I'm not really a sporty person, but I do love to sea kayak and I walk very fast all the time.

10. Ideal holiday destination? Morocco and Donegal. Both equally wild and beautiful. One hot and one cold.

11. Pet hate? Laziness.

12. What's your favourite:

Dinner? Roast salmon, with leafy greens and soy sauce.

Dessert? Lemon cheesecake

Drink? Scapa whiskey

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other? Erland Cooper (Scottish multi-instrumentalist and producer). We met on tour in 2011 and have been best friends ever since.

14. Is there a God? No but it helps we all have something to hold on to.

:: Hannah Peel will be supporting John Grant in a musical night of electronic pop at Bangor Seafront on August 19 as part of Bangor's Open House Festival, which runs throughout August. For tickets and festival programme visit

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