Words by Beth Madden // Main photo by Ged Camera (originally here)
The intimate atmosphere of The Castle Hotel fits well with Shauna Mackin’s music. She is someone who somehow manages to pour out her radiance and fill up the room up with it.
The Dublin-born singer, who has adopted Salford as her second home since coming here to study music in 2009, has earned a trusting fan base due to her loyalty to the local circuit, as well as her intrinsically Irish warmth. Most recent single ‘Come With Me’ was the opener, a performance which started suddenly without any introduction, but nonetheless captured attentions in the room just a few words in.
After watching Shauna perform live, it is easy to see why people gravitate towards her. She has received attention from shows such as BBC Introducing Manchester with Michelle Hussey and Pat Kenny’s RTE Radio One breakfast show. As she sings, she stands on her tiptoes, as if the words are being pulled through her along a piece of string, allowing them to flow out and wrap themselves around the audience in an almost spell-like way. The end result is a feeling of connectedness, as though you’ve been stood next to her throughout the experiences she so elegantly sings about. The relatability of these happenings only helps to bound this bond, such as missing a sibling on ‘Waiting For You’, a song that echoes the longing not only for childhood, but also for the relationships of those days.
With only three albums left in stock to sell at each gig, the popularity of her music is clear, even if her playful attitude can’t resist chiming in to claim that she only says that to create a rush to the front. If you want music with soulful emotion, accompanied by oxymoronic intersections, then look no further.
The gig took place on Tuesday 5 July, 2016, at The Castle Hotel.