Bar & Theatre

28 Parliament Street, Kilkenny

John Spillane

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30

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John Spillane is a musician, songwriter, performer, recording artist, storyteller, poet and dreamer. Rooted in people, place and story, his music transports the listener and his live performances captivate audiences around the world. 

As an artist his music appeals to listeners across many genres and generations. His vocal style has a unique almost sean-nós like quality and his performances shimmer with the magic realism that permeates many of his songs as he effortlessly flits between beautiful poetry tinged with melancholy to roguish, irreverent humour. John has the ability to charm, mesmerise and entertain in equal measure. 

A native of Cork, the County he lovingly describes as “the centre of the universe” and a source of huge creative influence throughout his career. John’s music is inspired by and encapsulates Irish traditional music in its contemporary form – a reflection of Ireland today. 

A two-time Meteor Award winner for Best Folk/Trad act John is one of the most accomplished songwriters in Ireland. With an extensive back catalogue beginning with the 1997 album The Wells of the World, his songs have been covered by Christy Moore, Sharon Shannon, Sean Keane and many others. 

Twelve albums later in April 2021, John released his first independent album in 20 years, 100 Snow White Horses. 

In October 2022, John released ‘In Another Light’ a career spanning album recorded live at the Right Here Right Now Festival recorded at Cork Opera House in November 2021. 

Press Quotes 

“… glorious technicolour hues that transcend linguistic boundaries; world music for a new world.” – Irish Times 

“John Spillane, startlingly alive to the breath of nature, is among the last of the great bards. 100 Snow White Horses is a balm to soothe sore souls…” 9/10 – Hot Press 

“John writes catchy, heartfelt folk-pop songs with the bonus of actually meaning something.”- The Sunday Business Post 

“John’s songs are the heart and soul of our island and they’ll be sung around the world for as long as there is song.” – Damien Dempsey

“well-structured, melodious folk songs that resonate with specific, acutely observed Irish storylines.” (100 Snow White Horses, 2021) – Tony Clayton Lea, Sunday Business Post 

“I sing John Spillane songs everywhere I go. John has been my favourite songwriter for the past ten years.” – Christy Moore 

“Inspired by the bardic tradition, Spillane penned his 12th album in gratitude to patronage found on the roadthis is perhaps Spillane’s best set of songs since Will We Be brilliant or What? In 2001.” (100 Snow White Horses, 2021) – Steve Cummins, Sunday Times 

“100 Snow White Horses is a rich, molten cauldron of emotional blissed-out balladry blessed with poetic intimacy and a collection of story-songs that begs immediate listening. A masterclass of eloquent romanticism delivered by a poet of song.” – Folk Radio UK