Mundy interview

Irish singer-songwriter on playing at McGettigans

Interview
Interview
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Know to his mum as Edmund Enright, but to everyone else as Mundy, the 35-year-old Irish folk/pop/bit-of-everything singer made his name in 1996 with hit single ‘To You I Bestow’, which featured on the soundtrack of Romeo + Juliet. He has since released three albums, one of which has already gone platinum. This week he’s heading to McGettigan’s, but don’t expect to hear too much from his latest album –
he’s sticking to the classics.

Wikipedia suggests you’re called Mundy because that’s how you pronounce the word Monday…
No! See, some people call me ‘Monday’ and it’s like, ‘hmmm…’

Ok, moving swiftly on. Have you been to Dubai before?
Yeah, I was here a few years ago with [Irish folk musician] Sharon Shannon. We played a corporate gig in the Irish Village – it was good fun.

Did the Irish Village feel like home?
It didn’t feel like home, no. It was very different, this whole brand new-ness of Dubai. You know, the oldest thing in Dubai is probably the sand.

You had a hit single on a Hollywood blockbuster – how on earth did that come about?
It was on my first album, Jellylegs, back in 1996. In the middle of touring we got a phone call about a new movie called Romeo + Juliet. They asked for a few songs to see if they’d be suitable, so we picked ‘To You I Bestow’. We had no idea it was going to be a big movie, and it turned out to be one of the biggest soundtracks of all time.

How would you describe your sound to people who might not be familiar with it?
Well it’s ever-changing, really, because I’m interested in lots of different music. Some of it can be quite poppy, then it’s kinda folk-rocky.

Your new album, Shuffle, is a homage to the great American songwriters. Who is top of the list?
There are a few that are really good. Lucinda Williams is one – I’ve supported her before. There’s also Neil Young, who I’ve supported, and Bob Dylan, who I’ve also supported…

…Anyone you haven’t supported?
It’s not everybody, of course, but there is some connection in some way.

Have you had feedback from the musicians themselves?
Not really. You know with this album, it’s not my own, so I’m just going to let it out there. What comes back comes back, and what doesn’t, doesn’t. I’m not expecting it to change the world, but it’s the things you don’t expect anything from that surprise you.

Will you be playing a lot from Shuffle at McGettigan’s?
I’ll probably play two or three tracks. If you try to play a whole new album, you can end up losing people as much as gaining people. I think people only have a short capacity for attention. McGettigan’s is a small gig, it’s just me and my bass player – it’s more acoustic.

Fellow Irish musicians Westlife visited Dubai last week. What do you make of them?
Well I didn’t cover any of their songs on Shuffle, but there is a bigger demand for them than there is for me, so I’m not going to criticise them.

Shakira is in town soon too. Does she know you covered her 2001 classic, ‘Wherever, Whenever?’
I’m not sure she’s heard it, to be honest, but I wouldn’t mind sitting down and talking to her about it if we’re in the same place at the same time.

You’ve had some setbacks in the past, such as being dropped by your record label. What was it that kept you going?
Music, really. It’s a cliché, but I’ve never really had another job that has been as kind to me as this one, so even in the really tough times I’ve had enough to keep me going. And even when I did get dropped, there was still a demand for people coming to see me playing gigs.

Finally, do you have any other plans for the year?
I’m doing a lot of the festivals back home and going to the UK for a few weeks. Then the new album is out on Friday May 13.

Mundy plays McGettigan’s at The Bonnington, JLT on April 29

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