St Michaels Live Presents - Cara Dillon Tickets | St Michaels Church  Liverpool  | Fri 14th April 2023 Lineup

St Michaels Live Presents - Cara Dillon tickets

St Michaels Church in Liverpool

Friday 14th April 2023

7:00pm til 10:30pm (Performance starts 8:00pm)

Minimum Age: 18

The outstanding Irish singer/songwriter Cara Dillon graces the St Michaels stage this April, accompanied by musical partner and husband Sam Lakeman.


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St Michaels Live Presents - Cara Dillon on Friday 14th April 2023

Cara Dillon occupies an enviable position at the very top of her genre. This extraordinary Irish singer has been captivating audiences and achieving exceptional acclaim for over 20 years. She has (according to Mojo magazine) 'Quite possibly the world's most beautiful female voice'.

Alongside a selection of favourites from her previous releases, Cara will be performing material from her new album 'Wanderer' which is a collection of beautiful and moving songs recorded in an intimate setting with her husband and musical partner Sam Lakeman. Every note and word sung with a passion and confidence earned through a life of experience singing traditional songs. Legions of fans will attest to their impassioned performances with Cara's warm and natural stage presence something to savour.


Known for being both an original artist and one of the finest exponents of traditional Irish song throughout the world, Cara has successfully steered an eclectic musical path defying the typical pigeonholes that hinder most artists in her genre. In doing so she has earned both commercial success and critical acclaim. Being brought up immersed in the rich cultural heritage of her native County Derry has shaped Cara’s musical journey. Winning the All Ireland Singing Trophy at only 14 provided a definite signal of what was to come, her teenage years were spent performing with bands including Irish music legends, De Dannan and Óige. At 19 Cara was signed to Warners by A&R legend Geoff Travis (Rough Trade Records) as part of Equation and it was in this band that she met her future husband and musical partner, Sam Lakeman. The two left the band after only a year —craving a more adventurous musical path— and so began an extraordinary journey together. The following 4 years were spent writing, arranging and working with top producers trying to develop a sound that fulfilled their desire to create original songs and carve a musical identity. However, by 2000, frustrated and disheartened, it became obvious they were never going to satisfy Warners. As Sam noted “our musical compass was pointing in a different direction to theirs”. Having engineered their release from the label, they retreated to Sam’s parents’ house on Dartmoor. Free from obligation and on a shoestring budget, Cara and Sam recorded a simple folk record to get things moving and earn some much needed income. Geoff Travis, upon hearing the un-mixed tracks, fell in love with the eponymously titled album and offered to release it on his newly re-acquired Rough Trade label.

Finally released in July 2001, the album became one of the biggest selling folk records of the decade, and was critically acclaimed in the music press for being inspirational, energising and evocative. It was playlisted on national radio and won Cara two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including Best Traditional Track for their now classic interpretation of the traditional song ‘Black Is The Colour’. Concert tours and festivals came flooding in and they called upon Sam’s brother, Seth, to form part of their live band. The extent of her success became apparent when they found themselves booked to perform all over the world including Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea, the USA and virtually every country in Europe.

Eager to develop the sound they had first explored on Cara Dillon, and wanting to include more original material, they released her second album Sweet Liberty in September 2003. It was a far more elaborate outing than the first and just as successful. It included one of her best loved songs, ‘There Were Roses’, written by Tommy Sands about a true story of senseless killings in the troubled North of Ireland. Cara and Sam had recorded the song for the hit TV series Billy Connolly’s World Tour Of Ireland and after its broadcast the BBC switchboards were inundated with calls asking who the singer was. Following the release of Sweet Liberty, Cara picked up one of the biggest awards in Ireland, The Meteor Music Award for Best Irish Female alongside Tatler magazine’s Woman of The Year in Music.

Pushing the formula a little further, the duo released After The Morning in early 2006. Including her now classic version of ‘The Streets Of Derry’ featuring Paul Brady and ‘Garden Valley’ alongside tracks of a more commercial flavour, the label felt confident that Cara could cross over into the mainstream. The lead single ‘Never In A Million Years’ spent 6 weeks on the BBC Radio 2 playlist and RTE Radio 1 playlist and all looked very positive for continued support. However, the release coincided with a turbulent deal being struck between Rough Trade Records and Sanctuary leading to the album’s marketing budget being terminated and the single release being shelved.

Cara continued to tour the album with a full band throughout the UK and Europe over the summer of 2006. However, upon finding herself pregnant with twins, she and Sam decided to scale down the size of the band to an acoustic four piece to simplify touring. On strict doctor’s orders she was to rest for the final three months of her pregnancy but with just two gigs left to do she went into premature labour onstage. Rushing to the hospital after the concert she and Sam were stunned when informed their twins would be born that very night and their world crashed in around them as their newly born babies, at only 26 weeks old, fought for their lives with every ounce of their tiny being. Cara and Sam focused every atom of energy and attention on their two little boys, spending the next three months watching and helping care for them until they were well enough to bring home. Retreating from the live circuit to care for the children and simplifying their lives, they decided to draw a line under the previous seven years by assembling a stellar cast of musicians in a deserted quarantine hospital in Co. Donegal and spent a week filming her first live DVD The Redcastle Sessions, which was released in early 2008. It included songs from her first three albums and was an ambitious project both visually and sonically.

During their time at home with the twins Cara had surrounded herself with music from her childhood, including The Bothy Band, Planxty, Dolores Keane and Paddy Tunny, and it was these themes and touchstones that guided them on yet another path. Sam began recording a new album which took its name from the title track, Hill Of Thieves, and completed it very quickly and without fuss. Cara spent only brief moments in the studio when recording her vocals opting instead to “just let them be”. The choice to record a simpler folk album coincided with an end to their contract with Rough Trade. Geoff Travis, who had been an ardent supporter for the previous 13 years, offered them another record deal but Cara and Sam preferred the freedom they now had to go forward on their own terms and they formed their own label, Charcoal Records. The decision proved to be a wise one and the consequent success of the 2009 release Hill Of Thieves quickly surpassed all her previous albums. It went on to earn the prestigious and hotly contested accolade Best Album at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2010 . In addition, the album’s only original track ‘The Hill Of Thieves’, written by Cara and Sam as an ode to her hometown and the history entwined within it, was voted in the top ten songs to have come out of Northern Ireland by listeners of BBC Radio Ulster. Following the overwhelming success of the album, Cara and Sam assembled the musicians who had participated in the recordings for the filming of a live DVD entitled Cara Dillon, Live at The Grand Opera House. Tracks taken from this live performance feature within B&W's prestigious Society Of Sound which selects only the finest recordings that reflect both outstanding artistic contributions and the highest audiophile excellence to demonstrate and showcase the superb quality of their Hi Fi products.

Following the birth of their third child in 2010 they toured regularly but it wasn’t until 2014 that Cara and Sam recorded a follow up album which was released in partnership with Sony Music. A Thousand Hearts was another exquisite collection of mainly traditional folk songs with an all acoustic backing. The lead single ‘Bright Morning Star’ which was playlist on BBC Radio 2 featured ‘Cara super fan’ Timothy B Schmit (The Eagles), Aoife O’Donovan and John Smith on backing vocals. Cara and Sam performed songs from the album live on the famous BBC TV series Transatlantic Sessions — their third appearance on the show over the years.

Busy with raising their family, Cara’s touring became focussed almost entirely in the UK with the odd trip to Europe and the USA. However, a new market became apparent when, much to their surprise, Cara and Sam discovered she was really quite a big deal in China. Following a trip in 2003 in support of the Irish Government where they participated in two prestigious concerts as part of an Irish ‘supergroup’ that featured Donal Lunny, Mary Black, Martin Hayes, Cathal Hayden and Máirtín O’Connor among others, Cara’s debut CD had somehow ended up on an early internet forum and got shared… and shared, and shared. Before long kids were asking their teachers to translate the songs and songs like ‘Craigie Hill’ and ‘Black Is The Colour’ started being taught within the Chinese curriculum (unofficially). As a result Cara and Sam have completed six tours of China and currently licence their catalogue to Starsing Music in Guangzhou.

An absolutely stunning Christmas album followed in November 2016. Named after the title song Upon A Winter’s Night, which was co-written by Sam and their 10 year old son Noah. Wanting to capture the mystery of Christmas with a collection of songs ancient and modern and present a more reverential and atmospheric take on the story of Jesus’ birth, it has become a celebrated alternative to the commercialised mainstream offerings and has been such a success with Cara’s fans that she’s completed sell out Christmas tours every year since its release.

Only a year later, Cara and Sam released her most stripped back album to date. In 2017, Wanderer was released to yet more critical acclaim and entered the UK Indie Album Chart at Number 1, adding a beautiful set of songs to Cara’s already stunning catalogue. Based around tales of emigration and the longing for home, the album features the self-penned ‘The Leaving Song’, which is based on the very stories Cara’s elderly mother had told her over the years about her memories living among the rural hills of Glenullin in County Derry in the early 20th Century and the ‘living wakes’ that occurred when a family member was emigrating. Cara was once again nominated for Folk Singer Of The Year in 2018 (her fifth time) and toured extensively with Sam performing more intimate venues to give her audience a closer and more relaxed performance.

Interspersed within their musical journey together, Cara and Sam have had the privilege to be asked to guest on some remarkable projects and have chosen to explore some surprising avenues. In the late nineties, they worked on tracks with the likes of Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine), Richard Hawley and Robin Millar. Cara recorded the lead single, ‘Man In The Rain’, on Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells III and was a featured vocalist alongside Sinéad O'Connor on the Ghostland album. She guested on the title track to the hit movie Keeping Mum, starring Rowan Atkinson, Maggie Smith and Patrick Swayze, and sang live to a televised audience of several hundred million at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Ryder Cup. A remix of ‘Black Is The Colour’ became a hit on the dance music chart and was voted the #1 Trance track of 2006 in Mixmag. Cara also sang the lead single on DJ Judge Jules' first solo album. In 2010, she was asked to record the title track to Disney’s Tinker Bell and The Great Fairy Rescue in Abbey Road Studios and also narrated the opening sequence of the movie. Cara and Sam recorded a lullaby for the end credits of the movie called ‘Come Flying With Me’ and it has become a favourite in their live set. Again, for Disney, they recorded an original song to be played at the close of the night-time spectacular show, ‘Disney Dreams’, in Disneyland Paris entitled ‘Come Dream A Dream’. More recently Cara and Sam have performed live with orchestras as they explore and introduce new flavours to their back catalogue. To date they have shared the stage with the prestigious Scottish Symphony Orchestra, The Ulster Orchestra, The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, The BBC Concert Orchestra and their own creation, ‘The Orchestra of Ireland’.

Entry Prices

Minimum age: 18

Entry price (public): 20.00 (Additional fees may apply)

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This event has Covid secure measures in place


Use of cleaning chemicals that are effective against Coronavirus

Tables/Booths/Seating areas are disinfected between sessions

Hand gel available on site


Contactless card payments accepted

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St Michaels Church in Liverpool


4 St Michaels Church Rd Aigburth,
L17 7BB

SANDRA said: "it was a fantastic line up of a variety of musicians . The singing trio was amazing so was the comedian and poet.". More »

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