Reviews

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RTÉ Documentary on One - February 2012

A Talent for Life - The Fergus O'Farrell Story

Cork man Fergus O'Farrell had a talent for life. That was until his untimely death in February 2016. Gifted with a special voice and a rare touch for writing melody, he was one of Ireland's unsung heroes of music. He also suffered with muscular dystrophy - a debilitating condition that slowly saps a person's strength, by breaking down their muscle tissue.

More than 20 years ago, Fergus and his band Interference released a self-titled album, to much critical acclaim. However, the deserved commercial success didn't follow. And even though their live performances garnered them a legendary status amongst musicians and fans alike, the Interference line-up fragmented, reforming only an ad hoc basis.

But none of this cooled Fergus' ardour; not even fighting a disease, relentless in its pursuit to rob him of his dream. First, it took his ability to hold a guitar; then it stole his capacity to raise his hands to a piano. Along the way, it confined him to a wheelchair. But somehow, he continued; composing, collaborating (with the best in the business), and most importantly - singing.

Maybe it was to do with his belief from a young age that he was destined to pursue music which kept him going. His sheer doggedness drove him to adapt and re-learn how to use his unique voice, through each stage of his muscular dystrophy. Whatever it was, Fergus refused to be overwhelmed.

Even when it looked like he had reached the end of the road, as another bout of pneumonia took a grip and hospitalized him, Fergus rallied to defy the odds. You could say that conviction carries a man a long way when it comes to fulfilling his fate. Fergus credited his endurance to a very tight-knit family based around him in Schull, West Cork and of course, his Chinese wife, Li.

From performing at festivals in eastern Europe to sharing the stage with Glen Hansard in Radio City, Fergus kept on keeping on. This very spirit drew others to work with him - inspired by his ethos and skill.

You could say there was a touch of poetic justice about how his song Gold, as sung by him in person in the Oscar-winning movie Once, nudged him into view and earshot for a whole new audience before his untimely passing in 2016 .

Produced and narrated by David Young.
Production supervision by Sarah Blake.
Sound supervision by Mark Dwyer.

First Broadcast on 23rd Feb 2012.

The album 'Interference' is now reissued and is available. Also for sale is the 'Live in St. James Church, Dingle' CD (from the 'Other voices' television show).

 

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Dublinks.com - Interference gig

Interference play a special one-off gig at Vicar Street on June the 6th.

Recently featured on the RTE series and album Other Voices – Songs From a Room, Interference have been vastly influential on the development of many Irish bands. The reason for their legendary reputation and yet their low profile lies with the singer, Fergus O' Farrell who has muscular dystrophy, a progressive wasting disease, so he can't physically deal with the rigours of touring.

Their live gigs of the past and eponymous album have had a huge impact on the Irish music scene. Instead of touring, Fergus has collaborated and recorded with the likes of Liam O' Maonlaí , Glen Hansard, Nina Hynes, Kieran Kennedy, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Steve Wall. After not having gigged for seven years, the band played in September 2002 in O'Farrell's hometown of Schull and the appearance on Other Voices came out of that.

Fergus wants to do as much as possible in the decade he calculates he has left, so expect to hear a lot more Interference soon. Special guests on the night will be Gavin Friday, Mannix Flynn, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Liam O'Maonlaí and Iarla O' Lionáird. Doors are at 7.30pm and tickets are €17.50, available through Ticketamster outlets.

 

Hot Press single review - March 26 2007

Featuring multiple mixes each of three songs, All Your Life/Sweet Love is an absolute gem of an EP by arch Irish musicians David Bickley of Hyper[borea] and Fergus O’Farrell of Interference. These stunning tracks – put together in O’Farrell’s studio on the remote West Cork coast – blend O’Farrell’s beautiful folk vocals into some seriously spacey electronica/funky dance beats. Individually, Bickley and O’Farrell are geniuses in their own right; what they’ve created together brings their gifts to a whole new plane.

Adrienne Murphy

 

Bickley O' Farrell - All Your Life Sweet Love

Psychonavigation Records

"The 1st new studio recording from the Legendary Fergus O'Farrell (Interference) for 12 years! Mini LP with remixes and new tracks by - Chris Coco, Sacha Puttnam, Digitonal and Electric Penguins. This is a unique musical collaboration between two very distinct Irish artists. The songs are is some ways straight forward pop yet infused with strong, feature-film like atmospheres wrapped around highly narrative lyrics. This is the first release from the full LP which is due out later this year and features some innovative re-workings and original tracks from some of the foremost exponents of modern music. Produced by Dare Mason (Dare Mason (producer-engineer) runs The VIP Lounge, West Cornwall's premier studio. He previously worked in London, in particular at the Townhouse studios. He has worked with the likes of Prince, Paul McCartney, Boy George, Tina Turner, Ravi Shankar, Soul II Soul and many others.) Fergus O'Farrell - Interference- We used to go up to the attic where they played and just watch in awe, we were always learning from them. - Glen Hansard (The Frames) David Bickley - Comes highly commended for daring to interrogate and invigorate wildly divergent stylings in the multi-cultural light of a new century HOT PRESS Everything you need for those blissed out moments of slow-burning satisfaction."