Black Gate Presents Les SalAmandas at Galway Mechanics Institute

Black Gate Presents Les SalAmandas at Galway Mechanics Institute

A true institution of music in Galway, Black Gate presents one of Ireland's fastest rising acts in one of the city's most historic venues! Find out more about this Friday's show from Les SalAmandas at Galway Mechanics Institute...

The beautiful, historic and intimate surrounds of Galway Mechanics Institute play host to Les SalAmandas this Friday March 31st and spaces are limited so book your ticket now by tapping right here.

Les SalAmandas began in a restaurant. There's a lot to be said about how fate or destiny – or whatever you want to call it – can take people in many different, surprising, and life-changing directions. For instance, if Colyne Laverriere hadn’t asked her mother for one more chance to stay in Ireland, and if her search for a paying job hadn’t taken her to West Cork’s Ballydehob, then she would surely never have met Julie O’Sullivan, a Ballydehob resident and aspiring songwriter.

In November 2017, Colyne moved to Ireland from France (“to learn English”), fancied Galway as a stop-off point, but within weeks realised that “€400 doesn’t get you very far”. An au pair job came up, and by the end of the year, she had settled in West Cork town. Meanwhile, Julie had applied to Dublin-based BIMM for a place on a songwriting course but was side-tracked by the news of a similar one much closer to home in Cork (“so I took that and ended up staying”). As 2018 rolled by, both Colyne and Julie started working in the town’s café, Budds, which is where destiny provides another twist to this story.

“At the end of a work shift, after we had cleared up,” begins Colyne, “Julie put on some music and we both started singing. Then Julie told me she was a songwriter, and I told her that I also wrote songs, which was an absolute lie. A few days later, Julie came over to my house with a bottle of wine – a great call! – and from that night onwards we started writing songs.” The first attempt to put words to music was, says Julie, “a very personal poem that Colyne had to translate and explain every emotion of it. It’s about her mum and is now a song called Rejane. It was a great evening, we just spent hours chatting about everything.”

From that point onwards, Colyne and Julie – under the collective name of Les SalAmandas – slowly but surely continued to build up a collection of songs that are, says Julie, “mostly about us and our lives. Also, they’re a narrative of the last four years, since we first met, and signposts as to how we have grown as people. We would talk for hours and get ideas from that…”. Whatever the subject matter, the songs on Les SalAmandas’ debut album, There’s a Sea Between Us, tell equally compelling, emotionally charged tales. The eleven tracks – unadorned indie/folk gems bolstered by engaging melodies and watertight harmonies – were crafted over the past three years by performances at Ballydehob’s acclaimed Levis Corner House pub/music venue and (in 2022) at festivals such as Body & Soul, Coughlans Live, Doolin Folk Festival, and Vantastival. Between then and now, Julie and Colyne have shared stages with Irish music luminaries such as Paul Noonan (of BellX1), Wallis Bird, Mick Flannery, and Gemma Hayes.

Support on the night comes from Argentinian musician and composer, Agustina Taborda, who uses piano, voice, midi instruments and the iconic Bandoneón to weave enchanting musical tapestries influenced by tango and cumbia music.

The Black Gate's previous home on Francis Street very quickly became a dearly-loved hub for the arts and music community in Galway. Now, while they await the creation of a new venue, they are continuing to highlight and champion Irish artists via a regular series of pop-up shows in some of Galway's coolest venues. Check out the full upcoming line-up here and buy your tickets for Les SalAmandas on Friday right here.

Published on Updated on