INTERVIEW: Casey McQuillen | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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From humble beginnings as an indie darling to her current status commanding arenas and headlining her own shows, Casey McQuillen‘s journey is a testament to unwavering dedication and genuine passion for music. In this exclusive interview, we uncover the lessons learned along the way, exploring how they continue to shape McQuillen’s music and performances. With insights into her recent support slot for Marti Pellow and Lemar, including a memorable performance in Newcastle, anticipation has peaked for her upcoming headline shows in more intimate venues, which includes a show at Newcastle’s Cluny 2 on Sunday 14th April; McQuillen offers a candid glimpse into her artistry and the profound connections forged with audiences worldwide.

How do you reflect on your journey as an artist, and what lessons have you learned along the way that continue to shape your music and performances?

I always try to remember that the show isn’t for me, it’s for the audience. I think regardless of the room I’m in, I’m there with a job to entertain, and focusing on that makes it easier for me to not be nervous and to focus on creating a fun experience and joyous environment.

You’ve recently supported Marti Pellow on tour, playing in arenas across the UK including Newcastle; how does the energy and atmosphere of these larger venues compare to your upcoming headline shows at more intimate venues?

Ironically, I think it’s actually much harder to create energy in the big rooms than the small ones! The cavernous nature of the arenas creates a feeling of distance between you and the audience, and it requires a lot of energy to overcome that! By contrast, the small, intimate rooms are so warm and inviting. 

How do you anticipate Newcastle audiences will connect with your stripped back, raw and emotionally charged performances? How have they connected in the past?

I think they’ve connected great! Acoustic sets are my bread and butter; I think when it’s just you and your guitar, all of the music feels so authentic and raw, and it’s easy for audiences to empathise with the music. What’s so exciting is that my show at The Cluny this weekend will be with my full band, and I am so excited to be able to bring that energy and excitement to my fanbase who are used to only hearing my acoustic!

Can you share any memorable experiences or standout moments from recent shows that have influenced your approach to performing live?

I would say that my show at the OVO Hydro Arena in Glasgow was really memorable; playing for 10,000 people at once was a real milestone for me, and it gave me renewed confidence in my ability to do new things and push myself for new experiences!


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