Claire Beck is one of the most recognisable figures in the Irish music scene today – Claire’s voice has been heard across the airwaves on Phantom, TXFM and most recently Today FM for what seems like forever – a steady and always popular champion of brilliant music and sunny vibes.
Beyond this, Claire is also a great DJ – providing some of the standout moments at ALS over the past number of years – her sets in The Ballroom at ANYE 18 & 19 were particularly notable – where she really caught the mood of the room with signature panache on both occasions, but Claire is truly a music lover and a master at sharing that passion.
All in, Claire is one of our very favourite people, and a real champion of all we do – we caught up with her in her unique isolation staton of her barge home.
Claire Beck here. I’ve been honoured to be a regular performer at ALS/ANYE over the past couple of years. Some of my favourite festival moments, both on stage DJing and off getting lost with friends, have happened at The Manor.
Hi Claire! How have things chaged for you workwise since this all kicked off?
I’m usually running around between a music manager role, DJ gigs, event planning, and prepping for radio shows. Everything is on hold/gone at the moment except for the radio show, which I’m so grateful to still have. It’s a blessed outlet in a sea of strangeness.
I’ve turned it into a ‘mud free festival on the radio’ since lock-down began. It’s beautiful and bizarre getting messages and pictures from people, all dressed up, at home listening.
And away from work?
When I’m not traveling into studio to do the show (with my official letter for checkpoints tucked into my pocket like a secret agent), I’m spending the lock-down at home on my houseboat.
Listening to heaps and heaps of music is my number one activity (as usual). Baking, planting, knitting… if you can think of a ‘things to do on a houseboat’ stereotype, I’m probably living it right now.
I’m missing my friends, my mam and my Nana, who turned 89 during the week – but I’m grateful that they’re healthy.
“I’ve decided to embrace the times where my creativity, energy and optimism feels boundless, and forgive myself for the times when it’s blocked.“
What do you hope comes from this experience?
When this all started, I had a burst of creative energy and was fully embracing this new normal, the time and space to make things. Then after about a week, this burnt out and I felt utterly lost.
I was looking online and seeing my peers seemingly churning out effortless work while I was stuck, feeling dreadful.
However, I quickly realised that we need to be very, very gentle with ourselves during this surreal time. We’re not robots and this obsession with productivity needs to stop.
It’s easy to scroll online and think ‘everybody is being so productive with this time, and I’m wasting it’. I’ve decided to embrace the times where my creativity, energy and optimism feels boundless, and forgive myself for the times when it’s blocked.
My top tip: forgive yourself, take the morning off to watch Netflix if you need to.
“We don’t really need a crowd to have a party”. I think this song will be my lasting memory of hosting my radio show during lock-down (Saturday SoundSystem, Today FM 9pm-midnight, tell your friends pls).
Usually people get in touch to say they’re getting ready to go out. But now, its screen shots of virtual hangouts and shout-outs to friends all over the world. It’s also a banger, in fairness.
Last week was so surreal and time so non linear that I kind of … forgot that new music gets released? It was a real treat to get the first new music in three years from Belfast’s finest. I’m looking forward to playing this to a festival crowd as soon as possible.
‘ELEVATOR GIRL FT. IVY SOLE’
I was already a Shura fan but even for her, this track is sensational. A giddy story of two women on a first date, in a breezy 90’s tinged RnB style and it’s divine. A queer love story shouldn’t stand out as remarkable but here we (still) are.
‘JUST NOT WITH YOU’
I’m a sucker for a live disco band and this young three piece from the UK are right up my alley. I’m not going to tell anyone how to suck eggs but if they were to play at the next ALS I would be thrilled!
‘LIFE IS A SONG WORTH SINGING’
You generate the power to decide what to do with your life’. This tune never fails to give me a (gentle, loving) kick in the arse when I need it and make me feel positive again. We will get through this.