Spotlight on Caitlin Gilligan

For fans of: Joan Baez, Frank Turner, Eva Cassidy, Lisa Hannigan

Young Scottish songwriter Caitlin Gilligan grew up playing music in rural Galloway. Since transplanted to Manchester and Liverpool, her songs still echo the wild empty spaces of her Scottish childhood.

Ahead of a recent Clowdy session at Mojo’s, she told Peter about how the move to England and Manchester’s vibrant music scene inspired a new lease of life in her songwriting.

Caitlin performed four original songs for us, three of them written recently – until not that long ago her repertoire largely consisted of covers, but she has embraced the possibilities brought about through writing her own material of late.

Undeniably, her music harks back to a simpler time; Lilac Skies reveals a clear-throated voice reminiscent of iconic folk singer Joan Baez, while the unornamented instrumentation allows the tune to speak for itself.

This might place her in a similar wheelhouse to revivalists like Frank Turner and Marcus Mumford, but the quiet, Celtic-tinged intensity of the songs mean they resist this kind of simple categorisation.

And the plaintive, thoughtful lilt of Where Do I Belong suggests Caitlin Gilligan has plenty of songwriting tricks up her sleeve as she continues to mature as an artist and develop her craft.

Unlike the classic folk singers her music recalls, she might not need to hop on the back of a passing steam train to get from town to town, but there’s no doubt this girl is going places.

In addition to her recent Clowdy session, Caitlin has been gigging around the city as a solo singer and also in collaboration with Lee Parry as Finch and the Moon.

Songs such as I Miss You, I’m Blue and I’m Down showcase the interplay between her and Lee’s contrasting vocal styles to great effect.

Follow Caitlin Gilligan on Clowdy to keep track of her latest Clowds and find out about any upcoming gigs she has planned.


Fearghus Roulston

Fearghus was tempted into training as a journalist after an injudicious exposure to the Tintin books at an early age. He worked in several content marketing and writing jobs before starting at Clowdy, where he deals with blogging, social media and other non-Tintin or international espionage-related activities.