Cara Dillon: the big interview
John Martyn RIP

Potted Cara

Feisty. That was the word I was looking for. During the first part of the Cara Dillon interview, I admitted to having floundered while searching for the right word to describe the changes I had detected in Cara's voice on her new album Hill of Thieves. Was it mischievous? No. Sultry, sensual, strident? Not really. But there was attitude, of a sort I had not noticed before in Cara's vocals; she attributes this to the "different frame of mind" she has experienced since her twin boys arrived so prematurely just over two years ago. So feisty it is. The word was banned by the features editor when I worked at The Daily Telegraph. As someone who decides and enforces newspaper style, I can see why. It had become the first port of call for too many lazy writers. But it is STILL a good word if applied sparingly. I cannot recall the last time I used it, if I've used it at all, and you don't get much more sparing than that. Here, then, is the second part of Salut! Live meets Cara, a series of quick questions; the number usually depends on how many the person in the hot seat chooses to answer. It is short but sweet, telling us just a little more about her. And see her highly talented sister Mary in an obscure clip I managed to dig out at YouTube; it sits perfectly with the gem above, Cara in duet with Paul Brady, Sam adding exquisite piano.....

What has Somerset got beyond cider, morrismen and pub skittles?

Lots of greenery and the finest milk I have ever tasted.

How famous would you want to be?

As famous as you can without anyone knowing who you are.

Has Obama's election made you more optimistic about the world your children are growing up in?

I suppose so...only time will tell.
Were you good at school, or a tearaway?
I was a very, very good girl.
Best subject and worst?
English Lit and Maths
At what age did you realise you could sing well?
About 10

Best gig? Worst gig?

Best gig was playing in a 3000 year old Greek amphitheatre on Sicily, worst was playing in Limerick the same time as the all Ireland Gaelic Football final when eight people showed up ... very, very drunk.
What or where do you want to be 10 years from now?

I love not knowing what's around the corner... that's one of the bests part of what I do.



Never saw them but from their records Deanta with Mary Dillon were a good band.
This clip - introduced by Brendan Begley - is from the wonderful Irish language TV station TG4 that has some great music - go to and select Ceol from the menu for the archive.

Malcolm G. Fisher

Thanks for completing a fine interview, I very much enjoyed it and the links to the lovely videos of Cara, Sam, Paul Brady and the song by Mary Dillon that I had not heard before. The musical talent seems to pour from the very pores of the Dillon and Lakeman Families. It is a pity that I will not be around when Noah and Colm show us what their mixed genes will produce musically in a decade or so. All The Best, from Malcolm


Your feedback is most welcome. It can be a struggle to attract readers to a small, independent site and the single most important factor in ensuring the survival of Salut! Live has been the willingness of artists of the calibre of Cara - and, before her, Martin Simpson/Kate Rusby/Rachel Unthank/Marie Little/Vin Garbutt/Simon Nicol and former members of Fotheringay (with apologies to anyone I may have overlooked) - to give their time so generously.

Pete Sixsmith

I have just got hold of Hill of Thieves and it is as good as the Emirates Guru says it is. I was ambivalent about Cara until I saw her live at The Lowery in Salford last June and I realised that she was one hell of a lot more than good.The album is a real treat and I look forward to her recording The Yorkshiremans Lament in the future. Her take on Halifax could be interesting. Listening to it after a 1-0 win over Fulham is an added bonus.


Cara as a youngster in the Equation video for He Loves Me (Colin please make a blog about this very rare, exclusive video...):

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