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The Audience was nominated for a number of Olivier Master Card Awards on Tuesday, including best new play, best actress, best director, best costume and best supporting actor for Richard Mc Cabe’s study of Harold Wilson.He’s taking a pre-arranged break from playing Zac, the energetic choreographer in A Chorus Line at the London Palladium, to perform a week’s cabaret residency for Live At The Hippodrome (the old Talk Of The Town) from April 22 through April 27."You'd imagine I'd have been full of light after winning," he says, "but in fact I went quite dark, drinking far too much.I didn't know why." It was Bruce Springsteen, sitting up with him one night drinking whiskey, who explained things to him.
There's a logic and satisfaction to fixing things you could never get from songwriting." Hardly a sentiment one might anticipate from a singer-songwriter whose new solo album, Didn't He Ramble, might just be his most personal, and loveliest, yet; but Hansard is nothing if not a plain speaker. "Songs are these weird, ethereal things - like birds that land in the garden you try to coax into the room.
I've done a few things, but not enough to allow them to go out on a bender, you know? And if I am remembered for that one song, well, there are worse fates…" Still, he stopped playing 'Falling Slowly' altogether at concerts - not entirely sick of it, but in no hurry to revisit it. But then Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder invited him on tour, and insisted they sing it together nightly.
"Eddie made me feel slightly less self-conscious about it," he says.
It's all very abstract compared with nuts and bolts.
I've always loved nuts and bolts." Hansard is one of Ireland's most successful musicians, an Oscar-winning songwriter, and far more the folk troubadour of tradition than he is modern-day celebrity. We've done all right." Raised in Ballymun as the second of four children, Hansard quit school at 13, intent on becoming a busker.