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Acapela Studio
tel: 029 2089 0862
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Sarah McQuaid

“One of the most instantly recognisable voices in current music … Shades of Joni Mitchell in a jam with Karen Carpenter and Lana Del Rey.” —Neil March, Trust The Doc

Sarah McQuaid’s lush, chocolatey voice combines with her engaging personality, “subtle mastery onstage” (Huffington Post) and “brilliant musicianship” (fRoots) on acoustic and electric guitars, piano and (occasionally) drum to create a truly immersive experience.

Born in Spain, raised in Chicago, holding dual Irish and American citizenship and now settled in rural England, she brings the eclecticism of her background to her “captivating, unorthodox songwriting” (PopMatters) and choice of material, spanning genres and defying categorisation.

All this is abundantly demonstrated by her new live album and video series The St Buryan Sessions — but needs to be savoured in person to be fully appreciated.

In April 2017, Sarah was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ards International Guitar Festival in Newtownards, Northern Ireland (previous recipients include legendary guitarists Davey Graham, John Renbourn, John Martyn, Martin Simpson, Pierre Bensusan and Martin Carthy) in recognition of her innovative use of the DADGAD tuning and her authorship of the Irish DADGAD Guitar Book. She regularly presents workshops on the DADGAD tuning (as well as on songwriting, tour booking and more) at festivals, music schools and venues around the globe, and is working on a follow-up book on DADGAD song accompaniment.

In 2020, with her spring tour cut short due to the COVID-19 crisis, Sarah mounted a successful crowdfunding campaign to finance the filming and recording of a full-length live concert sans audience in the beautiful medieval church of St Buryan, just over a mile from Sarah’s home.

The St Buryan Sessions was released in October 2021 by Sarah‘s own Shovel And A Spade label on CD and limited-edition blue vinyl double LP. The album made it onto “Best of 2021” lists on three continents and features stunning solo performances by Sarah on acoustic and electric guitars, piano and floor tom drum, her lush, distinctive vocals echoing through the soaring space.

Videos by Cornish filmmaker Mawgan Lewis of all 15 tracks on the album can be viewed on Sarah’s YouTube channel, together with a 10-minute video introduction to Sarah featuring live and studio performances intercut with interview and behind-the-scenes footage.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“One of the most instantly recognisable voices in current music … Shades of Joni Mitchell in a jam with Karen Carpenter and Lana Del Rey.” — Neil March, Trust The Doc

“She reached parts other singers fail to do … There is emotion, beauty, passion and musically great arrangements and fab playing. It’s a complete package. I loved the show and was very moved.” — Rob Bozas, Bozas International (Publisher, Peter Gabriel/Real World)

“Captivating, unorthodox songwriting … layered satin vocals … enthralling, harrowing arrangements … a gateway into a true innovator’s soul.” — PopMatters

“I’ve attended hundreds of concerts of all kinds, and her subtle mastery onstage launches her straight into my fave shows ever.” — Huffington Post

“A voice as thick and soft as fur.” — Elmore Magazine

“Sarah was just fantastic – she had a sold out audience captivated from start to finish.” — Ards Arts Centre, Northern Ireland

“Brilliant musicianship, a warm and welcoming stage presence and a voice as rich, matured and knowing as the finest thrice-distilled Irish malt whiskey.” — fRoots

Book a table for pre-concert dining

Acapela Studio provides pre-concert dining between 6.00pm and 7.30pm from our wood burning pizza oven. To view the current menu visit here.

Please purchase your concert tickets first before booking a table. We will not accept any table bookings that do not have a corresponding ticket purchase.

Then return to the event page to book your table, by selecting the date of your event, number of diners and time you require table. The times shown are the only vacancies left.  Please complete your email and phone number as this is required to ensure your table is allocated. You will receive confirmation of your booking by email and text.

If on the date you have chosen no tables are available - no times will be shown and the booking system will revert you back to todays date - PLEASE ENSURE YOU BOOK THE CORRECT DATE!

PLEASE NOTE THE VENUE RELIES ON THE INCOME FROM DINING TO ENSURE WE CAN BOOK ALL THE GREAT ACTS PERFORMING.

Income from the provision of pizzas is very important to the venue and if you have booked a table it is a requirement that all people sat at tables order food - a salad alternative is available to pizzas. Please do ensure that all individuals will be ordering on your table - if  this is not the case please cancel your table so others who are looking to dine can do so. Our apologies to raise this but recently we have had many tables (some very large) where less than 50% of those sat at tables have ordered food. Financially this is a real problem to the sustainability of the venue. 

  • All seating at tables must purchase a pizza - so please do not book a table if everyone is not eating.
  • Please ensure that you arrive 10 minutes before the time slot allocated to order your pizzas prior to your booking time.
  • Tables not seated within 15 minutes of the allocated time may be lost and allocated to other audience members wishing to order pizzas.
  • If you wish to book a table for 6 or more please email info@acapela.co.uk

Please note that all of our pizzas are made fresh to order and cooked in an authentic wood-fired oven. It may take up to 45 minutes to be served during busy periods.

IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO BOOK A TABLE YOU CAN STILL ORDER PIZZAS ON THE NIGHT (USUALLY ON BUSY NIGHTS NO LATER THAN  7.15PM) AND WE WILL SERVE THEM TO YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE SAT IN THE VENUE - IN A PIZZA BOX.  

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