West Cork duo: Our weekend starts on Sunday!

French/Irish Ballydehob duo Les SalAmandas, Julie O’Sullivan and Colyne Laverriere, had songs feature in the TV adaption of Graham Norton’s best-selling novel ‘Holding’.
West Cork duo: Our weekend starts on Sunday!

Les Salamandas, are Julie O’Sullivan and Colyne Laverriere.

TELL us a little bit about yourself:

We are both from small villages, Hostun in France and Ballydehob, Co. Cork. Our families are quite different but very traditional, a big ol’ Irish family with 55 aunties, 45 uncles and 634 first cousins and a proper French style one with divorced parents and family reunions where you sit around the table for hours eating lots of food.

We met in Ballydehob in 2018 and started writing songs together. We’ve had a couple of years of moving here and there on our own but we always end up back together here in the centre of the universe. Over the past year we’ve been performing live and working on our debut record, which we hope to release this autumn.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Julie: I love staying in with movie on.
Colyne: I think I would go clubbing. Even though we are quite different, we both enjoy a nice chilled gig in Levis Corner House with a couple of pints.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

The two of us are quite different in this department, but to be fair Colyne works in a pub so if she wants to get her eight hours of beauty sleep she really shouldn’t get up before 10 and I might usually be on the same train as her but I currently have to be up early, so I usually wake up at 8/9ish (with some mid-day naps).

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Mostly we have weekends on Monday and Tuesdays, but the work always manages to creep in when doing things for ourselves. Luckily some of the work is practising, which is great craic.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

If money was no object I wouldn’t be heading to the city. I’d take myself skiing, take no one and stay forever. Colyne would go to Paris or Rome for the weekend, mostly for the food and wine with her best friend probably.

Lough Hyne, where Julie loves to walk and swim.
Lough Hyne, where Julie loves to walk and swim.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

Julie: I love a walk up Lough Hyne, Skibbereen and a swim in the lake after, or a paddle down at Audley Cove, Ballydehob on a calm sunny evening.
Colyne: There is a hill in my village in France, it’s about 10/15 minutes walk from my house. I used to go up there as a kid and just look at the beautiful view.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

We are both really close to our family and we love spending time with them as much as we can, even if it’s over the phone. The good part of working in a pub is that friends will come see you at the weekend.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

Last summer, we decided to start playing tennis. We played for a little while and got really into it. I decided that we should play in every town we have a gig in. Sadly the rackets never saw the courts of Ireland, they never left Ballydehob at all. Maybe this summer our tennis dreams will come true. Other than that, we love a good road trip, Colyne watches her rugby games, Julie loves a swim in the sea, and of course we always fit in a coffee and chat.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

Julie: I will be entertained please, I can’t hack the stress of cooking for others, and I have so many talented friends who can do it in my place, like Colyne, she can cook up a storm with anything, I especially enjoyed an aubergine Moussaka-ish dish she made at my house one time.
Colyne: I love cooking, it’s always a pleasure to cook for people. I’m working on my traditional pasta carbonara recipe at the moment but my signature dish would change depending on my mood.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

We coffee in Budds Ballydehob most days. Dare I say best oat flat whites in Cork? We are very lucky to have it on our doorstep. They also have a great lunch menu. Actually we are spoiled for choice in Ballydehob, Hudsons Wholefoods is another great one for bites, then we have Yay Burger for your hearty evening fix and of course the beautiful and wonderful Chestnut Tree, our very own Michelin star restaurant here in Ballydehob that we’ve been lucky enough to dine in once or twice.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

As people who work in a pub, Sunday is our Friday, so we chill out. A trip to the cinema is always a good shout for us (as long as there’s good snacks, we don’t mind what’s on). Or a classic nice pint of Murphy’s in a pub.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

Ahhhh (happy sigh) it doesn’t…

Follow Les SalAmandas:

For more on the duo’s singles see:
‘Now Is the Time’ https://www.you tube.com/watch?v=UX7OlQL0TTU
‘Mouldy’ https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=-a7xU9sJuqA

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