Róisín Meets . . . actor and musician Bronagh Gallagher

The ‘Pulp Fiction’ star speaks about her new album and her friend John Travolta

In the latest episode of the Róisín Meets podcast, Derry-born singer and actor Bronagh Gallagher joined Róisín Ingle to talk about her "monastic" lifestyle, her friend John Travolta and her forthcoming third solo album, Gather Your Greatness.

Gallagher was just 17 when she became famous overnight for her part as Bernie in The Commitments.

The role launched her career as an actor, and she went on to act on the Abbey Theatre stage and in high-profile films such as Pulp Fiction and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

She talks about meeting her childhood idol, John Travolta, on her first day of rehearsals for Pulp Fiction, next to a tray of croissants and fruit.


“So here he is strutting towards me, and it’s just me and him staring at all these pineapples. And I’m going, ‘Hiya John, I’m Bronagh from the Bogside.’”

Gallagher, who wrote the lyrics for her latest album and co-wrote the music with guitarist Conor Brady, also talks about the real love of her life: music.

“I was never really into fellas. Obviously, I fancied fellas, but it was all about the records and I’m still the same,” she said.

"I didn't care whether or not he was Brad Pitt, if he wasn't into Marvin Gaye or Al Green or James Brown or Aretha Franklin or Candi Staton, I was like, 'See ya.'"

A child of the Troubles, Gallagher says she put “a lot of that” into the new record.

Monastic lifestyle

She tells Róisín about the “slightly monastic” lifestyle that fuels her creativity when producing an album.

She is “a hoor for the yoga” and meditation, which she says has helped her find confidence.

Gallagher says she lives alone and has chosen an independent life. When she is writing a record, “it’s tunnel vision” and “requires complete isolation”.

Gather Your Greatness will be released by Salty Dog Records on May 27th.

Gallagher has an upcoming gig in Whelan’s in Dublin on June 17th.

To listen to the conversation or other episodes of the podcast, go to Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher or irishtimes.com.