Briana Corrigan

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b. 30 May 1965, Belfast, Northern Ireland. As a child Corrigan played piano as well as brass instruments. However, when her brother refused her permission to join his band, she turned to the theatre and…
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b. 30 May 1965, Belfast, Northern Ireland. As a child Corrigan played piano as well as brass instruments. However, when her brother refused her permission to join his band, she turned to the theatre and acting instead. As an adolescent she identified with the music of Abba and the Undertones, but by the time she moved to Newcastle, England, in the mid-80s to study performance, she was still bent on a thespian career. That changed in 1987 when she joined the Anthill Runaways, a comic ‘cowpunk’ band in the vein of the Blubbery Hellbellies or Boothill Foot-Tappers. She was recruited to the Beautiful South after an Anthill Runaways demo tape had been passed to Go! Discs in the late 80s. By 1989 she was featuring on the band’s UK number 1 single, ‘A Little Time’, taking a particular prominent role in its famed ‘flour fight’ video.

By the advent of the Beautiful South’s third album, 1992’s 0898: Beautiful South, Corrigan had grown disillusioned with Heaton’s songwriting, which she still respected but had difficulty in endorsing. ‘There were two issues. I didn’t feel I was being creatively challenged, which is fundamental. And I didn’t feel comfortable singing those lyrics, they didn’t feel anything to do with me or with my idea of women.’ She left the band and began work on recording her own album. Released in 1996, When My Arms Wrap You Round included the first song Corrigan had ever written, ‘Now You Talk’. The album received some dismissive reviews, though Corrigan’s voice retained its allure and several of the songs possessed an emotional directness which had never featured among the Beautiful South’s many qualities. After the album’s release Corrigan returned to Ireland where she gradually dropped out of the spotlight, concentrating on a low-key acting career.