William Henshaw


Musician, Sound Technician and Radio Presenter, Livefeed


We meet William in a small radio station of Kinvara FM. He talks about his involvement with Galway 2020 project Livefeed with such eloquence, it’s hard to believe he had to take time off school to talk to us.

William fills us in on how Livefeed helped him go from ‘hiding behind his fringe’ to having his own radio show, building a network and doing sound engineering professionally.

Can you tell us about yourself?

I’m 18 and I was born in Birmingham, but I am more from Kinvara than I am from anywhere else; I’ve lived here for 14 years. I’ve embedded myself in the culture here from day one. I live just outside Kinvara and I have been doing Kinvara FM for about six months now. I got involved with Livefeed in March and April, which kickstarted everything that I am up to now; I’ve pretty big things coming up in the future all thanks to Livefeed.


How would you sum up Livefeed in your experience?

Livefeed is the springboard for young adults to get into any part of the music industry, whether that’s sound engineering, being a musician or a music journalist. Galway may not have a national exhibition centre or huge venues where people can become superstars, but it’s a perfect place to start. There are so many incredible artists coming out of Galway and I think Livefeed is definitely going to generate some more.


What’s the framework of Livefeed – how does it work?

It’s a little society within itself. When I went in on day one, I knew no one and someone pointed at me and said ‘Hey, that’s a really cool band t-shirt’. I know that’s such a small thing but for someone who had no one to gel with in terms of music, it was important. It’s a little world where everyone knows each other within five minutes of walking in the door. I’ve been it in for less than a year and I already feel like it’s the most beneficial thing I’ve had in my life for a long time.

That sounds wonderful. How can people take part in it?

I just saw it in the newspaper, but they’re also great on social media, for workshops that they do or their open mics. There’s always posters around Galway for any event that they’re doing. The people that work in Livefeed also work in other areas. For example, Eoin [Dolan], who taught me sound engineering, also does work with Foroige. There are plenty of outside opportunities that Livefeed can expose you to.


What is the importance of Livefeed, coming into Galway 2020?

Livefeed is building up to 2020 in the summertime, but I think people are generally going to be so much more aware of the music industry here because of it. It’s even rekindled my faith in going to music college. Livefeed may end in the summer of 2020, but it doesn’t stop for the people involved, which is a great thing.

“Livefeed is the springboard for young adults to get into any part of the music industry, whether that’s sound engineering, being a musician or a music journalist.”

How has Livefeed changed the game?

Music was always associated with being at the pub; not all ages had access to venues. It gave us young people a chance to perform in a safe environment. The people at Livefeed know everybody around them. Everyone can come in for free. I think it nurtures the hobbies of young people. I was always interested in sound, but I never had the chance to express it. They really get to the depth of what people enjoy. They build people’s passion and give them fine-tuning in where to go in the future.


What are some of the projects you’ve worked on with Livefeed?

With Livefeed, I have been able to work at the Kinvara Community Centre as a sound engineer. I have also been able to do live sound engineering for Cruinniú na nÓg at the Galway 2020 headquarters. I’ve had four or five events with Livefeed but it’s also given me the ability to do sound engineering at other concerts at venues. It’s an opportunity I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.


What is Livefeed bringing into the 2020 programme that’s unique?

Livefeed follows just young adults in music, it helps build their passion and relationships. It’s also the one place where you can do any kind of music you want to. There’s no emphasis on traditional music, rock, pop or an acoustic open mic set. You can be anything – it’s the only place where I’ve seen someone do Elton John and someone play Green Day in the same space. The live dates will be on our facebook page and people can stroll in, grab a seat and watch us for free. It’s all about having a good time. We’re all then building up to a big bang in the summertime of next year.

We are at Kinvara FM studios today. What do you do here?

With Kinvara FM, every second Sunday I do an unorthodox rock show. I play what I want and what everyone else would like to hear, as well as some songs that people may not know. A few wild cards are thrown in, but its emphasis is on rock music because I feel like rock music was never really played on the radio when I would listen in. In the future, I would love to bring on more young people that came from Livefeed and give them the platform to perform on radio.


If you could play one song on repeat what would it be?

It would probably be the first song I ever played here on Kinvara FM which was a Queens of the Stone Age song ‘Give the Mule What He Wants’.


How are you a Galwegian?

I would say I’m a Galwegian because I don’t know anything else. I go to the UK to visit family once a year but Galway feels like home. Whether that’d be going into Kinvara, Galway city or any of the commuter towns. I’ve just embedded myself in the Galway culture, all I know is Galway slang and the Galway way of living. Kinvara is one of my favourite places on the planet. Lovely people, lovely cafes and when you’re old enough, lovely pubs. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve come from or how long you’ve been in Kinvara, you can be friends with anyone.



What is Kinvara like from an arts & culture perspective?

Coming in as a non-religious English person into a countryside village was daunting to me at first when I started going to school but I never felt like I was ever out of place. There are so many things going on in Kinvara – there’s a place called Cava which is an arts exhibition centre, you’ve got Kinvara FM which does all the music as well as arts & culture shows. You have smaller open mics going on in some of the cafes. There are so many artists in Kinvara, be that with a pen and paper or with a guitar. Seeing so many people being creative here is one of the reasons why I never want to have a mundane job where I am doing something I don’t like.


Where in music do you feel most at home?

I came from a heavy metal household, growing up next door to a neigbour who was really into hip hop, in a community that was heavily involved with traditional Irish music. I think I would feel most at home with my headphones on, in my band t-shirt, playing some rock or metal music. On the show, I even play soul or swing, lots of hip hop sometimes. I feel at home with anyone who has a smile on their face and really enjoys music. I am a rocker through and through, but it doesn’t matter what I put on my streaming services or what CDs I have; it’s about whatever community is openly accepting and that’s been every place I’ve been in Galway.

“I used to be a shy, introverted kid who didn’t like to talk to anyone and hid his eyes behind his fringe. Now I say yes to things and I’ve regained my confidence in general.”

If Galway was a band what would it be?

Queen. If I had to give it a genre it would have to be that classic pop, classic rock thing. Galway is its own culture, with very bohemian people who just want to express themselves. They wear what they want to wear and sing the music they want to sing. I think that non-conformity resonates with Queen.


What is the most important lesson that Livefeed has taught you?

Within the music industry and outside of it, be a sincere, genuine and friendly person. Nobody likes a mean grumpy sound engineer, but nobody likes a mean grumpy guy in general. Do what you want to do as best as you can, in the nicest way possible. In the last 12 months, I went from having lost my faith in making a career in the music industry to sleeping, breathing and bleeding music. I’ve surprised myself by getting my own radio show, getting emails from some of the biggest names in radio and getting noticed by artists that I play on the radio. I used to be a shy, introverted kid who didn’t like to talk to anyone and hid his eyes behind his fringe. Now I say yes to things and I’ve regained my confidence in general.

Hundreds of creatives have been involved in the making of the Galway 2020 programme. In our Meet the Makers series, we meet the people who are making it  happen.

Photos and interviews by Julia Monard.

Videography by Lakshika Serasinhe.