The Payment Expert Encore provides an opportunity for the payments industry to take the stage and share with us the soundtrack that took them to where they are today. 

The latest edition sees Martin Heraghty, Regional Director, Europe, Paymentology, take the stage to discuss how much he cherishes David Bowie. 

What was your first-ever gig, and what was it like?

A: It was back in the 80s when the iconic music venue called Raquels in Basildon was the place to be. They used to host legendary artists like Depeche Mode and Alison Moyet, but the first gig I saw there was Culture Club. It was such a new sound on the music scene, quite different from my usual taste, but it was great to experience something unique like that and to see how they evolved from there. 

What’s the best performance you have ever seen live, and why was it so good?

The best performance I ever saw was at a small venue called The Shannon Centre in East London when The Pogues were still in “start up” mode and before they got famous. The intimate atmosphere, with only around 100 to 200 people in the audience, made it extraordinary.

Is there an artist who, in your eyes, can do no wrong? If so, why?

A: For me, that artist is Bowie. David Bowie’s versatility and innovation in music and style throughout his career were unmatched. He constantly reinvented himself and was never afraid to take risks, making him an eternal icon in the music world.

What is your most cherished album, and what makes it so special to you?

My most cherished album is “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” by David Bowie. This album is a true masterpiece, combining storytelling, theatricality, and groundbreaking music. It holds a special place in my heart because of the impact it had on music and pop culture.  It really needs to be listened to on vinyl to fully appreciate it.

What song always makes it to your gym playlist? What activities do you usually do in the gym while listening to it?

A very apt song for exercising – the reimagined Bee Gees classic called “Stayin’ Alive” by Avu-chan. I first heard it in the movie “Bullet Train” not too long ago, and since then, it’s become an absolute staple on my playlist.

Which artist or song helps take your mind off work? Why have you chosen this artist and genre?

Anything by Mozart has a timeless quality that helps me disconnect. His infamous “Requiem” is particularly captivating, with its emotive and soothing composition, making it an ideal choice to escape the demands of a busy day.

If you could go on a night out with any musician, who would it be, and where would you take them?A: If I had a time machine, I would love to go on a night out with Johnny Cash. I’d take him to a classic pub called The Reel Inn in Donegal Town, a place he would have likely appreciated, given his love for storytelling and connecting with people through his music. I reckon Denise (the landlady) would love to hear him sing, and Folsom Prison Blues would make for an unforgettable evening.