Only a few words today. I am going to let the pictures talk. I’ll just say that the full house yesterday was treated to an incredibly strong showing of what ‘Folk Music’ is today in Ireland.
We had solo singer-songwriters such as Fiach Moriarty, we had a dose of Sliabh Luachra with Brian O’Leary’s band and then the perfect hangover cure with Colm Mac Con Iomaire. This group deserves special mention. All eleven of them had made the trip to Doolin and their eclectic and extraordinarily beautiful arrangements of ‘trad meets trance’ was a real eye-opener.
We had ‘modern’ trad with the Four Winds reprising their gig of a couple of weeks ago at the Fleadh Nua in Ennis and if anything they lifted it a notch from that show. I especially loved Farewell to the Gold, a song I have been singing since the early eighties. We had the Lost Brothers, two guys who definitely weren’t lost. Two brothers, two voices and two guitars; lovely stuff. We had more brothers with We Banjos Three (who are actually four – explain that; oh sorry, this is Ireland!) , where ‘trad meets old timey’. Their extraordinary virtuosity makes them a standout wherever they play.
Then we had Cork man Mick Flannery and his band, another unknown to me. Not easy to follow the Banjos but they delighted their loyal fans.
The highlight of the day for me though was Fiddler’s Bid, four lads from Scotland and the Shetlands who, surprisingly, all play the fiddle. They were supported by some of the finest harp playing you will ever here and a rhythm section with guitar and bass and sometimes piano . But wow! Four fiddles, sometimes in unison, sometimes weaving in and out with harmonies and chords but always electric, energetic and enervating. I had heard them at New Year in Donegal a the most amazing Hogmanay and they certainly did not disappoint this time. Not much more to be said. Oh except the night was finished with Aldoc (for me at 1:30) with Alan Docherty’s amazing flute at the core, but with a lot more going on around him.
Today was another perfect gaggle of gigs. Not everything is to everyone’s taste. But as I said yesterday that’s what makes a great Festival.
One last thing. I met heaps of fantastic people yesterday. From all over Ireland and the world. I also took lots of shots of people of all ages enjoying the craic. I will put some of these up on my blog in the days to come. Without these wonderful people there would be not be a Festival.
Incredible Bob! I would loved to have been there.
Bob, thanks for writing about these concerts and for giving me the names of the groups so I can find them on Spotify and enjoy their music! I missed the atmosphere of the concert, but feel connected none the less. Cheers
Thanks Nick. This is a great festival for discovering new music. More blogs to come including one that I hope will give you a bit of the atmosphere.
Come next year!