Events Calendar

Pure Irish Drops Concert

Friday 19 October 2012, 20:00


Details: Irish people have long faced the necessity of leaving their homeland and seeking work and their livelihood elsewhere. They can be found throughout the world, with many generations making England their home.

The Irish community in London alone totals around 150,000 - the equivalent of a reasonably sized city in Germany. Manchester and Birmingham are other major population centres with a high proportion of Irish.

Wherever they are in the world, expats have one thing in common: far from their homeland, they somehow manage to preserve their traditions more effectively, more powerfully and accurately than at home. Irish expats in England are naturally no exception. An investigation of the Irish music scene in England may well yield old 'treasures' that have become debased or have even totally disappeared from traditional music in Ireland.

But there is a further reason why Irish communities in England differ from those in Ireland itself. England is a collection-point for people from all over Ireland, even the furthest-flung counties; they have travelled there to find work irrespective of their place of origin. The communities thus formed are made up of people from widely varying backgrounds that would probably never have lived together, or even seen each other from a distance, back in Ireland. All these people have brought their own versions of Irish traditions to their new home away from home, and handed them down from generation to generation. In the case of music, this raises specific questions: to what extent did the various regional styles merge and combine?  Is there a specifically 'English' style of Irish music and what consequences has this development on the repertoire of Irish musicians in England?
The musicians on this tour are Kevin Crawford (tin whistle, bodhrán and wooden flute) from world-famous band Lúnasa, born of Irish parents in Birmingham; Damien Mullane (button accordion), who moved with his parents to London at the age of one, and only recently returned to Kerry; and Colin Farrell (fiddle), born in Manchester to Irish parents from Galway and Cavan.

These musicians represent the three most important Irish communities in England. Kevin Crawford recently wrote a publication examining the influence that English-Irish returning from England have had on Irish music in Ireland.

Kevin Crawford - flute, whistle & bodhrán

Born in Birmingham (UK), Kevin’s early life was one long journey into Irish music and Clare, where he eventually moved to while in his 20’s. He was a member of Moving Cloud, the Clare-based band who recorded such critically-acclaimed albums as Moving Cloud and Foxglove, and he also recorded with Grianán, Raise The Rafters, Joe Derrane and Sean Tyrrell and appears on the 1994 recording ‘The Sanctuary Sessions’. A virtuoso flute player, Kevin has recorded two solo albums, ‘’D’Flute Album’ and ‘In Good Company’.

Damien Mullane - accordion

Damien Mullane was born in Cork, Ireland but his parents moved to London before he was one year old, so he grew up there. He is a phenomenal box player who started playing in his West London home with Comhaltas and now lives in West Kerry. He was for some time a member of Frankie Gavin’s New De Dannan, is currently a member of the "Women of Ireland" project and has played all over the world.

Colin Farrell - fiddle

Colin Farrell was born in Manchester in 1977 into a very musical family. His mother Mary hails from Galway and his father Tom comes from Cavan. Coming from a multi-talented musical family, Colin started playing the fiddle and whistle from an early age. He went for lessons at the O'Carolan branch of Comhaltas in Manchester. He was taught the fiddle by Paddy McMahon from Galway and was taught the tin whistle by Angela Durkin and Michael McGoldrick. The first band Colin played with was St. Malachy's Céilí Band led by Sean Dempsey. Since then Colin has toured Europe and the USA extensively with various bands and dance shows and has recorded albums with his former bands Ceile (Mancunian Way) and Grada (Cloudy day navigation). Five years ago Colin gained a Masters Degree in Irish traditional music from the University of Limerick. Since then he has moved to Orlando Florida where he plays in the group Creel with Damien McCarthy at Raglan Road Irish Pub in Downtown Disney. In September 2010 Colin finished his debut CD - ON THE MOVE.

Doors open at 19.30.

Venue: Château de Bettembourg, in Bettembourg

Organiser: Comhaltas Ceolteoiri Eireann

Price: €15 for CCE members, €20 for non-members



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