Fleadhs, festivals and Gigs in the Garden: this week’s trad gigs

Stockton’s Wing, Ulaid & Duke Special, Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill and Andy Irvine

Stockton’s Wing play the Gigs in the Garden event at Séamus Ennis Arts Centre, The Naul, on Friday

Stockton’s Wing play the Gigs in the Garden event at Séamus Ennis Arts Centre, The Naul, on Friday

 

Gigs in the Garden 2017 with Stockton’s Wing, Ulaid & Duke Special, Donovan and The Whileaways

Séamus Ennis Arts Centre, The Naul, Co Dublin Friday August 11th to Sunday August 13th, 7pm €25 & €27.50 tseac.ie

A robust line-up on Friday night marks the first of three outdoor concerts in this well-established north Co Dublin venue. Fingers crossed for the sunshine as Mike Hanrahan, Steve Cooney and their compadres carry on their 40th anniversary celebrations in Stockton’s Wing. The Ulster piping and fiddle combination of John McSherry and Dónal O’Connor anchor the powerhouse repertoire of Ulaid, and Duke Special will occupy that ephemeral space in between, where folk, rock, trad and world music happily collide. On Saturday, listen up for Sixties folk-pop legend Donovan and The Whileaways.

Ulaid & Duke Special are at Séamus Ennis Arts Centre, The Naul on Friday
Ulaid & Duke Special are at Séamus Ennis Arts Centre, The Naul on Friday

Feakle Festival: Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Cherish The Ladies, Mary McNamara, Sorcha Costello and Geraldine Cotter

Glór, Ennis, Co Clare, Friday August 11th, 7.30pm €30 glor.ie

Feakle Festival finds its feet in style with this mighty line-up. Home boy Martin Hayes and his regular musical partner Dennis Cahill share the genteel contours of Hayes’s east Clare fiddle music with the townies of Ennis, while Joanie Madden and her band bring the chutzpah of their New York roots to the mix. Concertina mother and daughter duo McNamara and Costello bookend this celebration of Clare’s richly patterned musical heritage, accompanied by pianist Cotter. Feakle Festival ends on Monday 14th

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill are at Glór in Ennis, Co Clare as part of the Feakle Festival. Photograph: Erin Baiano
Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill are at Glór in Ennis, Co Clare as part of the Feakle Festival. Photograph: Erin Baiano

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann

Various venues, Ennis, Co Clare, until August 21st fleadhcheoil.ie

For many musicians, dancers and singers, the Fleadh Cheoil is the most important event in their annual calendar. It’s where they slug it out for All Ireland titles with the tenacity of prize fighters. TG4’s mighty Fleadh TV will be there to capture the mania and the magic, but, for stalwarts, there’s nothing to beat the three-dimensional, no-holds-barred solar plexus punch that is hearing and seeing such a tsunami of performers across the length and breadth of the week in the town of Ennis itself. Pádraig Rynne, Frankie Gavin, Seán Keane, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill and so many others will occupy the main stage of Glór and other venues, while the streetscape changes constantly. Add a tincture of half-decent weather, and this is a gathering not to be missed.

Andy Irvine

St John’s Theatre & Arts Centre, Listowel, Co Kerry, Thursday August 17th,

8pm €15 stjohnstheatrelistowel.com

Andy Irvine is in Listowel, Co Kerry on Thursday
Andy Irvine is in Listowel, Co Kerry on Thursday

This indefatigable, irrepressible father of all troubadours cleaves to the road so widely travelled. Irvine is the very embodiment of the folk artist: forever most at home when playing and singing songs of, for and by folks. Irvine’s track record as a solo and ensemble musician is peerless: Sweeney’s Men, Patrick Street, Planxty, Mozaik, Usher’s Island and his recently revived partnership with Paul Brady. Multiple dance partners but ever the stalwart musician, in hot pursuit of the most picaresque and rhythmically complex stories and songs. Irvine’s a treat in any company, especially his own.

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