We won’t harp on, but there’s great trad to be had this weekend
Highlights: Achill Harp Festival, Patrick O’Keeffe Trad Festival and John Spillane
Laoise Kelly performs at the Achill International Harp Festival in Co Mayo
Achill International Harp Festival
Various venues, Achill Island, Co Mayo Friday October 27th-Monday October 30th achillharpfestival.ie
A celebration of all things harpish happens in Achill throughout this weekend, with a mightily eclectic gathering of musicians, writers and singers involved in workshops, sessions, concerts and lectures. Mayo harpist Laoise Kelly is one of the organisers, and her reach is wide and welcoming. Brittany looms large, with Jean-Michel Veillon, Lune Bleue Trio and Anne Auffret. For those with an interest in musical history, Brian Keenan will be there to talk about and read from Turlough. Past and present weaving in, out and around one another: promises to be a particularly tasty weekend.
Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival
Various venues, Castleisland, Co Kerry Friday October 27th-Monday October 30th patrickokeeffefestival.com
Marking its quarter-century this year, Castleisland’s festival is an apt doffing of the cap to the late, great Sliabh Luachra fiddle player, whose influence can be heard in the playing of a vast number of musicians, both local and national, from Matt Cranitch to Liam O’Connor. Broadcaster and O’Keeffe chronicler supreme Peter Browne will lend his support with a piping workshop, and there will be other music workshops and song sessions featuring Paudie O’Connor and Matt Cranitch, along with Connie O’Connell, Gerry Harrington, Bryan O’Leary, Emma O’Leary, Tim Dennehy and many more.
DC Music Club, 20 Camden Row, Dublin 2 Sunday October 29th 9pm €15/€13 musiclee.ie
Songwriter, singer, poet and dreamer, John Spillane has retained a childlike quality that enables him to write songs with imagination and wit. His work celebrates the global in the local, and carries echoes of Patrick Kavanagh in its DNA. As a performing artist, Spillane has few equals. A musician who lives in the moment and revels in the adrenaline of the live setting.