Bringing it all back home for St Patrick’s Day: this week’s trad highlights
Kilfenora Céilí Band are at the NCH; Iarla Ó Lionáird and Steve Cooney are in Kilkenny
Cool for cats: Iarla Ó Lionáird and Steve Cooney play the Set Theatre, Kilkenny on St Patrick’s Day as part of Kilkenny Tradfest
Saturday March 16
ST PATRICK’S FESTIVAL
Various venues, Dublin until March 18 stpatricksfestival.ie
This year’s festival is most certainly in the mode of bringing it all back home. A raft of local artists dominate the packed programme, with an overarching theme of storytelling. The tales we tell and the ballads we sing will be celebrated through a raft of tours taking place under the umbrella of Abair, while the Céilí Mór takes place today at 1pm in Merrion Square. Donal Dineen will explore the life and legacy of renowned Cúl Aodha singer Bess Cronin, in the company of her granddaughter and singer Eilish Ní Thuama, alongside sean-nós singer Eithne Ní Chatháin. So much else besides too.
Sunday March 17
IARLA Ó LIONÁIRD and STEVE COONEY
Set Theatre, Kilkenny 7pm €20 kilkennytradfest.ie
Fresh from The Gloaming’s sell-out dates in the National Concert Hall, singer Ó Lionáird strips it all back in the company of his sometime musical compadre, Australian polymath Cooney. Voice, guitar and didgeridoo – and a treasure trove of gorgeous songs. Guests of Kilkenny Tradfest.
Monday March 18
THE KILFENORA CÉILÍ BAND
National Concert Hall, Dublin 1pm & 8pm €20 (lunchtime)/€37.50/€32/€28.50 nch.ie
Hot on the heels of the release of this enduring céilí band’s 10th album (produced by Dónal Lunny), they return to Earlsfort Terrace to raise the roof twice on our national holiday. A treat for anyone with a hip to swivel and a foot to tap.
Wednesday March 20
The Clé Club, Liberty Hall, Dublin 8pm €5 cleclub.home.blog
Peadar Ó Ceannabháin is a sean-nós singer from Connemara and his three children, singers and musicians Saileóg, Eoin and Muireann, grew up in Dublin. Tonight they join one of Dublin’s best-known singing circles. Most definitely an opportunity for singers to hear songs from the Connemara Gaeltacht and to extend their repertoire. Songs and tunes will also be welcome from the floor.
Friday March 22
GERRY O’CONNOR & THE IRISH ROVERS
Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda 8pm €50
Renowned local fiddle player O’Connor brings The Irish Rovers, a Toronto-based band founded over 50 years ago, to Drogheda for a fundraising concert in aid of the Droichead Arts Centre’s community outreach programme. Also featuring The O’Connor family, sean nós singer Máire Ní Choilm, Dublin singer, Niamh Parsons, local folk trio Kern and others.