A bit of a misnomer for this concert as we were treated to a quartet and a trio! Not that anyone was complaining.
We started off with our own Celtic Music Radio presenter and 2013 Young Traditional Musician Of The Year Paddy Callaghan who was joined on stage by Danny Boyle on flute, Eamonn Nugent on bodhran and Adam Brown on guitar.
We were treated to sets of polkas and slides, which included ‘Trip To Dingle’, ‘The Hills…..’ ( the guys called it this as it was easier to say!),’ The Spry’ and ‘Dan O’Keefe’s’ – and the playing just got faster and faster.
As a respite for them, Adam played and sang a beautiful song called ‘Roseville Fair’ with some lovely guitar work before they all joined together again for a new piece called the ‘E-Jects’!
Then it was back to a set of reels which finished with ‘Jimmy’s Trip To Clonmel’ before we had a fabulous rendition of the great hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’ which Paddy had adapted for the BBC’s Songs Of Praise programme. And afterwards he mentioned that it had been the great folk stalwart Davie Henderson’s funeral that day – and what a fitting tribute to him.
Next up was the trio, which consisted of Michael McGoldrick on flute, John McCusker on fiddle and John Doyle on guitar. I had never seen Doyle play before which was my loss as this guy is amazing on the guitar – and a left hander as well!
They opened with a piece which had been commissioned as a prize in an auction to be named by the winner – hence the title ‘ Margaret Ann’s 25th Anniversary Reel‘ followed by ‘Billy’s Reels‘ in honour of our own Billy Connolly.
John Doyle then sang a piece entitled ‘ Liberty’s Sweet Shore’ explaining the background to this song was a time when Irish ‘would be’ emigrants, were offered passage to Canada for £2 per head, however most of them didn’t survive the journey and there is a mass grave there of over 30,000 people.
McCusker then introduced a set which included ‘Wee Michael’s March‘, ‘Cockermouth’ and ‘Frank’s Reels‘ all written by himself.
It was then back to Doyle for another maritime disaster song, this time the ‘SS Arabic ‘ – a ship which his great grandfather had set sail on from Roscommon in Ireland to America in 1915 when it was torpedoed by a German submarine. He was lucky to be saved and returned home many months later after a period of recuperation.
The trio were joined on stage by Heidi Talbot who sang ‘The Bedlam Boys’ with them before they finished with ‘Leaving Uist’. As an encore, Paddy and his trio joined them on stage for a rousing finale to the evening.