Danu – Ímar – Huntza
Queen Margaret Union Fri 25th January 2019
From Celtic Connections Festival 17 Jan to 3 Feb 2019
By DANNY MATHESON
This was a very international night of energetic mercurial music. We had a band from the Basque region of Spain, and Irish band and the other band with members from Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man and an Englishman! Each band were full of energy and played very original music.
Huntza are a six piece band from Gipuzkoa in the Basque region of Spain. Formed in 2014 they play a very high energy style of music which got this evening off to a great start. Singing songs in their native tongue and playing tunes from their region. Instruments included drums, electric guitar, bass guitar, fiddle, button accordion and tambourine. Such was the energy in this band that on their last set three of the members joined the crowd on the middle of the floor and continued to play their instruments and dance with the audience.
Ímar played their first ever gig exactly three years ago and have since become one of the most exciting bands around. Formed of five superbly talented guys, Adam Brown (guitar and bodhran), Tom Callister (fiddle), Ryan Murphy (pipes and flute), Moshen Amini (concertina) and Adam Rhodes (bouzouki), their tunes are written with guile and tenacity. They started their set with “Into the Light” and “Happy Clappy” from their first album “Afterlight” before moving onto tunes from their most recent album “Avalanche”. Included in the set was an amazing bodhran solo from Adam Brown. You cannot fail to tap your feet and swing along to the music of Imar and watch in utter amazement at the energy exuded from Moshen. It’s as though there are thousands of volts running through his chair as his legs and body move in time to his concertina. They finished their set with “Be Now My Vision” which starts off slowly but builds up to a crescendo which sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Danu are an all Irish band formed in 1994. Like the two bands that preceded them they were a very exciting band with their rendition of traditional Irish tunes and songs sung by the angelic voice of Nell Ni Chroinin. There was everything that you would expect from a band like Danu from fiercely driven hornpipes to subtle ballads. They took to the stage as a seven piece band with an assortment of instruments including, whistles, flute, bouzouki, guitar, accordion, fiddles and bodhran and played from their huge repertoire including a song remembering those that lost their lives in the Easter risings “The Foggy Dew” and a set of tunes “Cutting A Slide/ Fiddle Cushion”
All in this was a very entertaining night with three very good bands. You would pay good money to see one of these bands let alone three of them.