“Reading an article in The Guardian about tourism in Essex. Not sure why the journo assumes the Irish tourists have never been out of Ireland before. We’re no longer reliant on an annual coffin ship to the Americas to get out and about.”
The Basque woman five seats down from me was in awe. The stadium was packed. Over 50,000 souls had taken over the place and turned it red. It was only a ‘friendly’, but the supporters of the ‘home’ team cheered every pass and move with a gusto which was totally out of kilter with the importance of the occasion.
“Why does everyone in Ireland support Liverpool?” she asked me at half-time. “Do you not support your own teams?”
In the city of Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians, and St Patrick’s Athletic, she was shocked to see so many Dubliners come out to support a team from the old colonial power.
01. Seven-piece outfit Ensemble Ériu are among a brace of bands and artists taking a modern approach to Irish traditional music.
02. Second album Imbas (an Old Irish word that is used to describe inspiration or creativity) follows their eponymous 2013 debut, and released this past June on Ensemble Music/Raelach Records. It’s streaming and available for download here.
03. Streaming above is video footage of some of their 2014 set in Coughlan’s of Douglas Street, Cork, taken by Meade Films.
04. Playing next in the wilds of the wild West, Connolly’s of Leap, this Friday. Doors 8pm, tickets €10. Next Wednesday seems them at An Lab, in An Daingean; Thursday week at Belvedere House in Dublin; and Friday week in Hollywood, Co. Wicklow.
Verdict: Bringing a wide range of contemporary ideas to the trad oeuvre, taking in jazz and ambient elements, the Ensemble are among the forefront of the genre’s revival.