Tag Archives: trad

Daithí - Photography by Ruth Medjber www.ruthlessimagery.com

Daithífolk/electronica from Galway

What you may need to know…

01. Last time we checked in on Daithí, he’d been touring his recently-released extended-player, his first formal release as an independent artist.

02. Using elements of Irish pop-culture and music in his improvised, audiovisual live show, his work is another element in the modernisation of the trad/folk oeuvre.

03. Streaming above is the video for new single Aeroplane, featuring regular vocal collaborator Sinéad White. In his own words:

“Sinead and I wrote this song inspired by old Irish TV dramas from the ’80s and ’90s. True to the people of Ireland at the time, the characters in these shows all seem to have a hard time expressing their feelings, and we wanted to write a song that imagined what was going on in their heads, while they stumbled through talking to their love interest.

The video for the song uses footage from a short film that was shot in my home town Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, in the 1990s. The video stars real locals from the area, and deals with the hardships of being a bachelor in rural Ireland. I had completely forgot about it until I came across the tape in my parents’ house, and some of the footage is just incredible.”

04. This Friday, he plays the Roisín Dubh in Galway, followed by a Saturday night date in Dublin’s Opium Rooms and a Bank Holiday Sunday show at Cyprus Avenue in Cork. Check social media for more info/times.

Thoughts: More polished pop than jigs ‘n’ reels referencer, Daithí and Sinéad White’s thematic drawings on the Irish condition accompany an expansion of his sound.


Pic by Ruth Medjber



With a Golden Discs voucher up for grabs we asked you to complete this sentence:

‘The most outstanding example of traditional music from the island of Ireland would have to be______________________________’

The competition was particularly stiff.

but there could only be one winner.

Scottser takes top prize for this probing analysis of The King of the Fairies by The Dubliners (above):

“This tune features a lovely modal device of introducing the sharpened 7th in a minor key, which is ordinarily proper to the major key. This play between major and minor is a very ‘gypsy’ feel, so nice and topical, given the current debate around traveller ethnicity. Oh, and John Sheahan is an absolute gentleman and a total legend.”

Runners up:

Harry Molloy:

“Would have to be the Tabhair Dom do Lámh by Planxty, bolted on to the end of the Raggle Taggle Gypsy. The bouzouki never sounded better! I remember when the Planxty Live at Vicar Street CD came out and was being advertised on TV, I heard a few people saying they would buy it based on that piece of music alone. Had it played at my wedding too.”


“The most outstanding example of traditional music from the island of Ireland would have to be Arthur McBride sang by Paul Brady. Every listen is akin to a shillelagh right in the feels.”


 “The most outstanding example of traditional music from the island of Ireland would have to be Mise Éire by Seán Ó Riada, because it combines the best elements of traditional Irish music in the classical music style. It always reminds me of Sunday afternoons at home with my late Dad listening to this while I washed the dinner dishes, usually with me giving out because he was listening to “this rubbish” instead of RTÉ Radio 2, and him telling me I’d appreciate this good music some day. He was right. He was wrong about James Last though, he was rubbish.”

Real PolitHicks:

“For me, though, the most outstanding example of traditional music from the island of Ireland is this fine choon from the legendary Trad/Rock band Moving Hearts. I used to go see them play every week in The Baggot, back in the day. They were far better live than anything they ever recorded, they’d set your heart racing and your foot tapping.”


“The most outstanding example of traditional music from the island of Ireland would have to be Fester and Ailin’s Tropical Diseases. Voices like angels, and model good looks.”

Thanks all.

Golden Discs


Ensemble Ériutrad revivalists tour second LP

What you may need to know…

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.

Ensemble Ériu


Lynched – playing the BBC Folk Awards tonight at the Royal Albert Hall

1. Dublin traditional/folk four-piece Lynched are the antithesis of safe, diddly-aye stagnation in the genre, commenting fearlessly on austerity, social issues, trad tropes and modern Irish identity.

2. Having existed in various guises for over a decade, Lynched as we know them today came together when the Lynch brothers met bandmates Cormac and Radie at various trad sessions around Dublin around 2012, and began arranging songs the duo had been working on for the prior few years, as well as some lesser-known traditional pieces.

3. Streaming above is Cold Old Fire, the title track from their second album, recorded by Danny Diamond of Slow Moving Clouds in Merrion Street’s Irish Traditional Music Archive in 2014.

4. This was the tune that helped get them kicked off RTÉ Radio on Culture Night a few years back, when showrunners attempted to steer their set away from the recession ballad (how’s about that recovery!) before removing them from proceedings. Nevermind, though: they wound up on Jools Holland after.

Tonight, they’ll be a world away from upsetting the official narrative, representing themselves and performing at the BBC Folk Awards, live at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Streaming tonight on BBC iPlayer, because why should public-service broadcasters provide “niche-interest” television or anything, it’s only what they’re funded to do, like.

6. Fight!

Verdict: Alongside The Gloaming, as well as the likes of Daithí, Moxie, Slow Moving Clouds and others, Lynched are not trad’s future: they’re the genre’s present. Passionate and progressive while retaining a world-weary authenticity.



Slow Moving Clouds – embarking on the Os Tour throughout April and May

What you may need to know…

1. Drawing on both Irish and Nordic traditions, Dublin-based Slow Moving Clouds present a rich fusion of sound and influence.

Comprised of Aki (vocals, nyckelharpa), Danny Diamond (fiddle, Strohviol) and Kevin Murphy (cello, vocals), Slow Moving Clouds adds Murphy’s depth and penchant for experimentation to an already-successful creative partnership.

Last November saw the band release debut record Os to critical acclaim, and recognition of their twist on the trad template leading to comparisons to contemporaries Lynched. Streaming above is the video to instrumental piece Devil’s Polska.

The band heads on tour to support the record in April & May: April 30th at the Triskel in Cork, May 5th in Dublin at Bello Bar, May 20th in Galway at The Crane Bar, and May 28 at Belfast’s Duncairn Centre.

Verdict: Slow Moving Clouds draw from individual and collective musical lexicons to create fearless and inventive music, binding the traditional with the experimental.

Slow Moving Clouds


Caoimhín O’Raghallaighplaying Carlow and Cóbh this month

Here’s what you may need to know…

1. Plying his craft on a 10-string violin known as the hardanger d’amore, Caoimhín treads the world’s stages as part of a variety of duos, as well as with trad outfits The Gloaming and This Is How We Fly.

Among these stages have been the Sydney Opera House, London’s Royal Albert Hall, and the Lincoln Centre in New York..

O’Raghallaigh recently became the artist-in-residence at the National Concert Hall, Dublin and will be working with collaborators on monthly live shows ’til June. All the info here.

Among a spate of upcoming gigs with The Gloaming and his NCH residency are a smattering of once-offs, including a May 14 show in Visual Carlow with Iarla O’ Lionáird, and a solo show on May 23 at Cobh’s Sirius Arts Centre.

Verdict: A unique instrument with rich, droning tones is Caoimhín’s tool of trade, and his mastery of it is testament to a true artistic calling, as he, among others including his The Gloaming bandmates and contemporaries, write a new chapter in trad’s history.

Caoimhín O’Raghallaigh