I’ve been meaning to write something about the ridiculously talented Irish folk group, Lynched, for some time; fortunately Britain’s Guardian newspaper has got there ahead of me. The band was formed in the early 2000s by Darragh and Ian Lynch as a folk-punk duo until joined by Cormac Mac Diarmada and Radie Peat, eventually becoming… Read More Irish Folk Band, Lynched
A quick thank you to regular contributor Marconatrix for an email reminder of this 2012 video-documentary from Michael Newton, A’ Seinn an aghaidh na Balbhachd “Singing against the Silence”, examining the Scottish (Scottish Gaelic) language in Nova Scotia and Canada. It’s well worth half an hour of your time.
Sometimes we need reminding that – whatever our origins – we are not just Irish but Celts too, one of the indigenous peoples of north-western Europe. From a report by the Irish Times newspaper: “At the Festival Interceltique, President Michael D Higgins was warmly received as the only head of state of a Celtic country.… Read More Festival Interceltique 2014
An update for you on the controversy surrounding the banning of the bilingual Scottish punk band Oi Polloi from a music festival in eastern Germany organised by a Left-Wing socio-cultural collective. The reason for the ban? Because Oi Polloi performs songs with lyrics in Scottish Gaelic as well as English and for some on the… Read More Germany’s Ultra Left – Getting It Wrong Again
There is an influential theory held by an extremist minority on the Far Left of European politics which opposes a plurality of languages and cultures in Europe because it impedes (as they would claim) the development of a common group identity amongst the working classes on the continent, an identity that that would transcend historic… Read More Celtic Europe, Battling Bigotry From Left And Right
Some surprising news from Scotland’s well-known anarcho-punk band Oi Polloi, a bilingual group who produce songs with both English and Scottish Gaelic lyrics. They have issued a statement on their Facebook Page claiming that the organisers of a music festival in Germany have objected to the band playing Scottish language songs and cancelled their planned gig.… Read More German Music Festival Bans Gaelic-Punk Group?
Chris Achilléos is a Cypriot-born British artist who came to prominence in the 1970s and ‘80s with illustrations for a large number of books and magazines in the Fantasy and Sword ‘n’ Sorcery genres. Instantly recognisable for his exquisitely rendered female figures, invariably beautiful, frequently belligerent, he became widely known amongst fans through several best-selling… Read More Raven, Swordmistress Of Chaos, Chris Achilléos
One of my favourite songs from the early 1990s is The Mission’s “Tower of Strength”, a drum and guitar heavy rock anthem from the British band that showed off Wayne Hussey’s vocal talents at their best. If not entirely typical of the group’s output it was very typical of the effect “dance music” was having… Read More Tower Of Strength, The Mission
Lashún Gatna or “Beautiful Child”, a song in the traditional Irish Traveller style written and sung by Jack Delaney. The dialect is An tSeiltis or Shelta, a hybrid mix of the Irish and English languages with the former serving as a base for the latter. The translated lyrics are below (with thanks to Jack). “Beautiful Child… Read More Lashún Gatna “Beautiful Child”
Another quick post, this time on behalf of the Séamus Ennis Cultural Centre which is holding a Summer Solstice Session in June from Friday 21st to Sunday the 23rd as part of the so-called Gathering (I’ll maintain a diplomatic silence on the latter event). The Cultural Centre in An Aill (the Naul, Fingal) is a great venue and well… Read More June Summer Solstice Session At Séamus Ennis Cultural Centre
First up a review in the Irish Times of the new TG4/BBC co-production, the comedy-drama “Scúp”, penned by Irish author and screenwriter Colin Bateman (the man behind the mid-2000s BBC hit “Murphy’s Law”): “From reporters having to beg for their salaries to the canny deployment of question marks in headlines to see off libel accusations,… Read More Some Quick Posts
Ceol ar an Imeall, TG4’s indie music show, is back tonight at 23.00 on TG4. Lots of Irish bands performing live in studio plus interviews with a host of international acts. A whole gaggle of performances for Ceol ar an Imeall are available to watch for free here. Enjoy! Follow Ceol ar an Imeall on Facebook or Twitter.
Two tech stories for the Irish-speaking community via the Silicon Republic. The first highlights the addition of the TG4 player to the line-up of on-demand television services provided by the major Irish cable and broadband company UPC. “On-demand TV now comes as Gaeilge, as TG4’s line-up is added to UPC On Demand, which has now… Read More Two Tech Stories For Gaeilgeoirí
In a shameless rip-off of the Cedar Lounge Revolution here is my own “Something For The Weekend“. Belfast’s Gráinne Holland is one of Ireland’s most talented new musical artists. Her innovative 2011 album Teanga na nGael (“Language of the Gael”) combines traditional Irish music with a European sound that echoes elements of pop, jazz and several other influences. It say’s much… Read More Gráinne Holland – Teanga na nGael
Today’s Irish Times has a lengthy examination by Úna Mullally of the Irish arts scene that is well worth reading: “Imram, the Irish-Language Literature Festival takes place from October 11th to the 20th, and offers a dynamic programme. There are familiar names participating: Louis de Paor, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Micheál Ó Conghaile. And there are… Read More Imram 2012, Leonard Cohen And More
Scottish blogger Tocasaid has an excellent article on Scotland’s punk rock scene and the group Dùisg (“Rise, awake”): “Compared to the Basque Country or even our Celtic cousins in Cymru, Scotland has a paucity of bands composing new material in her own language. Fortunately though, one of them is a well kent face on the international stage.… Read More Dùisg!
Genuinely saddened to hear of the passing of Adam “MCA” Yauch, certainly one of the voices of my generation. From the Guardian: “Rapper Adam Yauch, a third of the trailblazing hip-hop act the Beastie Boys, has died aged 47. Yauch, who performed as MCA, had been in treatment for cancer since 2009 after discovering a tumor in his parotid gland. The band’s management posted… Read More So What’cha What’cha What Ya Want
The Irish Times carries a very personal report celebrating the weekend’s Oireachtas na Samhna, the annual Irish language and culture festival, this year held in Cill Airne: “IT IS the time of Samhain and I am heading south to Killarney. Every year at this time I find myself on the road to somewhere. The reason – Oireachtas na Samhna.… Read More Oireachtas na Samhna
The people of Wales have been marking the celebration of their native language and culture in this year’s Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru or the National Eisteddfod of Wales. For the last week festivities focusing on literature, poetry, art and music have been held in Wrecsam (Wrexham) with nearly 150,000 people in attendance. As the BBC reports: ‘Organisers of the National Eisteddfod… Read More Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru – Oireachtas Náisiúnta na Breataine Bige
Since I’m watching ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ on TG4 here is some Big Audio Dynamite with ‘Medicine Show’! :-)