Part super-group, part session with 13 musicians from both sides of the Irish Sea. Witness the shared music and the special bonds between these leading contemporary singer-songwriters, traditional musicians and multi-instrumentalists. Inspired by the format of the Transatlantic Sessions, but focussing on musicians from England, Ireland and the Irish diaspora, The Irish Sea Sessions began in Liverpool in 2010. It has become the centrepiece of the annual Liverpool Irish Festival, receiving huge critical acclaim. After touring to Belfast and to Derry-Londonderry in subsequent years, this year The Irish Sea Sessions 2013 convenes in Liverpool and then arrives in London for the first time. As the Liverpool Echo said about year one, ‘people will boast for years to come – I was there.’
The line-up changes each year. This year, singers Declan O’Rourke (Galileo, Sarah), Emily Portman (BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winner 2013 Best Contemporary Song ‘The Hatchling’), Robert Vincent (Life In Easy Steps), Pauline Scanlon (one half of the duo Lumiere) and Alan Burke (Rambling Boys of Pleasure, Afterhours, Tulsk) provide most of the songs. They are backed by an ensemble of hand-picked instrumentalists – the Coyne Brothers – Mick on uillean pipes, Eamon on fiddle, and Terry Clarke-Coyne on flutes and whistles, Sean Regan on fiddle, Gino Lupari (of Four Men and a Dog) on percussion, David Munnelly on button accordion and piano, and Neil Campbell on guitars, all led by musical director Bernard O’Neill on double bass and piano. They are equally at home leading rollicking sets of reels or delicate airs. The musicians meet together for the first time just three days in advance, and put together a two-hour show that has all the atmosphere of the finest pub session, with all the quality of a major concert hall setting.
To buy tickets for Liverpool 18th October, go here
To buy tickets for London 21st October, go here