The Irish Sea Sessions is an annual event that brings together some of the finest traditional musicians from Liverpool, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Irish diaspora, together with singers and songwriters from Liverpool, Ireland and Northern Ireland, to explore and celebrate tunes and both traditional and contemporary songs inspired by Liverpool, Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Irish Sea and the shared heritage and connections between them all. The event was devised by Simon Glinn of Liverpool Philharmonic and is produced and presented by Liverpool Philharmonic. The Musical Director is Bernard O’Neill. The Liverpool events are presented as an annual highlight of Liverpool Irish Festival.
The Irish Sea Sessions first convened in Liverpool in October 2010, with a performance at Liverpool Philharmonic on Friday 22nd. The show, and the response of both audience and critics, was tumultuous, with Liverpool Confidential magazine rating the show “15/10 (honest)” There is video footage of the Irish Sea Sessions 2010 on this website, along with downloadable reviews and the programme. A CD of the 2010 event is now released and is available through this website.
The 2011 Irish Sea Sessions were held in Liverpool, Belfast, and Derry/Londonderry. The Liverpool event again drew very positive reviews, with Alan O’Hare of Seven Streets magazine saying “We don’t do marks out of ten here at Seven Streets, but here’s a verdict for you: better than last year,” Liverpool Confidential being slightly more orthodox in awarding 10/10, and the Belfast Telegraph ****
In 2012 the destinations were Liverpool and Belfast; in 2013 the Irish Sea Sessions convene in Liverpool and London.
The line up changes every year as the squad of Irish Sea Sessioners develops; for details of everyone who has been involved so far, and this year’s line up, click here.
We’d like to thanks John Johnson, Mark McNulty, Paul McErlane and Simon Glinn for photographs on this site