MUSIC De Dannan to to play in Cloghanover

Going Out
De Danann take new show to Cloghanover

Going Out
Michael Commins

IN the best of Irish traditions, nothing ever runs smoothly … as Fine Gael realised in recent days! The same holds true in the music business where many of the top bands and groups have seen departures and members who have ‘gone their own way’.
The legendary Irish traditional band, De Danann, once described as ‘the Rolling Stones of Irish Traditional Music’, are touring again – playing a show in Campbell’s Tavern of Cloughanover (just outside Headford) this Thursday night, June 24.
These legends might be a long-standing fixture on the Irish scene in one form or other, but they are no strangers to controversy. Who could forget the now famous spat on the Joe Duffy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 last August when some members of the original band were playing a gig in Castlebar. It made for compulsive listening as an old row flared up again.
At issue, it seems, was the decision of former band member Frankie Gavin to tour under the band name Frankie Gavin and De Dannan. Some of the original members – including Alec Finn and Johnny Ringo McDonagh – were not in Gavin’s line-up.
For the gig in Campbell’s, both Finn (bouzouki and guitar) and McDonnagh (bodhrán) will be joined by Ealanor Shanley (vocals), Mick Conneely (filddle and bouzouki), Derek Hickey (accordion) and Brian McGrath (piano and banjo), all of whom will play under the banner De Dannan.
The original De Dannan (named after the legendary Irish tribe, Tuatha Dé Danann) were formed in 1975 in Galway and became one of the most influential bands in traditional Irish music before going their separate ways in 2003. The band released their eponymous debut album, ‘De Danann’, in 1975 and in total have recorded 14 albums including, ‘Anthem’, ‘Star Spangled Molly’ and ‘A Jacket of Batteries’, achieving chart success with many of the albums reaching gold or platinum status.
Famous for their cross-cultural experiments, De Dannan recorded traditional Irish versions of the Beatles song ‘Hey Jude’ and Handel’s ‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ (which the band renamed ‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba to Galway’). De Danann also recorded Jewish klezmer music with American bluegrass and klezmer superstar, Andy Statman and made an album called ‘Half Set in Harlem’, featuring American Gospel singing.
Regardless of the rather confusing lineage and line-up controversy, the show in Headford this week looks set to be a cracking good one, and one not to be missed by trad lovers.
All the details about the show in Campbell’s Tavern can be had from Sandra Joyce on 087 9614715 or 093 35454, or visit