Headliners for the 2020 Festival
Louise Kennedy grew up in Holywood, Co. Down. Widely published in journals she has written for The Guardian, Irish Times and BBC Radio 4. In 2019 and 2020 she was shortlisted for both the
Sunday Times Audible short Story Award and the writing.ie Irish Short Story of the Year. Her critically acclaimed collection ‘The End of the World is a Cul de Sac’ was published by Bloomsbury in April.
She lives in Sligo, where she is completing a novel.
The Leonard Cohen Songbook re-imagined by an 8-piece band
featuring Pauline Scanlon & The Whileaways.
Pauline Scanlon and The Whileaways will perform many of Cohen’s best-loved classics and some lesser known gems. They lead a masterful ensemble including Will Merrigan (bass), Dave Clancy (keys) and Eamon Murray (drums) with lush string arrangements copper fastening the elegance of the performance.
Pauline Scanlon galvanized the Irish music scene with her stunning debut album, Red Colour Sun, over ten years ago. As a solo artist and as a member of vocal duo LUMIERE, Scanlon has entranced audiences the world over with her distinctly delicate intensity. Pauline has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists including Damien Dempsey, Sinéad O’Connor, John Spillane and is a member of several high profile groups including Dónal Lunny’sAtlantic Arc Orchestra. Scanlon has presented several music-based Television programmes for both the BBC and TG4 in recent years and released her latest album ‘Gossamer’ in 2016 to critical acclaim.
The Whileaways are three powerful forces in Irish roots music, Noelie McDonnell, Noriana Kennedy and Nicola Joyce combine to create a beguiling tapestry of harmonies, tradition and beautifully crafted original songs. Their sound is simply captivating, enthralling live audiences and securing their firm footing in roots music both in Ireland and internationally.
Kevin Barry is the author of the novels Night Boat to Tangier, Beatlebone, and City of Bohane, and the short story collections That Old Country Music, Dark Lies the Island, and There Are Little Kingdoms. His awards include the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Sunday Times EFG Bank Short Story Award, the Goldsmiths Prize, and a Lannan Foundation Literary Award. Night Boat to Tangier was longlisted for the Booker Prize and was a New York Times Top Ten Book for 2019. He also writes for the screen and for the stage.
Escape captures in glorious technicolour some of the heat and light that is NoCrows” “…fearless and forever adventurous in their quest for musical expression” “A glorious melee that lures the listener in from the get-go” ****…………. Irish Times Full Review
“When an LP is as finely recorded as this, with such sparkling musicianship, there’s nothing much to do but luxuriate in it…almost a full hour of classy music that takes you here, there and everywhere, evoking a full bag of emotions along the way” – Hot Press Sept 2019
A COLLABORATIVE CONCERT
“It was October 2018 to be precise, when we met for the first time. Anna and I had the pleasure to listen to Lisa Lambe’s silky voice and Martin Tourish’s sweet accordion playing together in the mother-and-father-of-all-sessions that has ever happened in the Catalan town of Sitges”. That’s the way Felip Carbonell (of the Sligo band NoCrows) describes the night his bandmate Anna Houston and himself met Martin Tourish. “It was the last night of the 5 th edition of the festival Creative Connexions, a festival ran by Boyle-born Caroline Wynne and intended to create artistic connections between artists from Ireland and Catalonia, when… that’s exactly what happened. A musical magic moment just sparked in front of our eyes and I thought: ‘we have to play with these guys sometime’.
We never met Martin before but we introduced ourselves and only a few minutes later, Anna’s
mando and my guitar were out of their cases to join in the session. Before the end of that night we
all had agreed we should throw ourselves into a music adventure together in the near future”.
NoCrows had been invited to perform at the festival the night before but only some of us managed to escape other work commitments and stay a few extra days to enjoy the rest of the festival, the lovely weather and the tasty food on offer in that part of the world. How happy were we that we did! Otherwise that connection might have never happened. When we got home after the trip to Sitges, we told the rest of the gang about the craic we had on the last night of Creative Connexions, -we made them madly jealous that they missed it – and suggested we should get in touch with Martin and check his will and availability to do a show together sometime soon. The response from was immediate, exciting and extremely positive: yes, let’s go for it”.
2019 saw the first such collaboration, with concerts on NoCrows tour that year and Martin, along
with singer Lisa Lambe, guesting on the critically acclaimed album “Escape”, described by Hot Press Magazine as “classy music that takes you here, there and everywhere, evoking a full bag of emotions along the way”. August 5 th 2021 will offer the opportunity to witness the next chapter of this story: a bunch of passionate musicians full of admiration for each other’s work will appear on stage together for the first time in two years, to create something unique. Despite the pandemic and covid restrictions, the gathering have made great efforts to get together for rehearsals to prepare the show. Their musical intuition will undoubtedly do the rest.
Born in Donegal, accordionist, composer and producer Martin Tourish is now based in Dublin and is a member of the current line-up of the Irish traditional band Altan. In 2008, Martin was named “Young Musician of the Year” by TG4. In 2014, he was awarded a PhD for his research into style in Irish traditional music and the same year also saw the release of his critically acclaimed solo album Under A Red Sky Night. He has performed in some of the most prestigious venues in the world like The Royal Albert Hall with The Chieftains or The Grand Ole Opry with Altan and his works have been performed by a huge diversity of artists: from Triona Marshall, Altan, Martin Hayes, Paddy Moloney and Seamus Begley to The Contempo Quartet, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
“It is a huge privilege to have Martin and Lisa doing this collaboration with us” says NoCrows’ Anna Houston – and we hope this is just the start of a long-term professional relationship that might bring us to tour and hopefully record an album together. The chemistry is there from day one, no doubt,and that is what music is about”.
Sligo-based band NoCrows are Anna Houston (cello and mandolin), Steve Wickham (fiddle and
vocals), Ray Coen (guitar, fiddle and vocals), Eddie Lee (double bass), Oleg Ponomarev (fiddle) and Felip Carbonell (guitar and vocals). They’re together as a band since 2005, have toured all over Europe and have released 5 albums to date
(more info on www.nocrows.net)