Sunday 25 September 2016

'Excited doesn't fully cover it' - Irish band to perform in front of US President Barack Obama on Capitol Hill

Published 09/03/2016 | 12:56

We Banjo 3
We Banjo 3

A Galway band has told of their delight after being chosen to perform for US President Barack Obama.

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We Banjo 3 are currently in the middle of a US tour. The band received confirmation today that they had been chosen to perform for the US President at Capitol Hill next week.

They described the news as “a huge honour” revealing their delight that the event was scheduled for one of their few days off during the US tour.

The band first got the news of the event via email when they were 32,000ft over the Atlantic on an Aer Lingus flight to the US.

“Excited doesn't fully cover it. One of the guys on the band got upgraded to first class and even though he was fast asleep we got the flight attendant to go wake him up to tell him the news. At first she wouldn't wake a first class passenger but when we told her why she was so excited herself she went straight up. Unfortunately our only description of David was that he was wearing a red plaid shirt. She woke up the wrong passenger first time,” said band member Enda Scahill.

The band will perform as part of the Friends of Ireland Luncheon in Washington DC on March 15. Also in attendance will be Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the Speaker of the House and the British Ambassador.

“The luncheon is at Capitol Hill and takes about two hours. We will be asked to perform at least two songs. We're going to do a great favourite of ours from our first album 'We All Need More Kindness In This World' and a track from our last album called 'The Donegal Lass',” added Enda.

And while they are excited to be playing, the banjo player admitted his main aim was a particular photo with Obama.

“There's going to be a photo opportunity with the President and our goal is to get a picture of him holding an Irish banjo! I think we may have to run this by the secret service first to avoid an international banjo-related incident,” he joked.

The band has seen its popularity soar in the US and are considered the biggest Irish band on the US Celtic/Irish music circuit. This year alone they will perform to over 300,000 people in the US during three separate tours there. The band will also headline at the four biggest Irish music festivals globally including the Milwaukee Irish Fest.

The band which formed in 2011 comprises two sets of brothers from Galway, Fergal and Enda Scahill and David and Martin Howley. To date they have toured in 19 different countries and were nominated for the  Folk Alliance International Artist of the Year last month.

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