Monday 18 November 2019

Lords and ladies a-leaping and a-singing as TradFest kicks off

Paddy Casey at the Tradfest launch
Paddy Casey at the Tradfest launch
Rachel Weldon and Nicola Ging ring in 2015 at the NYF Three Countdown Concert in College Green. Photo: Kieran Harnett

The Irish House of Lords was a leapin' this week as Temple Bar's TradFest kicked off.

The historic chamber is hidden deep within the walls of Dublin's famous building and getting inside feels a bit like sneaking into a Freemason's Lodge.

While I couldn't get enough of the crystal chandelier, mahogany clad walls and faded tapestries, others were less impressed with the decor.

"It's all a little creepy," musician Paddy Casey said. "I don't know what it is, but there's something unsettling about the place."

There's always one.

After a few short, sharp speeches, a session started with plenty of singing, bodhran beating and quick stepping.

Things got pretty heated next to the roaring open fires and guests fanned themselves with programmes while discussing the headlining acts.

Hurdy Gurdy Man himself Donovan will play Dublin Castle while The Hothouse Flowers will take to the stage in St Patrick's Cathedral. Eleanor McEvoy, Mundy and Mick Flannery will also perform during the course of the five-day festival.

"It's all about stumbling about, soaking up the atmosphere and realising what great music is on our doorstep," festival director, Martin Harte, said.

Speaking of finding cultural delights on your doorstep, the Sandymount house WB Yeats was born in was open to the public on Monday night for the first recital in the Harp Festival of Moons as part of Yeats 2015 celebrations.

Current resident Alan Tilley welcomed guests before Ruth O'Hara performed Salzedo's 'Chansons dans la Nuit'.


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