Saturday 16 December 2017

Clannad to reform for festival dates

DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 1: Clannad attend the Meteor Ireland Music Awards 2007 at The Point Theatre on February 1, 2007 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by ShowbizIreland/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 1: Clannad attend the Meteor Ireland Music Awards 2007 at The Point Theatre on February 1, 2007 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by ShowbizIreland/Getty Images)

Clannad are to reform for three special performances in Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral before recording a new album.

The Grammy award-winning line-up will get back together for TradFest, a five-day traditional music festival in Dublin later this month.

Musician Pol Brennan revealed he will officially reunite with siblings Moya and Ciaran and uncles Padraig and Noel Duggan for a series of gigs for first time in two decades.

"It feels very, very good to be back," said Pol.

"It feels like some stuff was left undone after I left over 20 years ago."

Clannad achieved huge international success over their 40-year career, with their unique voice and Celtic traditional music selling more than 10 million albums worldwide.

Pol, who has performed at a handful of live gigs since his departure in 1989, revealed he and Ciaran have already written five tracks for a new album which they plan to record in April and May before touring the summer festivals. Enya will not be joining the group.

But their haunting sounds will fill Christ Church Cathedral when they perform on January 27, 28 and 29 during TradFest.

Vocalist Moya Brennan revealed the venue and occasion, a traditional music festival in the capital, made the reunion extra special and vowed the group had gone back to its roots and to the old Clannad sound.

"Christ Church is so fitting with its sounds and ambience for the performance," she said.

"It's a very special place to play. Historically it is amazing. The resonance of sound is amazing."

Other highlights of the festival include Altan celebrating its 25th anniversary with a special concert featuring guests, including Eddi Reader, in Christ Church; outdoor gigs in East Essex Street from acts such as the Furey Brothers, Mike Hanrahan and Eleanor Shanley; and a showcase of up-and-coming groups including Beoga and Ciorras.

TradFest will also go global this year with performances streamed live on the internet on

Festival programmer Kieran Hanrahan said the event will feature a mixture of world-renowned performers, established national artists as well as up-and-coming acts.

"Again this year we will have showcase performances, workshops, family fun, outdoor concerts, pub sessions, singers' clubs and lots more to tempt you," he added.

Moya believes Ireland's unique culture, which is the envy of the world, could help pull the country through the recession.

"TradFest is the only festival of traditional music in Dublin and it's great that they have started this up again and that people come abroad to be part of this special week. It should be supported," she added.

"This is the type of thing we need to encourage. It brings people in and unites people at home. It is important to support the local turf.

"Culturally we are the envy of the world. People envy the culture we have in this country. Literature, music, artefacts. It's amazing what we have and I don't think Irish people realise that.

"Sometimes we get fed up hearing about it but we need to realise it's part of our heritage and how we can bring Ireland back into the form of creating jobs and bring people back into the country."

Press Association

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