Saturday 7 December 2019

Offbeat young guns steal the show in Wales

The Offbeat group Anna Buckley, Leah Murphy, Cian Broderick and Marie O’Neill with Caoimhe Broderick (centre), who performed brilliantly in the concert
The Offbeat group Anna Buckley, Leah Murphy, Cian Broderick and Marie O’Neill with Caoimhe Broderick (centre), who performed brilliantly in the concert
Cian Broderick in action in St. David’s Cathedral, St. Davids, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Mike McGrath's Charleville

Guests at the Welsh Goodwick Brass Band's annual concert in St. David's Cathedral, St. David's, in Pembrokeshire, West Wales on last Saturday night, were the Offbeat traditional Irish music group from Rockchapel and Rathcoole in North Cork.

The four talented teenage members of Offbeat are Maire O'Neill, Leah Murphy, Anna Buckley and Cian Broderick, who along, with his sister Caoimhe, are Sean Nós dancers, as well as the group's flute player, and they brought the house down with their performance of traditional Irish music and Cian and Caoimhe's Sean Nós dancing.

The Offbeat group performed at the Charleville Heritage Society's Festival of History concert with the Goodwick Band in the Charleville Park Hotel at the end of June, when the visit of the Goodwick Brass Band to Charleville was hosted by the Heritage Society. The band members were so impressed with the performance of the traditional Irish group then that they invited them to be on their bill for their annual sell-out concert in the magnificent surroundings of the 12th century St. David's Cathedral in the city of St. David's, the smallest city in the United Kingdom.

Also on the bill on last Saturday night was the internationally famous Swansea based Morriston Orpheus Male Voice Choir. Both the Goodwick Brass Band and the Morriston Choir gave stunning performances, but the outstanding moment of the night was the rousing reception given to the performance of the Irish teenage group, by the capacity audience of 1,500 people.

The group played a selection of slides, slip jigs, reels, polkas and hornpipes, and a beautiful rendition of the song 'Cill Mhuire' by Leah Murphy, in two 15-minute sets in either half of the show, and these coupled with the dancing of brother and sister, Cian and Caoimhe Broderick in the first half, and a scintillating solo performance of Sean Nós dancing from Cian in the second half had the audience on their feet, the majority of whom were experiencing this tradition of Irish culture for the first time.

There to see it were members of the Charleville Heritage Society, who were special guests of the Goodwick Band and their twin, Croesgoch Heritage Society, along with the parents of the Offbeat group members, Charlie and Noreen Broderick, Chris and Veronica Murphy, Bridget Buckley and Eileen O'Neill.

The Charleville Heritage Society members who travelled to Wales for the weekend were Sr. Bernadette Maria, Evelyn O'Keeffe (chairperson), Angie and Aoife Doyle, Michael and Kay McGrath, and Tom and Nora Mary O'Riordan.

They were met by members of the Croesgoch Heritage Society on arrival on Friday night at the Cross Hotel in St. David's. After lunch, hosted by Tony Evans and Mike Hughes and the Goodwick Brass Band, the group was taken on a tour of St. David's Cathedral on Saturday afternoon, prior to attending the concert later on that evening, conducted by Sue and Andrew Phillips of the Croesgoch Heritage group.

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