Wednesday 24 January 2018

'Having the Fleadh in Sligo is what's special to us'

Emma Gallagher

DERVISH are among the local highlights appearing at the Fleadh.

This August marks a particularly special date for the group, as it was during the 1989 Fleadh that they formed.

Member Shane Mitchell told the Sligo Champion: "Most of us grew up in Sligo and we knew each other for a long time, some of us like Liam and myself had been playing in various bands together.

"We had played sessions in Hennigans on Wine Street, while our first concert together as Dervish was in TD's, it was a packed house."

The original line-up comprised Shane, Liam Kelly, Martin McGinley, Brian McDonagh and Michael Holmes.

They also made their first instrumental album, The Boys from Sligo, that year.

"We got our own record label soon after and then two years later we asked Cathy Jordan to join us.

"The rest they say is history," Shane remarked.

And some history it has been; nearly 5,000 concerts later, 12 albums, touring the world, and this year their first appearance at one of the world's biggest festivals, Glastonbury.

Shane said: "We are playing Glastonbury for the first time at the end of June.

"We were asked to play there 17 years ago and unfortunately we couldn't due to another engagement. There is big excitement in the camp, it is a great line-up and we're thrilled to be a part of it. It shows how wide Irish music is becoming.

"It is definitely one for the young Mitchells for the future!" he said.

"Glastonbury is huge, but having the Fleadh in Sligo is what's special to us."

Shane continued: "The Fleadh is a great thing for the town, we are very proud to promote it.

"There are thousands of friends coming.

"It is going to be a really good week of music, we will be playing an outdoor concert, and we will have an official birthday party.

"There will be a few supporters on stage and we'll also be working alongside some local children."

He added: "This is a great occasion for Sligo, great things come out of the Fleadh, I remember for years after the last one there was great music around the town.

"Sligo's name is becoming huge in terms of music.

"Music City Sligo it should be called as it punches a way above its weight.

"The interest in the Fleadh is massive, it is a real party for Dervish, it's going to be one hell of a session."

The group are planning a Best Of box set that will only be available for fans during the Fleadh.

Sligo Champion

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