Website updated!

I have done a massive overhaul of my music website, including a list of all gigs in my diary for the coming year, and some more in-depth information about the teaching and performing I can do.

Some of the details information about gigs is still to be added, but I’m getting there!

 

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Irish Tunes Class and Slow Session – Christmas party and 2017 schedule

IMPORTANT!

From January 2017 onwards, the Irish tunes class and slow session will be moving to Monday afternoons.

The class meets weekly between 2.00 – 3.00 pm at The Apothecary Bar and Lounge on Penny Street, Lancaster – there is a charge of £5.00 for participants. Following the class, we have our (free!) slow session until 4.00 pm – all welcome to this, whether you participate in the class or not! See schedule of dates below.

xmas-classWe’ve had an amazing twelve months in our Irish tunes class and slow session! When we return on 16th January 2017 we will be celebrating exactly one year of learning tunes and playing music together, as well as great friendships forged and mighty craic. I’d like to thank everyone who has made our first year such a wonderful success and such incredible fun – here’s to the start of our second year, may it be as good as the last one!

We have a few special events in the planning stage for 2017, including our second annual St Patrick’s Day event, and a ceili featuring our class participants – watch this space for more details. And of course we always welcome new members – why not make learning some Irish tunes your new year resolution?

2016 is not quite over yet, or course: we have two more classes to go.

Today – Thursday 15th December 2016 – we will be learning the three-part reel Christmas Eve, to get us in the mood for the festivities to come.

Next week – Thursday 22nd December – is our Christmas party, with an extra-long slow session, to which all are invited. Class meets as usual between 2.00 – 3.00 pm. Then, between 3.00 – 5.00 pm, the session takes place. We will be playing the odd Christmas tune in-amongst our usual trad music repertoire, and there will be fun and shenanigans, and also food provided by the Apothecary Free Food Initiative.

We will then take a break for Christmas and New Year, and will return on Monday 16th January.

Class/session dates for the spring term are as follows:

02 January 2017 – NO CLASS/SESSION
09 January 2017 – NO CLASS/SESSION
16 January 2017 – Class/session!
23 January 2017 – Class/session!
30 January 2017 – Class/session!
06 February 2017 – Class/session!
13 February 2017 – Class/session!
20 February 2017 – Class/session!
27 February 2017 – Class/session!
06 March 2017 – Class/session!
13 March 2017 – Class/session – ST PATRICK’S DAY SPECIAL!
20 March 2017 – Class/session!
27 March 2017 – Class/session!
03 April 2017 – Class/session!
10 April 2017 – Class/session!
17 April 2017 – NO CLASS/SESSION (Easter)

Further dates TBC

 

 

 

IMPORTANT – CLASS CANCELLED TODAY

IMPORTANT – TODAY’S IRISH TUNES CLASS/SLOW SESSION (17th November) IS CANCELLED!

Teacher is vastly under the weather with a nasty flu bug, and at least one of our regulars (Brian) is out for the count also, for the same reason. We will resume next week (24th November) as normal, see you there! Oh, and if you are a regular and you see this, please drop me a line so I know you’ve got the message.

IMPORTANT NOTICE – Change of Venue for Irish Tunes Class/Slow Session

As from today- Thursday 27th October – the Irish tunes class and slow session in Lancaster is moving to The Apothecary on Penny Street. Same time as usual – learn a tune from 2.00 onwards, then slow session starts at 3.00 and runs until 4.00 pm. £5 entry if you want to learn a tune, but the session is free to all who wish to play Irish tunes at a slow and steady pace. We love listeners too!

We will now meet at The Apothecary every Thursday right up to Christmas.

My Son Eoin Playing Harp at Lancaster Music Festival

I’ve had a very busy year of musical experiences, travelling here, there and everywhere, but some of my favourite music this year has been played right here at home, in Lancaster.

Last weekend was the Lancaster Music Festival, an event that is absolutely the highlight of the musical calendar in this area. I had a busy weekend, starting off the festival events on Thursday with our regular Irish tunes class followed by a special festival edition of the slow session, doing two gigs with Fly in the Porter to packed, enthusiastic audiences, and also leading a dance flashmob – where we all dressed as witches –  as part of my work with the Bush Rush.

On the Friday afternoon I did a performance that has filled me with a warm glow ever since, when I played with my 17 year old son Eoin Feely in Market Square in the centre of town. Eoin has been playing the harp since he was 12 years old (I wrote about how that came about here), but it is quite a long time since he played it out in public. Last weekend, however, he agreed to do a performance with me, and ended up causing a buzz among the populace as he is just that brilliant (yes, yes, I am biased, I know that).

Boris Productions made a video of Eoin and myself, which I am sharing here. We are playing a tune that I am told is popular in Sweden and Finland, which we call Kirkvaltzen:

Irish Tunes Class and Slow Session – Autumn/Winter 2016

12657308_1249396985076266_4042848141396608331_oThe Irish tunes class and slow session starts back today, and will run through every week right up until Christmas. We meet 2.00 – 4.00 at the Robert Gillow pub in Lancaster, with the first hour being a class where participants learn a new Irish tune, followed by a slow and steady session in the bar.

Today’s class – 13th October – will be a Lancaster Music Festival special, with the opportunity for a two-hour session in the bar following the class. Anyone is welcome to join us for the session, which will run from 3.00 – 5.00 pm and is free. If you wish to join the class which takes place 2.00 – 3.00 pm before the session, and learn an Irish tune to expand your repertoire, there is a fee of £5.00. All are welcome; we currently have a lovely mix of fiddles, flute, whistles, concertinas and harp.

Dates between now and Christmas are as follows:

13th Oct – Class/session – Lancaster Music Festival Special!
20th Oct – Class/session
27th Oct – Class/session
3rd Nov – Class/session
10th Nov- Class/session
17th Nov – Class/session
24th Nov – Class/session
1st Dec – Class/session
8th Dec – Class/session
15th Dec – Class/session
22nd Dec Class/session – Christmas party edition!

29th Dec – NO CLASS

Further dates TBC

URGENT: Irish tunes class and slow session cancelled on 25th August 2016

Please note that the Irish tunes class/slow session for this week, 25th August, has been CANCELLED due to many regulars being away this week (Whitby Festival has poached you all!) and the general busyness of the teacher, who has three festivals to play at over the next three weeks (AND breathe…).

We will resume classes/sessions on 15th September as usual (see full schedule of dates here). Please spread the word to make sure everyone sees this and no one has a wasted journey!

Irish Tunes Class and Slow Session – class dates for rest of 2016

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Photo by Barrie Marshall

The weekly Irish tunes class and slow session at the Robert Gillow pub in Lancaster continues to go from strength to strength, with an enthusiastic group of regulars and new participants joining all the time, some of whom travel a considerable distance to take part.

The class meets every Thursday (with some breaks – see below) between 2.00 – 4.00 pm in the Robert Gillow. The first hour consists of myself teaching a new tune to the class in the room upstairs. For the second hour we retire downstairs to the bar, where we partake of the Gillow’s fine ales and play tunes in an informal slow and steady session. It’s a really nice way to spend a Thursday afternoon.

We are about to have a break of three weeks whilst I go travelling with Absolutely Legless in Spain, but we will resume on 4th August. Please see below for a full list of dates the class will meet during the rest of 2016, and if you are a new participant thinking of joining us, we would love to have you, just turn up! There is a nominal charge of £5.00 for each participant in the class, but the session is free to all.

CLASS/SESSION DATES 2016
7th July – Class/session
14th July – NO CLASS
21st July – NO CLASS
28th July – NO CLASS
4th Aug – Class/session
11th Aug – Class/session
18th Aug – Class/session
25th Aug – Class/session
1st Sep – NO CLASS
8th Sep – NO CLASS
15th Sep- Class/session
22nd Sep- Class/session
29th Sep – NO CLASS
6th Oct – NO CLASS
13th Oct – Class/session
20th Oct – Class/session
27th Oct – Class/session – Lancaster Music Festival Special!
3rd Nov – Class/session
10th Nov- Class/session
17th Nov – Class/session
24th Nov – Class/session
1st Dec – Class/session
8th Dec – Class/session
15th Dec – Class/session
22nd Dec Class/session – Christmas party edition!
29th Dec – NO CLASS
Further dates TBC

Totally Acoustic Festival in Moniaive

totally acousticCelia and I had a fantastic time playing at the Totally Acoustic Festival in Moniaive last weekend. All of the acts performed without amplification, and ranged from poetry and classical piano, to gypsy jazz and our good selves playing melodic traditional music. Additionally there were jugglers to add a carnival feel, and outdoor-cooked food all day. It was a really lovely event.

It has been said that ‘Moniaive probably has more musical events and festivals (per head of population) than anywhere else in the country‘. For a small village it really is an unparalleled place  for music, which was reflected in the welcome and the hospitality we received from Tim at the Craigdarroch Hotel, where we played on Saturday evening. We did an hour-long set for a small but perfectly formed audience, who listened attentively in the absence of a PA system. It helped a lot that the lounge bar of the hotel had such great acoustics, with its wooden floor really accentuating the bass notes on Celia’s harp.

IMG_0265After our spot we were delighted to be joined by local musicians for a session. There has been a long history of great sessions in the area around Moniaive, which Celia and I both regularly travelled to take part in years ago, which meant that many of the lovely people who joined us were old friends: Jackie, Jane, Dave, Wendy and others. We were also joined by Andy Laurenson on fiddle, an old friend of mine who I originally met in Langdale in the early 1980s. Andy is a member of the gypsy jazz band Trio Gitan, and I was pleased to see he had not forgotten how to play traditional tunes after all these years.

We spent a very restful night in a lovely room at the Craigdarroch, then after a big breakfast Celia and I went for a walk over the hill towards Tynron, perusing the wildflowers as we went. Back to the pub at lunchtime, we were joined once again by our friends for a Sunday session to finish off the weekend in style. We were also joined by Pete – one of the organisers of the festival – on accordion, which was an extra bonus as he has such an amazingly sensitive, melodic style.

This was the first Totally Acoustic Festival, and Celia and I were very pleased to be asked to play at it. I am glad to say that Tim and Pete are already talking about doing it again next year!