Celtic music...more than you thought?


The music of the Celtic nations is about more than the jigs and reels of Scotland and Ireland, as this year’s Beverley Folk Festival is ready to demonstrate.

Le Vent du Nord from Québec; Mànran and Lau from Scotland and Caladh Nua from Ireland join a stellar musical line-up which also includes Billy Bragg, Martin Carthy and Eliza Carthy, Chas and Dave and Home Service, for the festival at Beverley Racecourse from 20-22 June.

Artistic director Chris Wade promises: “Celtic music encompasses music from far and wide, across the Atlantic Ocean to Canada and beyond, and music that demonstrates a more experimental nature as well as traditional roots.

“To complement our offering of modern and traditional English music, we’re bringing together great Celtic music from across the continents, four of the greatest bands of their genres, meeting together to bring some stunning music over the festival weekend.”

Le Vent du Nord and Mànran will delight the daytime audience on the Saturday of the festival by joining forces to present a collaboration of their own music. Then in the evening music from Caladh Nua, Mànran and Lau will demonstrate the diversity of music from the Celtic nations.

Combining a great stage presence with an energetic, dynamic flair, Le Vent du Nord, who also appear on Friday, are one of the leading names in Québécois folk music. They perform original songs, and many from the traditional Canadian repertoire, sung in native French and with a mix of fiddle, guitar, accordion and hurdy-gurdy.

Mànran shot to the forefront of the Scottish music scene with a powerful combination of Gaelic/English songs underpinned by driving accordion, fiddle, flute, drum and bass. Mànran are also the only band to host Highland and Uilleann pipes together in one line up.

Lau – Martin Green, Kris Drever and Aidan O’Rourke – have been BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winners for Best Band, in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013. Awards, tours, headline festival appearances, splinter bands and a string of intriguing collaborations flavoured their hugely successful fourth album, Race The Loser, which was shortlisted for Scottish Album of the Year 2013 (SAY Awards).

Caladh Nua (pronounced Coll-ah Noo-Ah, meaning ‘New Harbour’ or ‘New Haven’); produce sound that finds its origins deeply rooted in the south-eastern counties of Ireland. Comprising five versatile musicians and singers playing an array of instruments - from banjo to fiddle, guitar to bodhrán and tin whistle to button accordion - the band manages to finely weave the essential qualities of traditional Irish music with pioneering contemporary styling. Further musical acts include Thea Gilmore, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar and Fake Thackray, and a wealth of regional talent in the Moonbeams Sessions. For information and tickets go to www.beverleyfestival.com or call 01377 217569.