The Liverpool Irish Festival kicks off today and runs through to the end of the month.
Now in its eighth year, the annual festivities celebrate Liverpool’s historic links with the Emerald Isle, and include film, dance, comedy, talks and walking tours. Of course, no Liverpool Irish Festival would be complete without music, and there’s enough going on to satisfy the lovers of both traditional and contemporary music alike.
If traditional music sessions in pubs are your thing, then check out the list of music and dance sessions running throughout the festival here.
Below you’ll find a selection of LIF acoustic(ish!) music events. Full details of these, and all other events, can be found on the Liverpool Irish Festival website at liverpoolirishfestival.com You can download the festival brochure from the site too, or pick it up at a wide selection of city centre venues.
Saturday 16th October – The London Lasses and Pete Quinn 7.30pm @ Sefton Park Palm House
Doyens of the London Irish music scene, The London Lasses come to Liverpool sporting flute, fiddles, mandolas, accordions, piano, harp, two new band members, and a recently launched 4th album. Experience them live in the wonderful Sefton Park Palm House. Tickets £10 and £6 from wegottickets.com
Sunday 17th October – Andy Irvine 8.00pm @ The Rodewald Suite (Liverpool Phil)
Most people would be content in life having founded not one but two groundbreaking groups, Sweeney’s Men and Planxty. But not Andy Irvine, oh no. He went on to create Patrick Street, the definitive Irish super group, and the Pan-European Mozaik.
(Andy also plays the same venue on Saturday 16th October)
Tuesday 19th October – Kieron Goss 8.30pm @ The Rodewald Suite (Liverpool Phil)
No stranger to Liverpool, Kieron has already played here as the special guest of Mary Black, and with country music star Don Williams. And Don had some really nice things to say about Kieron, remarking that he’s one of the most gifted performers around today, and ‘the real deal’. High praise indeed!
Friday 22nd October – The Irish Sea Sessions 7.30pm @ The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
The inaugural Irish Sea Sessions is part super group, part colossal session and part festival, all in a single gig. A mass rank of exceptional musicians from Liverpool and Ireland will unite on one stage to enjoy the musical connections between the city, the island it looks out to across the waves, and those who pass through Liverpool en route to, or from, Ireland. Expect new arrangements of traditional tunes and each other’s songs from Bernard O’Neill, Terry Coyne, Ian Prowse, Becky Taylor, Carlene Anglim, Colette O’Leary, Eimear McGeown, Niamh Parsons, Graham Dunne, Gino Lupari, Dave Munnelly, Damien Dempsey, Alan Burke, and Lizzie Nunnery.
Saturday 23rd October – Damien Dempsey + Amsterdam 7.30pm @ Stanley Theatre (Liverpool University)
Back for a second LIF appearance, Damien Dempsey brings his riveting live act to the Stanley Theatre stage, alongside local band Amsterdam.
Tickets £12 from ticketweb.co.uk
Wednesday 27th October – Mellowtone meets the Liverpool Irish Festival 7.45pm @ The View Two Gallery
Mellowtone’s dreamers and schemers are on a nomadic quest to spread good times through intimate soirees with a heartbeat of live acoustic music.
Delivering the very best acts from the city’s thriving music scene to their ever expanding band of faithful followers, this event has been specially programmed for the Liverpool Irish Festival, and features music from Atlantic Massey, “folk, rock, traditional Irish, and blues – at times stripped back, raw and eloquent; effortlessly moving to a jovial big band feel.” Also performing are Dave Owen and Alan Wright, two of Liverpool’s finest performing a mixed bag from traditional Irish folk songs, sea shanties and a few originals for good measure. Add into the mix Stan Ambrose, a veteran of the local folk scene, and host of the longest running folk show on British radio, performing with his trademark Celtic harp. DJs Richie Vegas and Jonnie O’Hare (Beaten Tracks) between the live acts.
Friday 29th October – Liverpool Acoustic Live 8.00pm @ The View Two Gallery
Dubliner Celine Carroll delivers live performances of groove, dynamics, passionate lyrics and melody-driven songs around Ireland with her own band. Her music has been described from soft-jazz to damn fine acoustic soul, with shades of Burt Bacharach, Carole King & Paul McCartney.
Also playing on the night will be LIPA graduate Ronan Boyle (Warrenpoint, Co. Down), Singer-songwriter Gary Maginnis (Islandmoyle) and Dave O’Grady (Kildare).
Saturday 30th October – Christy Moore 8.00pm @ Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Quite simply one of Ireland’s best-loved singer-songwriters, with a career spanning over 35 years. Also a founding member of 70s folk band Planxty with Andy Irvine, Christy has gone on to inspire the likes of U2, Sinead O’Connor, and The Pogues. Heck, he even had time to pick up the 2010 Meteor Music Award for Best Irish Male artist. How’s that for longevity?
Tickets £27.50, £30, £35 from liverpoolphil.com (Christy also plays the same venue on Friday 29th October)
Liverpool Acoustic is the only website of its kind in the UK. It was founded by Graham Holland in April 2008 as a central resource for the vibrant and exciting acoustic music scene in Liverpool and the Greater Merseyside area. The website publishes news from the local acoustic music scene, previews of upcoming events, reviews of music releases and gigs, and the Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight podcast. This content is available for free via email subscription. The diary lists acoustic events including festivals, theatre concerts, folk clubs, showcases and open mic nights.