Traditional Irish Music
On Friday 7th June 2013 Goitse take to the stage in The Mill Theatre, Dundrum Dublin. As a group they have been getting rave reviews and have been building up a strong following both here and in the States. They could be described as the bright young things of traditional music and like most bands they have been following the festival route of late. The band feature Tadhg O' Meachair on accordion, Colm Phelan on bodhrán, James Harvey on banjo, Áine McGeeney on fiddle and vocals and Conal Ó Kane on guitar. Tadhg O' Meachair took the time out to talk to us about their upcoming gig in Dublin, and about their experiences at the various festivals. We start with what has been described as the largest of them all The Milwaukee Trad Fest. So what was it like to play?
"It was a fantastic experience" Tadhg explains. “It was also great to be asked back again this year. You go in to the festival and there are so many different stands, all with different traditional acts. It's as close as a traditional festival can get to the Oxygen festival held in Ireland. Over the course of the festival weekend they have close to 100,000 people attending." Following the festival route and appearing at some of these large US and European events helps to grow a band’s fan base. It also offers bands like Goitse a chance to develop their stage show in front of much bigger audiences.
"We are definitely building a fan base in the States." he says. "We graduated from the Milwaukee festival two summers ago and we have since completed a two month tour of the States. Following the success of these two visits we are now spending about three months in the States every year. Mostly February and March and then again in the Summer. This year we are doing a short enough Summer tour as we are targeting Europe a bit more. We also do a Caribbean cruise later in the year for a week, which should be a bit of fun" From this it would appear that being young, talented and in a group touring the world and relaxing on Caribbean cruises is a sure way to escape recessionary Ireland. We ask if the set list for their shows needs to reflect the different environments that they are now playing in? Is a festival audience different to a theatre audience and do you need to adjust your show accordingly?
"There is a difference touring in different countries. You do get a different vibe depending on where you are. People in Ireland are a bit more aware of what is going on in the music itself rather than the overall atmosphere that you are creating. The Dublin show will be a more intimate type of concert. It means that as a group you need to have a few different styles of shows. A theatre is a lot different to a big festival. Similarly at a festival you may not be able to get jokes across to a rowdy crowd as well as you would to a listening audience. With regard to content, the Dublin show will be a mix of material from our last album Transformed, with some earlier material added in as well. In addition to this we will be trying out some new material. We are starting to get into the creative process again and are looking at recording in the New Year. This means we are putting some new sets together and will probably feature some of them." With all this touring the interaction with different groups and musicians is bound to have an influence on the material that ultimately makes its way onto their next album.
"I guess you inevitably find yourself playing with new people and as a result you start to take in a new variety of music and tunes. Every now and again you will play a tune and think, yes, that’s a keeper. You then put it away in the back of your mind for a while. We are also looking at some tunes from other traditions, old-time tunes etc. I’ve been playing a bit with an American fiddle player and she has a lot of different influences from Canada and America including bluegrass and other styles. Whether these things feature or not on the next album, they still impact on your playing. There won’t be any drastic change from the path we are following, and it’s more about how you interact with these influences as a traditional musician that makes it distinctly you. It’s always good to broaden your horizons while keeping it relevant to the tradition. We are all very aware having come up through the Comhaltas route of what makes Irish music so great in the first place. You can still hold true to the tradition and explore other directions."
Goitse take to the stage at The Mill Theatre Dundrum Dublin on 7th June 2013. Book tickets at www.milltheatre.ie
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