Live Review - Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly / Réalta at The Steeple Sessions

Oh but they do love their slides and polkas in Cork. Sometimes it takes two master musicians like Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly to bring home to you the beauty of Sliabh Luachra music. And that is what a concert series like The Steeple Sessions is doing. The beauty and simplicity of putting great musicians centre stage in a great venue like The Unitarian Church in Dublin's Stephens Green to simply play great music. No gimmicks, no pyrotechnics, no big screen, just great musicians. As the artists on the night said, these concerts are really about the audience. Live traditional concerts have of late been struggling to attract sufficient numbers. This series seems to be bucking the trend. The show was pretty much full up and the music was in the formula one league. It inspired me to go home and pull out Matt's Irish Fiddle Book to relearn some of those slides. Matt informs us that his Irish Fiddle Book got a one line review in a tabloid newspaper some 20 years ago when it was released. It simply read "Not a guide to the Irish tax system." They played predominately Sliabh Luacha music with a good few selections from their 2010 album The Living Stream. They left the stage after some reels and returned for an on core of, you guessed it, polkas. Majestic.


Their support act was Belfast group Réalta who are relatively new on the scene. The group features Conor Lamb on uilleann pipes and whistles, Deirdre Galway on guitar, bouzouki and vocals and Aaron O' Hagan on uilleann pipes, whistles and bodhrán. They released their debut album Open The Door For Three last year and it was extremely impressive. It would appear that they were added as a support act late in the scheduling and played only about four sets including a song by Deirdre. Their music has such power that they should be headlining some of these concerts in the near future and if you get a chance to see them then take it. Its a good venue with a good sound and this series of concerts continues for the summer. Well worth a visit if you are in Dublin and great to see it well supported on the night by an appreciative audience. Long may it continue.

Visit www.steeplesessions.com for more information on their summer concert series.

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