Philip King is "Down in the City" for new series of concerts

Reclaim your Sunday evenings with Down in the City: An Alternative Sunday Service, a series of three events taking place in The Sugar Club, Dublin in April, May and June. Curated by national treasures Scullion – Sonny Condell, Philip King and Robbie Overson - each evening will bring together some of Ireland’s most exciting musicians, writers and singers for a Sunday Service like no other. Inspirational readings, uplifting music, irreverent banter and powerful songs, guaranteed to banish the dreaded Sunday fear and re-energise the congregation for the week ahead. Artists, poets and writers that are set to join Scullion include Iarla Ó Lionáird, Saint Sister,Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Ye Vagabonds, Paula Meehan and Joseph O’Connor, with more performers to be announced.

The name comes from the Sonny Condell anthem Down in the City

In a recent article for RTE Culture Philip King writes: "This gang of musicians we call Scullion have been singing and playing in bar rooms, box rooms and bedrooms, front rooms and back rooms the world over for several decades. Scullion began in Ireland in the late 70’s at a time of great musical innovation and flowering. The tradition was flying. Planxty, The Bothy Band and De Danann were playing really wonderful music. Mulligan Records was releasing The Boomtown Rats, The Radiators, Midnight Well, Sonny Condell and Scullion. The band was a hybrid, a coming together of different musical strands and traditions. The original group featured the piping of Jimmy O’Brien Moran and the jazz and funk influenced guitar playing of Greg Boland. But the mainstay of the band was and is Sonny Condell."

"We were up and running and out on the road. A very different road to the road of today. There were no motorways and no motorway services and the traffic was chaotic. Getting there was difficult. Getting back was a challenge. Everything closed. Running out of fuel was regular. But the gigs, the shows in a whole necklace of venues and bars, colleges and clubs were wonderful in every way, sustaining, uplifting and delightful. There were no phones. When you were gone, you were gone. Nobody expected you to call. Nobody expected you to text saying ‘Five minutes and I’ll be there’. There was no social media - no tweets or twittering. No Facebook surveillance. No Instagram, no WhatsApp. Just a phone box with button A and button B, if you needed to make a call - and you rarely, if ever, needed to make a call."

You can read the full article here.

The first instalment of Down in the Citytakes place at the Sugar Club on SundayApril 15th. Scullion will be joined by two-time Grammy nominee Iarla Ó Lionáird, world renowned for his distinctive contemporary sean-nós style. Iarla is vocalist with The Gloaming and has performed and recorded across the world with artists including Peter Gabriel, Nick Cave and Robert Plant. Irish poet Paula Meehan will read a selection of her powerful works. As winner of numerous Irish and international literary awards, Paula’s work speaks a powerful truth. It’s more than 40 years, and nine books, since Meehan emerged from her childhood in the inner-city Dublin tenements, to give voice to the disenfranchised everywhere, less in anger and more with a compassion and an intuitive understanding that, through verse, lives and memories can be imbued with dignity. Paula likens making a poem to a child at a window making a mark with their breath: “It’s something we’ve all done, and I still do.” Her poetry has been set to music by artists as diverse as avant-garde composer John Wolf Brennan and folksinger Christy Moore. She has collaborated with many dancers, composers and visual artists and is a former Ireland Chair of Poetry.

Continuing Down in the City: An Alternative Sunday Service on Sunday May 20th, Scullion welcome the ethereal, pop-folk accents of Saint Sister. One of Ireland’s most exciting emerging acts, their combination of harmonies, synth and harp create a truly unique and mesmerising soundscape. Multi-award winning Irish writer Joseph O’Connor will provide a literary escape for the evening, reading excepts from many best loved works and presenting new writings. Joseph is one of Ireland’s most acclaimed literary and creative figures. His book Star of the Sea is an international bestseller and has been published in 38 languages.

The final Down in the City: An Alternative Sunday Service will take place on SundayJune 17th. The evening will feature hosts Scullion, alongside Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh,who’s musicianship has seen him travel the globe performing with contemporaries including Brendan Begley, Iarla Ó Lionáird and Sam Amidon. Caoimhín is also a member of The Gloaming. He was commissioned to write theatre scores for The Abbey and contributed music to the 2015 movie Brooklyn. Caoimhín is a true musical expeditionary and recognised as one of Ireland’s most significant musicians. Ye Vagabonds will add their rich folk harmonies to the service, mellow music that mines Irish traditional sounds, Appalachian song and 60’s folk revival. Truly uplifting and full of joy, the young Irish band have performed alongside Lisa Hannigan, Glen Hansard and UK folk legend Roy Harper.

Tickets: €25 per show including booking fee, available online

Show runs 7.30pm – 11pm

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