Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Leave me Reeling

I cycled quite a way on a rainy day in 1979 to the Leeds Irish Centre. There were only maybe 50 or so people at the concert; I sat in the second row. The woman in front of me had an annoying habit of slapping her knees loudly during the music.

The band in front of me was in some disarray. They kept breaking down in the middle of tunes and appeared somewhat annoyed with each other. They had only been together for three years and they disbanded forever a few weeks later.

But they were the band that  changed the face of  Celtic music.  Three unparalleled virtuosos  tangled with each other for that brief period: Matt Molly's flute, Paddy Keenan on the Uilleann pipes and Kevin Burke, the fiddler; shepherded by a precise rhythm section. The result was jigs and reels had never before been played with such brilliant driving energy.  The Bothy Band. Check them out.

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