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Nostalgia

Nostalgia Tops the Bill at the Centenary Centre

The month of August will be a time of nostalgia at the Centenary Centre with visiting singers and musicians evoking memories of a bygone era, when life's complexities were of a different hue and technology didn't feature quite so prominently in our daily lives.

Chris Kavanagh and his fellow band members will be presenting a second opportunity to hear The Legend of Luke Kelly, which celebrates the memory and music of a man of whom it was said was a true Irish musical legend.

Luke Kelly came from a working class background in Dublin, but after a series of odd-jobs he set his sights upon England, and in 1958 resettled (via the Isle of Man) in his late teens. His involvement in the English folk music revival sowed the seeds of his future path, and upon his return to Dublin during the 1960s he became a founding member of The Dubliners. His return to the Irish capital coincided with a burgeoning folk music revival, although Kelly left the group briefly before returning later to the fold.

The Houghton Weavers

Although he died in 1984, Kelly, whose distinctive singing voice, staunch political views and banjo playing set him apart, was widely regarded as one of Ireland's cultural treasures, leaving a rich legacy of work which Chris Kavanagh will evoke on stage at the Centenary Centre. He bears an uncanny resemblance to the legendary singer, delivering a depth and passion of song which will be so familiar to the fans of Luke Kelly; accompanying The Dubliners on their German tour and making a guest appearance on their fiftieth anniversary concert DVD.

But if you favour a different style of folk music then you might like to 'sit thi deawn' and welcome the return of The Houghton Weavers.

They have become well-known all over the world since the group first formed in 1975 and have garnered fans as far afield as the USA, Canada, Bahrain, Belgium, Australia and Germany, as well as many from the British Isles.

Their phenomenal success, after appearing on the BBC talent show We'll Call You, rapidly ensured a longstanding television series of their own bearing the title of Sit Thi Deawn, and they soon became household favourites on both radio and television.

The Legend Of Luke Kelly

Mixing with a number of well-known entertainers, The Houghton Weavers have also starred in several pantomimes in the North West of England, as they endeavour to 'keep folk smiling'.

An album deal with EMI clinched a recording deal with the famous Abbey Road Studios which led to more than twenty four albums - many enjoying re-release and becoming major sellers. Their perennial favourite, The Blackpool Belle, also secured the number one spot in Tasmania, as well as settling at number three in New Zealand.

Their relentless enthusiasm guarantees a great evening of song and humour and this year they're back on the Isle of Man for two nights.

Valerie Caine
© July 2017