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LIAM FARRELL & JOE WHELAN "Irish Music in London They Sailed Away from Dublin Bay" Veteran vt141cd

At last! A recording of Irish music that doesn't try to break the world land speed record. Here are a group of musicians playing the kind of music that could have been heard fifty or sixty years ago in the pubs of Camden Town, Cricklewood and Croydon, and many other cities where the Irish have settled. It can still be heard today if you care to search it out.

The musicians have all served their apprenticeships in various bands and groups, such as the Hibernian Ceili Band and the Four Courts Ceili Band, over the past forty or more years Banjoist Liam Farrell came to London as a teenager from his home in county Tyrone and met Joe Whelan, from County Offaly about fifteen years ago. I first heard them at the Dartmoor Festival, accompanied by Reg Hall on keyboard, playing in concerts sessions. Or anywhere that they could find a box to sit down on and start playing. I still have the set of Irish slate 'bones' that Joe gave me that weekend. They are joined on this record by James Carty, son of John Carty the flautist from Knokroe Co. Roscommon, another fine player of the flute.

The music is a mixture of jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas and waltzes, played with skill, love, enthusiasm and respect and built on Reg Halls underling keyboard foundation. This is music to dance to; to jump up and down to, this is music that you can hear live any Saturday at the Duke of Gloucester in Croydon or in any one of a number of pubs in Irish London. Go and listen, but first of all buy this record! It comes with an information booklet on the musicians and the Irish music scene in London. Written By Reg Hall

Jim Bessett

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This album was reviewed in Issue 53 of The Living Tradition magazine.