Hammersmith bound: T with the Maggies, four astonishing female Irish talents
April 01, 2023
On St Patrick’s night, I was privileged to be present (as Gerry Logue's guest) at an excellent and enthusiastically received performance by Three Men and a Dog at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, west London.
There is more on that to come if you read on, and more to come in the way of inspiring Irish music at the centre: an astonishing female supergroup comprising Triona & Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (Altan co-founder and singer) and Moya Brennan (Clannad - just think of Harry's Game).
Together they appear as T with the Three Maggies. The token male will be Manus Lunny, brother of Donal and also an exemplary product of Irish music - multi-instrumentalist and producer. They're on at the centre on two nights running, April 22 and 23 and tickets cost £30 apiece at this link.
What do I know of these distinguished ambassadors of Irish music?
- Triona & Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill
- I never saw Bothy Band live but absolutely adored their music. I remember playing a cassette of theirs very frequently during a long series of trials - which I covered as a reporter - involving young people who had mass-produced LSD. I didn't approve of their actions but could see they were the sort of people, intelligent and likeable, I'd have happily befriended. I had all sorts of mixed feelings about the trials and the Bothy Band's music, obviously unrelated to drugs, helped to ease my mind. Later, I saw Triona at a folk club gig in Bristol, as part of a superb Irish-American band, Touchstone. It remains one of the my finest memories of live music in a life long enough lived. Her sister Maighread was not part of Bothy Band but is an acclaimed Irish singer and has collaborated with Triona
- Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh
- We go back a few years. We met when she and her husband, the much-missed, all-round good man Frankie Kennedy, launched Altan. I found them both warm, engaging and intelligent company, albeit in the brief times that we had together. I knew of Frankie's illness. but was nevertheless devastated by news of his death at the cruelly young age of 38. It was an enormous pleasure to see Mairead and the band at the Hammersmith venue in 2022 (also for St Patrick's)
Me (in the mirror) interviewing Mairead in Donegal
- Moya Brennan
Harry's Game was a good song, perfectly suiting the TV series it was recorded for and deservedly a hit, propelling Moya and her band Clannad to significant stardom. Moya's sister Enya - yes that Enya - won phenomenally greater acclaim. Old folkie that I am, I preferred both in Clannad's early period but I have huge respect for them and their achievements.
and now back to St Paddy’s 2o23
This is Four Men and a Dog in action at the Irish Cultural Centre
And the two girls who danced to their music at the end of the first half ..