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Tír na nÓg
Last Post 04 May 2011 04:32 AM by Comet Records. 0 Replies.
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04 May 2011 04:32 AM

     

    Tír na nÓg play the Bellbridge Hotel , Spanish Point on Friday May 21st at 8pm, the Wyatt Hotel, Westport on Saturday May 21st and Monroe's Tavern, Galway on Sunday night, May 22nd.

    Support included each night - 8pm - 12pm - admission is €20 or €15 for unwaged at the door or tickets in advance from the venues and from comet at indigo.ie with free postage.

    Tír na nÓg are an Irish folk band formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1969 by Leo O'Kelly and Sonny Condell. They are often considered as one of the first progressive folk bands with other artists like Nick Drake or group like Pentangle. Their music mainly consists of their own compositions, based on strong Celtic roots and typically featuring intricate acoustic guitar playing and close harmony singing. In their early years, they toured the folk clubs of the United Kingdom or internationally as a support act for several rock bands. Today, they regularly give concerts, especially in Ireland.

    From 1971 to 1973, Tír na nÓg made three studio albums which were highly acclaimed by critics but didn't receive big commercial success. No recording of live performances had been officially released until 2000, with the publication of Hibernian . A compilation of some of their live tracks recorded between 1972 and 1973 for the John Peel's radio show, was also published one year later.

    Formation of the band

    Sonny Condell came from Newtownmountkennedy, a remote place in the Wicklow Hills. His early musical influences were mainly classical music. Before Tír na nÓg were formed, he played with cousin John Roberts as Tramcarr 88. They recorded one single before the break up of the band.

    Leo O'Kelly came from Carlow. He was influenced by heavy rock, including Jimi Hendrix, The Velvet Underground and The Doors. Before the formation of Tír na nÓg he played in several bands starting with local Carlow beat group The Word before joining The Tropical Showband and Emmet Spiceland, with whom he toured.

    O'Kelly and Condell met in Dublin in 1969 and discovered a shared ambition to be singer/songwriters. They started playing together, taking the name Tír na nÓg from Celtic mythology, and writing a song of the same name, which recounts the legend of Tír na nÓg. They travelled to London and began touring the folk clubs, and rapidly secured a recording deal with Chrysalis Records.

    1971–1974: performing and recording

    Tír na nÓg made three studio albums between 1971 and 1973. The first was called Tír na nÓg and was produced by Bill Leader. It achieved Melody Maker Album of The Month on its release on May 1971. It featured mainly their own songs, strongly rooted in the Celtic tradition, but also influenced by eastern music. Condell and O'Kelly played acoustic guitars and occasional bongos and other percussion instruments. Their guitar work was intricate and complex, leading to their being compared to bands such as The Incredible String Band and Pentangle. However, their style was quite distinctive. Often, they would use different open tunings for their two guitars.

    Their second album A Tear and a Smile was released in 1972 and produced by Tony Cox. This featured similar material to the first album. However, with their third album Strong in the Sun (released in 1973), produced by Procol Harum organist Matthew Fisher who also played keyboards on the album, they introduced more electric instruments and drums. From Alan Robinson's 2004 liner notes to BGO's reissue of this and the previous album on one CD: "..Certainly, of the three original Tír na nÓg albums, Strong in the Sun is by far the most conventional, most mainstream, although that's not to say that Fisher had ironed out all of the band's entertainingly whimsical rough edges. Fisher gave a bit of a more clearly-defined shape and a greater depth to their sound, neatly framing the duo's contrasting vocal styles." Robinson also remarked that this high quality album didn't "reverse the duo's sales fortunes" and that it opened with "that rarest of things", a Nick Drake cover, "Free Ride".

    As well as the folk club circuit, Tír na nÓg also toured internationally, as a support act for various rock bands, including Jethro Tull, Procol Harum, The Who and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. In July 1974, the British music magazine, NME , reported that the band was to play their final concert, in Dublin on 27 July that year.[1]

    The radio presenter, John Peel, promoted their music and they performed a number of live sessions for the BBC.

    Later years

    After the break up of Tír na nÓg in 1974, they both returned to Ireland to pursue solo careers. Condell recorded a solo album called Camouflage in 1977 and went on to form the band Scullion with Philip King, Greg Boland and Jimmy O'Brien Moran. O'Kelly pursued a career as a producer and has also released solo albums.

    Tír na nÓg reformed in 1985, releasing the single "Love Is Like a Violin", and have toured sporadically since then. Three more albums have been produced: Hibernian in 2000, a 1995 live performance in Birmingham, and Spotlight in 2001, from the original John Peel BBC radio sessions in 1972/1973.

    In 2010, they launched a new live album, Live at Sirius , recorded at the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, Co. Cork.

    Discography
    Tír na nÓg (1971)
    A Tear and a Smile (1972)
    Strong in the Sun (1973)
    In the Morning (1999)
    Hibernian (2000)
    Spotlight (2001)
    Live at Sirius (2010)

    External links
    * **http://www.myspace.com/tirnanogduo ***
    *** http://www.leookelly.ie/ ***
    *** http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662129049 ***
    *** Sonny Condell's website ***
    Leo O'Kelly Video on YouTube
    Leo / The Word 30th Anniversary Video
    Tír na nÓg in concert on February 17, 2007 at the Cherry Tree, Dublin

    [hide]v · d · eTír na nÓg


    Sonny Condell · Leo O'Kelly


    Studio albums
    Tír na nÓg (1971) · A Tear and a Smile (1972) · Strong in the Sun (1973)


    Demos
    In the Morning (1999)


    Live albums
    Hibernian (2000) · Spotlight (2001) · Live at Sirius (2010)


    Compilations
    A Tear and a Smile / Strong in the Sun (2004)


    Videos
    Doing Their Thing · The Camera & the Song


    Appearances (various artists)
    El Pea (1971) · The Camera & the Song (1975)


    Singles
    "I'm Happy To Be (On This Mountain)" / "Let My Love Grow" · "The Lady I Love" / "Heidi" · "Bluebottle Stew" / "Come and See the Show" · "Strong in the Sun" / "The Mountain and I" · "Love Is Like a Violin" / "Daisy Lady"

    External links

    * **http://www.myspace.com/tirnanogduo ***

    *** http://www.leookelly.ie/ ***

    *** http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662129049 ***

    *** Sonny Condell's website ***

    [hide]v·d·eTír na nÓg

    Sonny Condell · Leo O'Kelly

    Studio albums

    Tír na nÓg (1971) ·A Tear and a Smile (1972) ·Strong in the Sun (1973)

    Demos

    In the Morning (1999)

    Live albums

    Hibernian (2000) ·Spotlight (2001) ·Live at Sirius (2010)

    Compilations

    A Tear and a Smile / Strong in the Sun (2004)

    Videos

    Doing Their Thing · The Camera & the Song

    Appearances (various artists)

    El Pea (1971) ·The Camera & the Song (1975)

    Singles

    "I'm Happy To Be (On This Mountain)" / "Let My Love Grow" · "The Lady I Love" / "Heidi" · "Bluebottle Stew" / "Come and See the Show" · "Strong in the Sun" / "The Mountain and I" · "Love Is Like a Violin" / "Daisy Lady"



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