Formed in 2012 and performing sporadically along the Munster coastline Fir Beag are a West Cork collective of musicians that emerge every once in a while from the ocean, salt crusted & sea weed draped. Their sound is musical, evocative and uplifting, combining multiple harmonies, lyrical hooks and flights of instrumental whimsy.
Flirting with elements of folk, trad, raggae, rock and punk their experimental sound is propped up with the use of ambient noises in soulful, catchy, and sometimes raging melodies. Fiddles, drums, guitars and vocals naturally weave together to create a captivating experience.
‘Bean‘ – a seven piece band featuring pedal steel, keys, saxophone, guitars, bass, percussion, drums and loads of harmonies, have an upbeat and fun show with a sound reminiscent of the 60’s/70’s Motown/Soul era. The band has released their debut album in January of 2017 and has packed out venues around the country, join them for one of their high energy positive shows.
Bean Dolan – vocals and guitar
Irene Dunne – vocals and percussion
Brian Casey – vocals and keys
Alan Brooks – vocals and bass
Darragh Coakley – vocals and drums
Isaac Tabor – pedal steel and electric guitar(hopefully he gets back from England on time!)
Eve Clague – Sax & vocals
Raised as a one-parent one-child family in rural Flanders in the north of France, Lauren Guillery grew up to be an independent young person whose father’s appreciation for rockabilly and surf rock helped shape her love for music. A self-taught musician, Lauren immersed herself listening to American bands Sonic Youth, Mudhoney and Nirvana as a teenager – a music soundtrack that would become the basis for her songwriting in later years.
Armed with a red guitar and an unstoppable attitude, she relocated to the emerald isle during the Celtic Tiger years and powered her way through the open-mic circuit and onto the stages of some of Ireland’s most prestigious clubs. Her performances are full of confidence as she delivers her songs with an ‘I dare you’ stare as she hammers away at her guitar. Whether playing with band or solo, Guillery commands attention. Her voice is instantly arresting, a blend of Tori Amos and Kate Bush but with a built-in rock snarl that demands you stop and listen. Her debut four track EP aptly entitled ‘Listen’ was released in 2006 and delivers insidious melodies, building rock crescendos and raw passion.
She was awarded ‘Best International’ at the inaugural Balcony TV awards and has toured with her rhythm section The Claws opening for acts such as Norwegian post-punk outfit Ungdomskulen and Irish post rockers God Is An Astronaut. Over the years, she has performed at various Irish music festivals including the Electric Picnic, Castlepalooza and Knockanstockan.
Her forthcoming album was recorded at Experimental Audio in Dublin with producers Stephen Shannon and Peter Sisk and is due for release in the spring of 2018. For her performance at the Clonakilty International Guitar Festival, Lauren has teamed up with drummer Brian O’Higgins to bring forth a collection of thumping songs that speak about lust, love and loss, with a tinge of sparkly magic and plenty of distorted bluesy guitars. You’ve been warned!
MICKEY MURPHY is a contemporary fingerstyle guitarist and composer from County Down, N. Ireland. Following on from the success of his first solo instrumental album ‘Turais’ (2011) he has recently released his much anticipated second CD ‘Heartstrings’, which was produced by the legendary Tom Newman (‘Tubular Bells’).
A keen performer, Mickey regularly plays at clubs and festivals in his native Ireland and has also played in England, Scotland, France, Austria, Italy, Germany and Morocco.
Mickey is also a well respected teacher and has taught many hundreds of guitarists over the years in various schools and workshops and teaches at the prestigious Thomas Leeb Acoustic Guitar Bootcamp every July in Austria which attracts students from all
over of world.
‘A very modest fellow and a very welcome guest on guitar festivals across Europe’ Akustik Gitarre (Berlin)
‘If you enjoy guitar music, then you will fall in love with “Turais” by Mickey Murphy. Throughout this enchanting CD you can hear the master guitarist that Mickey is!’
The Celtic Crier
‘an absolutely fantastic album’
Stuart Ryan (Guitar Techniques magazine)
‘some beautiful jazz phrasing mixed with contemporary folk sounds’
“Cat Called Dogs sound is a soothing reassurance of natural blood-pumping ,lug hole piercing, raw-rock that grabs you by the curlies and demands attention”
After struggling to find suitable like minded musicians to help take its vision to the stage Cat Called Dog decided to “just do it” anyway. Stepping out as a duo and immediately making an impact at a number of high profile gigs. Within weeks of live shows the band were invited to play the prestigious 2013 International Guitar Festival in Eire and ended its debut year with a 25 date UK Tour supporting the likes of Enemies, Rook & The Ravens, Evil Blizzard and the Arkanes along with a trip to the studio to work on their debut EP.
The band have dismissed and brushed off initial Lazy comparisons based on the obvious trend setting guitar/drum based duos of the last 10 years by preferring the music do the talking instead.
With a massive but melodic sound that has to be experienced live to be believed and visually stimulating to watch as any of the more fully populated acts around, Cat called Dog know how to deliver the goods
Hailing from the rich musical landscape of Southwest Victoria, John Hudson is considered one of Australia’s most talented and in-demand guitarists. In a career spanning over 20 years, John has performed in a diverse range of festivals and venues worldwide. Stylistic diversity is a feature of John’s shows showcasing a deft hand on guitar, keen observational song writing and the right amount of wit and irreverence in delivery. John’s versatility as a musician has allowed him to perform as a solo artist and as a member of various ensembles, both nationally and internationally. Most recently John has been touring with iconic singer/songwriter Shane Howard (Goanna).
James O’Flynn and his folk band The Claddagh Rogues have battled their fair share of demons to consistently produce passionate music rooted in their troubled lives. The Claddagh Rogues were born out of Cork’s Simon Community, which cares for the homeless and those at risk, in 2007. They have produced two EPs and their first album, For the Record, launched at the First Fortnight festival in January 2017 with guest performer John Spillane. The album was produced with Louise McCormick and John Crone who have previously worked with Davy Spillane, Tír na nÓg and U2.
James, lead singer and songwriter with The Claddagh Rogues, spent most of his early life in prison, under psychiatric care and homeless on the streets of Cork. Fellow Claddagh Rogues founder member and lead vocalist Mags Kelly experienced addiction and homelessness. The new album pays tribute to Mags, who passed away in 2014, aged just 44.
James and Mags started The Claddagh Rogues during an artist-in-resident project at the Cork Simon Community in 2007, led by musician and clinical nurse Kevin O’Shanahan who specialises in mental health and the arts for Cork’s mental health services. Kevin, who plays and writes with the band, said a project designed to explore creativity and build confidence and self-esteem has grown to be so much more: ‘The group’s writing has the energy and vibrancy of lives lived on the on the edge. The songs are based on experiences of both the darker sides of life – addiction, homelessness, incarceration in prison and psychiatric institutions and also those things that light up our lives such as friendship, beauty and love. Through his songs, James recovery journey continues to inspire. Mags’s untimely passing and our wish to honour her memory through music is the motivation for this album and tour.’
The Claddagh Rogues are supported by HSE South’s Cork Arts and Health Programme, Cork City Arts Office, Cork Mental Health Services and MusicAlive.