By Shelley Marsden
THE 15TH annual BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards saw Moya Brennan’s group Clannad accept a Lifetime Achievement Award, alongside Martin Carthy. The group also played live at the awards at the Royal Albert Hall, thrilling the audience with a medley from ‘Harry’s Game’.
Clannad were formed in 1970 as a family band in rural Donegal. Siblings Ciaran, Pol, and Moya Brennan and their two twin uncles Noel and Padraig Duggan began performing in the family pub. Younger Brennan sister Enya, who left to pursue a successful solo career in 1981, was also a member of the group.
During the 80s, thanks largely to their popular work on the music for TV series Harry’s Game and Robin of Sherwood, Clannad became one of the world’s most successful and enduring exponents of Irish-language song.
Live performances also included Martin Carthy with his musician daughter Eliza, Suzanne Vega, big band Bellowhead and Fisherman’s Friends.
This year’s awards saw the addition of a new element – the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame, which will recognise the special contribution of an individual to the world of folk music – someone whose impact and influence made a lasting impression.
The first entrant to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is Cecil Sharp – widely regarded as a key figure in laying the foundations for the modern folk revival in the early 20th century.
Cecil Sharpe House in Camden is one of the focal points for many Irish folk and traditional events in the capital.