Return to Camden festival: Fusion of contemporary and classic acts in 18th outing
The 18th hosting of the Return to Camden festival is back this year, with a continual impressive line-up of some of the best trad musicians around.
The line-up is a mix of musicians, singers and dancers across the generations from many corners of Ireland and equally many corners of London. Running from October 25th-31st, there are seven days of concerts, céilís, workshops, album launches and sessions that really provide something for everyone.
While the instrumental workshops given by masters of traditional Irish music, will help to hone the skills of those already learning to play our music, the sean nós dancing and singing workshops will warmly welcome the uninitiated and there are lots of free sessions and album launches for people to sample high quality music from the genre in a friendly atmosphere for the first time.
The formal concert programme features the best of the best of traditional Irish musicians. There are a number of critically acclaimed young bands on the circuit playing (Project West (Wed), Mórga (Fri), Caladh Nua/ CrossHarbour (Sat)) and a number of long established and highly regarded bands born of the London Irish Music scene (The London Lasses (Wed), Le Chéile/ The Good Mixer Band (Sun).
If that wasn’t enough there is a huge number of internationally renowned solo, duet and trio musicians – from the opening night on Tuesday (Bryan Rooney/ Mick Mulvey with Pete Quinn), through Friday night’s appearances of Jimmy Crowley at the Musical Traditions Club plus John Bowe and Mick O’Connor at Kings Place, followed by Saturday and Sunday afternoons filled with concert music from the Mulcahy Family/ Bríd Harper and Darren Breslin (Sat) and Bobby and Lynda Gardiner/ Mary MacNamara and Sorcha Costello/ Tom O’Connell and Peter McAlinden (Sun), to the final afternoon concert on Monday (Bobby and Lynda Gardiner/ Terence O’Flaherty and Comhaltas in Britain).
The Wednesday night concert at the Clayton Crown Hotel in Cricklewood is somewhat of a homecoming for accordion/ melodeon player Damien Mullane who grew up in London as he performs with his band ‘Project West’.
Free album launches are a prominent factor, with a whole night at the Fiddler’s Elbow dedicated to them on Thursday with new CDs from Loïc Bléjean and Tad Sargent/ Thomas McCarthy/ Terence O’Flaherty/ Michael Sheehy and others at 5pm at the London Irish Centre on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information visit www.returntocamden.org