The legendary Irish duo Tir na nOg are back in the UK to perform for their many fans here and have a gig lined up at The Fishpond in Matlock Bath on Friday, August 30.
They have been described as Alt Folk, Prog Folk, Psych Folk, and even Space Folk but the duo, formed by Leo O’Kelly and Sonny Condell in 1970, transcend all these categories.
What is not in doubt is that they are two of the most original and influential songwriters and performers Ireland has ever produced.
Tir na nOg are a union of equals. Their guitars wind and mesh gorgeously together, their voices likewise; nor can they be separated for the quality of their songwriting.
They were signed to Chrysalis Records in May 1970 within days of arriving in London, suitcases and guitars in hand. Tir na nOg recorded three albums for the label, recently re-issued by Cherry Red/Esoteric Records. John Peel championed the duo from the start, recording many Peel Sessions with them. They toured with bands as disparate as Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Jethro Tull, Procol Harum, The Who and Roxy Music in the 70s, as well as headlining their own theatre, college and club gigs.
In 1974, Leo and Sonny returned to Ireland and they went their separate ways. Fortunately, Tir na nOg resurfaced in 1985 with occasional shows on home soil, together with very rare visits to the UK.
In 2010 a brief ’2 gigs and a festival’ tour triggered the decision to return more often – and this is what they’ve been doing. Fans of old are reliving the songs from the early days and marvelling at the newer introductions whilst newer fans admire, for the first time, the musicianship and pedigree of this duo.
Doors open at 7.30pm with the performance getting under way at 8pm. Support act is Sword in Air.
Tickets, costing £10 in advance or £12 on the door, are available through www.thefishpondmatlockbath.co.uk or on 01629 581529 or by calling Pete Needham on 07968 875689.