Monday, 30 April 2012


Tommy Peoples(Photo credit: Wikipedia)Monaghan town is poised to host yet another great festival of Irish music, song and the craic when Féile Oriel comes to town for the May Bank Holiday weekend.
Like everyone else, the Féile organisers have been feeling the economic pressure — but they have not only kept the show on the road again this year, they’ve come up trumps with a sizzling hot programme of top name acts.
A quick look through the menu should convince festival goers that there’s enough on offer here to keep their troubled minds well away from household charges, water charges, bankrupt banks and other nightmarish news, at least for the duration of the upcoming holiday weekend!
Headlining acts at the Club na Féile in the town centre’s Westenra Hotel include Four Men and a Dog, At First Light and a double bill with Reel It In and Síoda.
The Reel It In and Síoda double-header on Friday 4th May will see two great young bands raise the roof, and there should some extra tension given the fact that Reel It In is all guys while Síoda is gals alone! This one will be well worth the €10 asking price.

Saturday’s show at the club with the legendary Four Men And A Dog is a must-see for those who like who like the music to come with an edge and more than touch of character. With wizards like Gerry ‘Banjo’ O’Connor and fiddle maestro Cathal Hayden at the helm, the band never fails to produce roller coaster shows where the best advice is to hold on tight! Tickets are €15 for a night to remember.
The high-tempo action at Club na Féile continues on the Sunday night with At First Light, the powerhouse top-notch outfit fronted by the duelling uilleann pipes of John McSherry and Francis McIlduff, topped off by Dundalk “fiddle prodigy” Dónal O’Connor. €12 will get the punters in for this windup show.
Doors open 11pm for each of these Late Night Gigs at Club na Féile in the Westenra. Ticket packages of €20 for two nights and €30 for all three are also on offer for those who want to make the most of what is set to be a great weekend.
Another highlight of the festival is the series of quality concerts being held in Teach an Mhargaidh (the Market House) which hosts The Voice Squad (9pm, Thursday 3rd), Liz and Yvonne Kane (9pm, Friday 4th), West Ocean String Quartet (9pm, Saturday 5th), Donegal Fiddle Tradition (with Danny Meehan, Tommy Peoples, Tara Connaghan and Derek McGinley) (9pm, Sunday 6th).
Tickets for these great intimate concerts are €12, again with packages on offer of two for €20, three for €30 and four for €40.
A huge interest in the legendary ‘Fiddler of Oriel’ competition guarantees another year of very high standards as some of the cream of the crop are set to compete for the coveted title and generous prizes at both junior and senior levels.
As always, the adjudicators will be screened from the competitors and from each other, thereby ensuring the fairest outcome possible.
Lively sessions will keep the music flowing in nine venues around Monaghan town over the weekend.
Check the website for the dates and times at Andy’s, Master Deery’s, McKenna’s, McManus’s, Sherry’s, The Shamrock, The Squealing Pig, Terry’ s and the Westenra. Also, keep an eye out for shows by the Gráinne Holland Band and Rula Bula in Master Deery’s on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
More info on all this and a host of extra activities including the Gig Rig, Busking Competition, Féile Oriel Mass and Síopa Gael Linn is also to be had on the Féile Oriel website.

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