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A Special Evening With
Two Sligo All Ireland Champion Céilí Bands

The Innisfree Céilí Band
The Dartry Céilí Band

More acts announced in the coming weeks
Thursday, 21st – Monday, 25th October 2010


What do you get when you put two Champion Céilí bands into an Award-winning Night Club? - one of the best night’s craic ever and it certainly puts an end to the old ham sandwich and tea image of Céilís in the past . That’s just what Sligo Live Sessions have done. The Velvet Rooms in Sligo has won Top Irish Nightclub for the past 3 years running. Sligo Live Sessions are delighted announce another first with the festival hosting a late night Céilí with The Innisfree Céilí Band and The Dartry Céilí Band in Sligo’s award winning Night club taking trad into previously unimagined territory.

What makes this unique event even more special is that they are both winners of the coveted Senior Céilí Band Competition, the most coveted title in the All Ireland Fleadh, which was some achievement and shows the strength of traditional music in Sligo. North Connaught have now won this competition two years in a row. And to add to the uniqueness of the evening this concert will take place in the Velvet Rooms . We’ll be hearing a little of ‘Trim The Velvet’ in the Velvet Rooms! Tickets are available from

Tickets for this special night’s craic are available on line on

In keeping with Sligo Live Sessions’ policy of offering top value music at very realistic prices, a limited number of Weekend Tickets to all festival performances and events are on sale at the amazing early bird value of €75.00 per ticket.

The Innisfree Céilí Band grew up playing together. Led by Oisín Mac Diarmada of Téada, one of Ireland’s leading groups, this Sligo band blends its instruments into a seamless musical voice, capturing the dramatic energy and drive that remains such a feature of North Connaught music. Gifted with a rare sweetness and clarity of tone, the band is playing a key role in the revival of céilí band music, in 2008 becoming the first band from the North Connacht region to win the coveted All-Ireland Senior Céilí Band Competition. With reels and jigs played with passion and flair, the Innisfree Céilí Band are guaranteed to get your feet moving. As one reviewer wrote, “if you don’t dance, you’ll wish you did” ( 2010 has already seen the band perform at numerous festivals such as Kilkenny Arts Festival and Carrick-on-Shannon Watermusic Festival, in both céilí and concert formats.

The North Connacht musical tradition of counties Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon, and its strong association with the fiddle and flute, played a key role in the early recordings of Irish traditional music during the early 20th century. Emerging from this era, names such as Coleman, Morrison, Killoran and McKenna left a stylistic mark on music throughout Ireland and the United States, a rich heritage maintained in subsequent decades throughout the North Connacht region by a legion of superb musicians including Fred Finn and Peter Horan.

The Velvet Rooms is Ireland’s top nightclub, having won this award for the past three years. The Velvet is a converted 200 year old brewery, which opened in 2006 as a sophisticated nightclub catering to a more discerning crowd. Facilities, as one would expect, are first class with four bars, two dance floors and table service. The impressive stone exterior looms over the majestic Garavogue River in the centre of Sligo. This amazing one off night is an opportunity for people who would not normally include a nightclub in their social round to enjoy a night in a very special one.

The Innisfree Céilí Band are Fiddles: Cormac Mac Diarmada, Sligo * Oisín Mac Diarmada, Sligo * Damian O’Brien, Leitrim. Flutes: Finbar McGreevy, Roscommon * Máire Nic Dhiarmada, Sligo * David Sheridan, Leitrim * Damien Stenson, Accordions: Paul Finn, Laois * Oliver Loughlin, Leitrim Piano: Charles O’Connor, Sligo Drums: Daragh Kelly, Sligo

Sligo’s The Dartry Céilí Band are the current All Ireland Senior Céilí Band Champions. They have just released their first album ‘The Killavil Post’. They performed with Paul Brady, Matt Molloy, Liam Og O Flynn, Arty McGlynn and many more on the TG4 Geantrai Christmas Special last year.

The Dartry Céilí Band are: Fiddles: Philip Duffy, Declan Folan, John Kilkenny, Mossie Martin; Flutes: Noelle Carroll, June McCormack, Cian Kearins; Accordion: Seán Carroll; Concertina: Michael Rooney; Drums; Damien McGuinness; Piano: Kevin Brehony. In addition they pride themselves on having two of the finest singers in the Country: Cian Kearins and Noelle Carroll who also perform on the new album.

Matt Molloy of the Chieftains describes them: The Dartry Céilí Band have become in a very short time, a top ranking band, having won the All-Ireland Senior Céilí Band competition in 2009. Dedication, motivation and individually strong players has seen to this, coupled with that North Connacht, joyous fiery style, (I’m biased!). The counties of Monaghan, Mayo and Roscommon are also represented in the line-up. Listening to them play, it’s obvious they are very disciplined, whilst still retaining the character of the music. A band well worth the attention of anyone interested in traditional music and dance. Ceili bands have been an integral part of the traditional music scene over the years and long may it continue. “Stay with it!”

This Special Evening with Innisfree Céilí Band and The Dartry Céilí Band is just one of a number of a fantastic line-up of concerts and events. The fantastic calibre of artists at this year’s Sligo Live Sessions include Grammy Award Winner Mary Chapin Carpenter and North Carolina native Tift Merritt; The Alan Kelly Quartet with Special Guest Eddi Reader, and Crooked Still; Former Commotions frontman, Lloyd Cole and The Lost Brothers; Dervish with Special Guests Moya Brennan, Cormac De Barra, Kevin Burke and Triona Ni Dhomhnaill, a night of swing with JERRY FISH AND THE MUDBUG CLUB. More acts to be announced over the coming weeks.

Now is your chance to organise your October Bank Holiday Weekend. This year’s warm and intimate Festival will feature ALMOST 100 Events, 250 Artists, All Day Café Culture sessions, Trad Sessions, Fiddler of Dooney Competition, Street Markets, Fantastic Street Family Fun including jugglers, magicians, mime, puppets, face painting, climaxing with the hilarious World Air Fiddle Championships.

Festival goers will have the opportunity to enjoy many of the year round activities Sligo has to offer; Ireland’s best Surfing beaches, Hill and Forest walks, Seaweed baths, Boating, Fishing, Sailing, Camping, Golf, Music Archives, and an array of activities to tantalise young minds.
SLIGO LIVE SESSIONS 2010 takes place over the October Bank Holiday Weekend from Thursday, 21st – Monday 25th October 2010. For more details log onto

A limited number of the popular weekend tickets to all festival events at an amazing €75 will be available. The Full Programme will be announced in the coming weeks. For more details log onto

Permalink - Posted: August 9, 2010 at 9:15 am