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Irish Hooley in Bloomsbury

On Thursday 18th June 2015, Irish Music & Dance in London and Return to Camden Town festival presents the Irish Hooley in Bloomsbury, a great gathering of many of London’s finest exponents of Irish music, song and dance in the beautiful surrounds of The Bloomsbury Theatre. The event will feature:

-        The London Lasses and Chris O’Malley
-        CrossHarbour
-        Le Chéile
-        Artisan Row
Plus Terence O’Flaherty

The event is the formal launch of ‘Irish Music and Dance in London’ (IMDL), a new community interest company dedicated to promoting Irish music and dance in the capital. It will also be a fundraising event towards the cost of staging the 17th Return to Camden Town Festival in October 2015.

Venue: The Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AH. Doors open: 7pm for 7.45pm onstage. Tickets £15/ £5 (under 18s) plus booking fee* Tickets available now via

* Per transaction – it is possible to book up to 10 tickets on each transaction.

As always, any publicity you could give us would be much appreciated.

Best wishes,

Laurie Harper
For IMDL & Return to Camden Town
0207 210 5227 – days
0207 263 6197 – eves/weekends

Performer’s’ biographies

The London Lasses and Chris O’Malley

Over the past fifteen years The London Lasses have been delighted to bring their music to some of the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls, including Cambridge Folk Festival, the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Glastonbury, Dublin City Hall, Philadelphia Irish Festival and the Royal Albert Hall, where they performed the first ever BBC Proms céilí as part of the 2008 season and supported The Chieftains on their 50th Anniversary tour. They have recently been included on the ‘Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk’ double CD, released by ARC Music in February 2014. This internationally renowned band deliver a wealth of traditional material from all over Ireland, including songs in Irish and English, plus the full gamut of Irish dance tunes, from the venerably ancient to the newly composed.  The London Lasses celebrated their tenth anniversary in 2010 with the release of their fourth album ‘By Night and By Day’ with Pete Quinn and are currently releasing their 5th album ‘The One I Loved the Best’ with Leeds pianist/ guitarist – Chris O’Malley


CrossHarbour is a dynamic new band emerging from London’s thriving traditional Irish music scene. Fusing well-loved traditional tunes and songs with self-penned material and original arrangements, CrossHarbour are gaining recognition for their highly virtuosic, energetic and polished performances. Released on 12th May 2014, their self-titled debut album seamlessly blends newly composed with traditional material, demonstrating the band’s skills in performing, composing and arranging. The band features Orlaith McAuliffe (flute and whistles), Sam Proctor (fiddle), Philippe Barnes (guitar, flute, whistles), Tad Sargent (bodhrán and guitar-bouzouki) and Rosie Hodgson (vocals).

Le Chéile

Le Chéile was formed from musicians who played regularly in The White Hart, Fulham Broadway in the early 1970’s. The 1960s and ‘70s were golden years for traditional Irish music in London when musicians played before packed audiences and sparked the revival which went on to spread back home and around the globe. Le Chéile were the cult trad Irish group of 1970s London, producing some of the most memorable recordings of the time. The 1970s album, Lord Mayo, was reissued on CD in 2006. To coincide with that release the surviving original band members – master fiddler Danny Meehan, Liam Farrell (banjo), John Roe (piano) and Kevin Boyle (guitar) – reformed alongside new recruits, flautist Paul Gallagher and Andy Martyn (box). So now they’re back, adding powerful momentum to the revivalist movement within Irish music today with their exciting new big band mix of back to basics traditional Irish music from Donegal and Galway. In March 2008 the boys began recording their long awaited third album which has now arrived.

Artisan Row

Celebrating the timeless melodic beauty and strength of traditional Irish music and more,Artisan Row is a new band that brings together four well-known figures from London’s traditional Irish and folk music scene. The quartet explores the full range of traditional tunes and songs – from effervescent reels and Bulgarian horos to quietly dramatic hornpipes and haunting ballads – using its rich textural palette to set the tunes in striking and ear-catching ways.

A native of Derry City, guitarist and singer Conor Doherty performs hand-picked traditional and contemporary folk songs, newly arranged, from England, Ireland, Scotland and America. Citing influences that range from Tony Rose and Dick Gaughan to Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Joni Mitchell, Conor has performed extensively in the UK and Ireland. His much awaited debut album, The Tender and the Savage, was independently released in 2014.

Hailing from Listowel, Co. Kerry, sax and flute player Elma McElligott gained her music degree at University College Cork, where she developed her love of traditional Irish music under the guidance of Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and Mel Mercier. In addition to touring with the famous Moynihan family from Cork City; Elma has performed with The London Lasses for the past six years and featured on their most recent recording, By Night & By Day.

Described as an ‘incredibly capable pianist’ by Time Out, Liverpool-born Pete Quinn‘s performing experience runs the gamut from John Cage at the Barbican to jazz fusion at Ronnie Scott’s to traditional Irish music at the BBC Proms. Formerly with The London Lasses, Pete has performed with some of the greats of traditional Irish music including Brendan McGlinchey, Colm O’Donnell and Bryan Rooney. He has guested on several recordings, including albums by Sean Casey, Peter McAlinden, Mick Mulvey and Karen Ryan. A musician, teacher and promoter, multi-instrumentalist Karen Ryan (banjo, mandola, fiddle, whistle) lives and breathes traditional Irish music. Born in London to Galway and Mayo parents, Karen is a founder member of the renowned traditional Irish six-piece, The London Lasses, with whom she has recorded five acclaimed albums and performed throughout the UK, Ireland and the US. She is also Director of the Return to Camden Town festival, a key date in the Irish music calendar. Karen’s solo debut, The Coast Road, was released on the Cló Iar-Chonnacht label in 2012. fRoots magazine called it ‘an absolute gem…a remarkably coherent and convincing album’.

For more information, please contact: Karen Ryan,, , Twitter: @ReturntoCamden

Permalink - Posted: June 12, 2015 at 4:11 pm