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Return to Camden Town Festival 2015

London’s classic festival of Irish traditional music, dance and song is almost here. Return to Camden Town returns for its 17th year, running from Tuesday 20th to Monday 26th October 2015, featuring a week of concerts, album launches, set dancing céilís, workshops, sessions and more.

There will be festival events at a variety of Camden venues throughout the 7 days – with a particularly high concentration at the London Irish Centre on Camden Square – see - during the entire day and evening on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th.

Return to Camden Town 2015 will be run by London’s new umbrella organisation, Irish Music and Dance in London (IMDL). IMDL enjoyed a rather splendid launch in London’s iconic Bloomsbury Theatre earlier in the year, with a concert featuring four great bands, all rooted in the London Irish musical tradition and featuring key figures from the scene.

We kick off on Tuesday 20th with a Birmingham Irish night, featuring many of our friends from the thriving Birmingham Irish music scene, including Noreen Cullen (fiddle), Tommy Deignan (accordion), Adrian Burns (guitar/vocal), Conor Healey (flute), plus guests, at the Time Out London venue of the year, The Green Note on Camden’s Parkway – see

Friday 23rd sees us return for the second year to the prestigious Kings Place concert hall, in King’s Cross, with a double bill featuring some of the finest music from Sliabh Luacra. New young Killarney seven band, Seven Glens, will open for ace accordionist Dónal Murphy and his band Breaking Trad. Breaking Trad will be joined by Gino Lupari on bodhrán, vocals and entertaining stage banter. Gino was frontman of the classic 1990s band, Four Men and a Dog, of which Donal was a member. Further information at

All four bands that played at our launch in Bloomsbury will feature at this year’s Festival. London’s newest Irish group, Artisan Row, featuring Conor Doherty (vocal, guitar), Pete Quinn (keys), Elma McElligott (saxophone, flute, whistle) and Festival Director, Karen Ryan (fiddle, banjo, mandola, whistle), will play as part of a double bill on Thursday 22nd at the long established Irish music venue, The Fiddler’s Elbow in Kentish Town. Headlining the night will be the exciting young band CrossHarbour (see, who released their eponymous debut album last year.

The London Lasses are currently celebrating their 15th year with the release of their fifth album, The One I Loved the Best, with Leeds pianist and guitarist, Chris O’ Malley. However, all, even the Lasses, are very much ‘new kids on the block’, when compared with the lads of Le Chéile, who began their musical journey in London back in the 1960s.

Both bands will appear in afternoon concerts at the London Irish Centre. The Lasses will be sharing the afternoon bill on Saturday 24th with accordion and melodeon maestros, father and son Johnny Connolly and Johnny Óg Connolly, from Connemara. Le Chéile will be welcoming back their original fiddler, founder member and TG4 Hall of Fame award recipient, Danny Meehan, who now lives in his native Donegal, on the afternoon of Sunday 25th. They will be sharing the concert bill with Caitlín Nic Gabhann (concertina and dance) and Ciarán Ó’Maonaigh (fiddle), who are launching their duet CD.

London fiddler Claire Egan will launch her much anticipated solo CD, The Green Window, on the afternoon of Saturday 24th, followed by our headline evening concert, featuring Donegal supergroup, Altan (see Altan will be supported by the versatile instrumental and vocal trio, Cran, featuring Seán Corcoran (vocal, bouzouki), Desi Wilkinson (flute, whistle, vocal) and Ronan Browne (pipes, whistle, vocal). Cran will also be performing at our final concert on the afternoon of Monday 26th at the London Irish Centre.

The evening of Sunday 25th will see Return to Camden Town ‘treading the boards’ for its debut event at RADA - the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art - in Bloomsbury. The event will begin with a screening of the film, An Godfather, about legendary Leitrim fiddler and recipient of the 2012 TG4 Musician of the Year award, Bryan Rooney. Bryan will also be appearing in concert on the afternoon of Monday 26th October. The screening will be followed by an impressive multimedia show, led by the Leitrim Equation team, including Eleanor Shanley (vocal), Dave Sheridan (flute), Padraig McGovern (pipes), John McCartin (guitar), Edwina Guckian (dance) and more.

Set dancing over the weekend will be to the music of the dynamic and deservedly popular Abbey Céilí Band, from Cork.

Once again, this unique festival presents some of the finest performers the tradition has to offer, with atmosphere to burn. Don’t miss it.

Tickets and further information are available at, and on Twitter: @ReturntoCamden and Instagram: IRISHMUSICDANCEINLONDON

Permalink - Posted: October 8, 2015 at 11:31 am