Clayton Crown Hotel (Bentley Suite) – Bryan Rooney, Johnny Óg Connolly and Johnny Minogue, Mullarkey, Eileen O’Brien, Conor Connolly and Páraic Mac Donnchadha, London Irish Pensioners Choir – Monday 28th October – 2pm
Tickets: £10/£6 under 18
In association with Irish Elderly Advice Network
- Eileen O’Brien, Conor Connolly, Páraic McDonnchadha and Noel O’Grady
- Johnny Minogue, Johnny Óg Connolly, Bryan Rooney and Pete Quinn
- London Irish Pensioners Choir
Johnny Minogue, from Whitegate, in North East Clare, initially learned music on his father’s accordion when he was a boy. However, he only really began to play Irish music seriously after he emigrated to London in the 1960s, at the age of 17. He went on to become a key figure on the London Irish music scene – involved in the initial founding of West London Comhaltas in Fulham and leading the resident céilí band for 40 years at the famous (and now sadly no more) Galtymore ballroom in Cricklewood.
The great Leitrim fiddle player, Bryan Rooney, has lived in London since the late 1960s and is recognised as one of the master fiddlers of his generation. His now classic album, The Godfather, was released in 1999 and was followed in 2002 by Leitrim to London. After a gap of almost a decade, Bryan’s most recent recording, At Complete Ease, an album of duets with John Carty, was released in 2011. The album, which has also become a classic, features John’s son, James and Bryan’s brother Mickey, together with Alec Finn, Brian McGrath and Arty McGlynn. Bryan was named Musician of the Year in the 2012 TG4 Gradam Ceoil awards.
From Liverpool, Pete Quinn’s performing experience extends from John Cage at the Barbican through jazz fusion at Ronnie Scott’s to traditional Irish music at the BBC Proms. Formerly with The London Lasses, he has recorded and played with some of the greats of traditional Irish music. He is presently a member of Artisan Row.
London based trio Mullarkey features Johnny Berrill (guitar, mandolin and vocal), Chris O’Shea (fiddle, bodhran and vocal) and Kathleen Sarsfield O’Shea (flutes, whistles, bouzouki, bodhran and vocal). The group released its debut CD, The Long Goodbye, this year and performs at various venues in London, around the UK and recently on Valentia Island, Kerry, supporting Galway’s renowned singer, Don Stiffe.
The London Irish Pensioners Choir brings together more than 30 older Irish people, most in their 70s and 80s. They come from all over Ireland and have made their homes here in London over many decades. The choir was founded over 10 years ago. Although an independent group, it has been supported by the Irish Elderly Advice Network throughout this time.
The choir has performed for audiences of tens of thousands including at London’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square for several years, and as part of the Irish community choir in the Royal Albert Hall in honour of President Michael D Higgin’s state visit to Britain in 2014. They have sung on UK television, including for Sir Terry Wogan on ITV and on the BBC’s The One Show. They have performed on RTE Radio and Television and are regularly played by Donncha Ó Dúlaing on the very popular Fáilte Isteach (10 pm on Saturday evenings on RTÉ Radio 1.)
The choir has recorded a beautiful album of old Irish songs, Songs of Love and Emigration, which has been very popular with the Irish community, both in London and in Ireland.