Thursday 13th April

Folk - Andy Irvine

One of Irish music’s most enduring legends concerns Planxty’s first live gig in Galway. The band, featuring Christy Moore, Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny and Liam O’Flynn had just formed having recorded together on Moore’s album Prosperous. As a live band they were an unknown quantity: no-one knew what to expect when they supported Donovan. After their first song Irvine remembers hearing the crowd going mad, but, as he was unable to see them through the stage lights, he was worried they might be booing the band off the stage. Instead they were roaring their enthusiasm, and a legend was born. Planxty went on to become highly successful not only in Ireland and Britain but across the whole of Europe: they split briefly in the mid seventies but reformed again before the decade was over and went on recording and gigging until 1983. Irvine shared the singing responsibilities with Moore: as well as playing the mandolin he penned all the band’s original songs.

Irvine is an accomplished musician on the bouzouki, mandolin, mandola, guitar, harmonica and hurdy gurdy. He currently enjoys touring solo as well as playing with Patrick Street and Mosaic, bands he formed after Planxty’s demise. In 2004, after a low-key reunion gig in Lisdoonvarna, Planxty briefly reformed and played further gigs in Dublin and County Clare, releasing a new album Live in 2004. Whether the band will play again remains unsure. What is for sure is that Irvine is a bona fide folk-rock legend. AL

Andy Irvine: ex Planxty man at the Oak
Royal Oak, Station St, Lewes
When? 8pm
How Much? £4.50
Folk at the Oak
(t) 01273 478124
(w) Website