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Live Reviews
ete Heywood
•Photo by P
•The Moniaive Marquee
campsite with lots of space for The final surprise treat for the
tents and caravans was within evening, coming on just before
staggering distance of the latter Altan, was ‘Absolutely Legless’
and other event venues. a troop of Irish Dancers and
musicians who fairly lit up the
The Green Tea House, George evening. Riverdance may have
Hotel and various halls hosted the polished this type of performance
many workshops, competitions for the big stage, but ‘Absolutely
and sessions. The Green Tea Legless’ represent the best in
House served food, teas and energy and talent from the vibrant
coffees without ever closing Irish dance clubs; simply stunning.
its doors over the weekend Altan brought the formal events of
– although by early Sunday the evening to a close. Theirs was
afternoon they had literally ran out a polished performance coupled
of every scrap of food they could with the kind of informality that
cook. (By that time some of the you get when playing on home
chickens roving in the grounds turf. They were joined on a couple
were starting to look attractive to of sets by Clare McLaughlin and
those looking for Sunday lunch!) then by ‘Absolutely Legless’ for a
high octane finale.
If the ‘star of the show’ was the
village of Moniaive, the guests at If that was the end of the formal
the festival made the party a great events of the evening it was just
one. Guests included the Paul the start of some quite relaxed
Mackenna Band (complete with late sessions well into the small
huge local fan club!); Bellevue hours – plus more late night extras
Rendezvous – Ruth Morris playing as further up the street, Moishes
the Nyckelharpa, a Swedish 16 Bagel entertained upstairs in the
stringed instrument; young singers Institute with some Late Saturday
and musicians Sean & Robin Grey night Klezmer jazz folk.
who are maturing fast with every
performance; Lionel McLelland of Throughout the weekend, sound
Black Eyed Biddy, accompanied for the main venue was provided
in his set by fiddlers Aly Macrae by John Weatherby and Kris
& Nick Spencer and a rare visit Koren of Sound Sense PA. Great
north by the long extinct and much sound gives musicians on stage
loved band Roaring Jelly - now confidence to play at their best.
resurrected as The Omega 3 with To get superb sound in a marquee
Clive Harvey, Derek Pearce and is quite an achievement. Their
‘new’ boy Graham Taylor. art is to make people unaware
of any technical issues and their
I’m not generally a fan of concerts contribution was critical to the
in marquees but the Saturday night event.
was buzzing. The Paul Mackenna
Band are a young group to look out Regular concerts are now
for – I understand they have just spinning off from the festival with
signed a deal with Greentrax – and the Craigdarroch Arms hosting
set a high standard for the concert. ‘The Marquee Club’. There is
Lionel McLelland, Aly Macrae considerable enthusiasm to
and Nick Spencer injected a fair continue work on the festival
amount of humour into their set with a positive involvement from
leading up to Omega 3. Roaring local young people. 2008 was
Jelly were one of those groups successful in the development of
who were in a class of their own the festival. The word is out; the
as entertainers. Their return as challenge now may be to keep the
Omega 3 was seamless, it was as if lid on it. q
they had never been away – great
musicianship and a wonderful
rapport with the audience. by Pete Heywood
The Living Tradition - Page 
Issue80.indd 59 14/7/08 14:55:59
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