It was in January last year that The Gloaming performed to a packed capacity crowd at London’s Union Chapel (read our live review here), the evening was an unforgettable one and a rare opportunity for those present to witness first hand this groundbreaking group of musicians who took the folk music world by storm. Their eponymous debut album (read our review here) went on to win Ireland’s Choice Music Prize for Album of The Year, a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award and making year-end best-of lists as well as an “Album of the Year” title from The Irish Times.
The Gloaming: “Samhradh Samhradh” (Live in Cork)
The good news is that they have announced new live shows at Union Chapel in London & The National Concert Hall in Dublin (SOLD OUT) in February 2016.
These special events will coincide with the release of their second album on Real World Records. Full details on the forthcoming LP to follow soon.
Even before The Gloaming released their debut album in 2014, the Irish Times hailed them as “one of the great forces in Irish music” and saw the paper offer a free EP download titled ‘Live in Dublin’ which offered “a masterful slice of their debut sold-out show at the National Concert Hall, Dublin”.
The group has quickly become one of the world’s most renowned live acts, performing to packed houses at the Barbican in London, Sydney Opera House in Australia, Mexico City’s Teatro de al Ciudad, New York’s Lincoln Center, and WOMAD festivals worldwide, as well as selling out multiple concerts at home from Dublin’s National Concert Hall to the Cork Opera House. Their live activity climaxed with the historic Ceiliúradh concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall, during which they performed for an audience including Irish President Michael D Higgins to commemorate the Republic of Ireland’s first state visit to Britain.
The sell-out shows at the Barbican and Dublin NCH earlier this year were a first opportunity to hear some of the material which will feature on The Gloaming’s new album. Still present were the all-important elements that have earned them truly impressive reviews and an extensive following worldwide: stunning musicianship, instinctive mutual understanding, dizzying climaxes, stirring medleys, and a common desire to push boundaries and blur the lines between ancient and modern Irish music.
Yet rather than sticking to their winning formula and simply upping the game, there is a subtle shift in the interpretation of the music and in its delivery.
Master fidder, Martin Hayes, the man responsible for configuring The Gloaming’s lineup, has consistently been the dominant force. Crucially, this new material affords more space to the rest of the group, with Hayes reacting to, rather than leading, the structures and the pace. Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh’s hardanger fiddle probes the depths with abstract drones, setting the reels and airs in a musical chiaroscuro; sean nos singer Iarla Ó Lionáird’s voice soars with rich, textured tones; Thomas Bartlett punctuates the tunes with his highly physical, expressive piano playing; and Dennis Cahill provides the percussive shapes with his spacious guitar. That’s not to say you won’t hear Hayes letting rip as only he can.
As we said in our review of their debut album “This is a record alive with a spiritual connection to the past and the possibility of a limitless musical future”… how true that was.
LIVE AT: UNION CHAPEL, LONDON
26th February 2016
THE NATIONAL CONCERT HALL, DUBLIN
27th & 28th February 2016