Altan Concert in Malahide in October. One of Ireland's best known traditional music bands, Altan, is celebrating 30 years on the road this year. One of the most keenly anticipated gigs took the band to Malahide, where their story began, on Wednesday, October 18th. In the mid 80s, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and the late Frankie Kennedy were both teaching in St. Oliver Plunkett School in the village. Both accomplished musicians, they had already released two albums which were met with critical acclaim. Frankie felt that the next step would be to put together a band, and enlisted Mark Kelly on guitar, Ciaran Curran on bouzouki and fiddler Paul O'Shaughnessy. At the time the Malahide festival was in full swing and the band's first gig in front of a substantial crowd was as support to Moving Hearts in the Festival Marquee. From then on the band went from strength to strength and now tour all over the world. The Malahide concert, in the Grand Hotel, was hosted by Malahide Lions Club in aid of the RNLI and Hugh's House (www.hughshouse.ie), a venture that offers free accommodation to parents of children who are long term patients in Temple St and the Rotunda Hospitals. An audience of 300 were witness to a special night, obviously bittersweet for Mairéad, with memories of times past in Malahide well to the fore. The music was, as usual, excellent, and the banter on stage between band members the icing on the cake. Pictures below give a flavour of the evening.
Click on any image for a larger version. Photos by Lion Tony McCarthy.