The National Celtic Festival

The National Celtic Festival

Check out the National Celtic Festival

2016 Artists

Stay tuned for even more updates as we get closer to the event !

 

Latest Announcements …………

Anatole Road

Latest Stars on Lake band. Unique combination of beautiful vocals with harp and other strings. Highly original and beautiful arrangements featuring glorious voices.

Anatole Road

 

Bernadette Morris Band   ( IRE)   

Building on the success of her debut album, Co. Tyrone born Irish singer Bernadette Morris continues to wow audiences throughout Ireland and beyond with her fresh take on traditional Irish folk songs.  All the Ways you Wander, produced by Sean Óg Graham of Beoga fame, is a varied and unique album with a rich mix of newly arranged traditional songs and contemporary songs from the writing of Barry Kerr and John Spillane. Raised in a musical family, her talent is the type that can’t be taught – her modern versions of lilting Gaelic laments are delivered with undeniable charm and ease.  Over the years Bernadette has supported some stalwarts of the folk and traditional music scene including Cara Dillon, Eddi Reader, Brian Kennedy and Julie Fowlis. Bernadette and her band enjoyed a very successful tour of Germany as well as a tour in the US, with appearances in New York, Boston and at Folk Alliance in Kansas City.  www.bernadettemorris.com

Borderline Kaylee    

Borderline Kaylee is a vibrant group of young adults who showcase a range of celtic music. These talented musicians play a mixture of instruments performing both original and traditional songs and tunes, sometimes putting a twist to old favourites. Energetic and lively, Borderline Kaylee are also an experienced dance band that provide fun evenings for families and people of all ages and dancing abilities. Borderline Kaylee

Bush Gothic

Recently returned from England where The Guardian described band leader Jenny M.
Thomas as an ‘Edgy rising folk star’, Bush Gothic perform darker, stranger Australian folk.
Darlings of ABC Radio and recent performers at MonaFoma their music is steeped in
campfire smoke and rattled by the bones of convicts. ‘Bold, inspired and beautiful in its
intensity…Bush Gothic takes your breath away.’ (The National Times). ‘Bush Gothic is
Australian folk at its finest. Mesmerising.’ (Rip It Up Magazine) Defiantly modern, achingly
old, Bush Gothic perform songs of criminal women and desperate men, treachery and
transportation.
Bush Gothic

Celtic Piping Club    

The Celtic Piping Club is the hub for Australia’s Celtic piping community. We provide a network for people who play or are interested in the various types of Celtic pipes including uilleann pipes, Scottish smallpipes, Northumbrian pipes, Border pipes and other bellows­blown or mouth­blown pipes.

Celtic Piping Club

Co-cheòl

Multi-award winning Co-cheòl are a Celtic girl group unlike any other! Winners of the Peter Daly Award for Best Up and Coming Celtic Act at the Australian National Folk Festival 2015, they will take you on a journey to the lands of the Celts and beyond. Be swept away by their breath-taking a cappella songs, and accompanied arrangements on the harp, flute, piano accordion, ukulele, and captivating body percussion. www.cocheol.com

Claddagh       

Traditional or folk music could scarcely be considered complete without reference to the rich, extensive archive of Celtic song, which has spread with our emigrants to every corner of the world and has been passed from one generation to the next. Claddagh, a most exciting and versatile traditional folk band prides itself on its variety of styles and songs, ensuring that no two consecutive performances offer the same entertainment. Claddagh’s line-up includes Mark Butler, Mary McEvilly-Butler, Leon Delander and Jacinta Adamson.

Claddagh

Claymore       

Festival favorites Claymore are recognised as Australia’s premier Celtic Rock band having headlined in Australia’s largest folk events and toured internationally many times, including America, UK and France.

They are a passionate band of multi-instrumentalists who not only manage to combine traditional elements of Celtic music by integrating the traditional into the modern day, write beautiful original Celtic compositions, but moreover take their passion and rock it into the 21st century!

Although many Celtic bands may come and go, each sounding remarkably like the other, the point of difference with Claymore is within the term ‘rock’. They add a current flavour, and interestingly, an inherent Australianness, to their music, bringing ole time traditional themes into the future, and appealing to audiences young and old. From the penetrating beats of the Bohdrahn in the battle songs of the Jacobite rebellion to the hypnotising drone of the pipes in the evocative love ballads of Scotland and Ireland, fans of the band find themselves conquered by the most fiery and delicate textures of Celtic music. Don’t miss Claymore’s rockin’ performance as they hit the stage at The National Celtic Festival

Claymore

Comhaltus Melbourne         

Comhaltas Melbourne have been meeting every week for the last 26 years passing on the culture of Irish traditional music, dancing and singing in a friendly and social way. Our “Taste of Irish” will show you the fun and enjoyment we have as a group performing together. Comhaltas Melbourne has performed the “Taste of Irish” show at Maldon Folk Festival 2014 and 2015 and also at the National Celtic Festival in Portarlington 2015 to great success at both festivals.

Comhaltus

Damian Howard        

Damian Howard celebrates a brand new album, Ned, which includes new interpretations and original-penned songs that celebrate the life and times of Ned Kelly. Following up from his last successful album release, Once in A While۪, Damian was named as the male rising star of the Southern Stars independent Music Awards in Mildura, which was a great tribute to Damian’s more recent sojourn into the Australian country music scene and topped off successful performances at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Another musically satisfying year with a trip with to Nashville’s Americana Festival and numerous performances at festivals around Australia culminated in a performance with siblings, Shane and Marcia, as part of the 160th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade in Ballarat. This year Damian will be appearing with a new band line-up and a newer sound whilst paying homage to his 20 year back catalogue of Ploughboys and solo recordings. Damian’s own takes on life and stories of Australia’s colourful history and characters continue to shine through his music and his live performances will again be on show.

Damien Howard

Damien Leith

Irish-Australian singer-songwriter Damien Leith emerged from the small screen in 2006 as a fan favourite on Australian Idol and found a place in the hearts of a generation of Aussie music lovers. With a cluster of hit singles (#1 ‘Night Of My Life’) and albums (Where We Land, Catch The Wind, Remember June, Chapter Seven, Roy,  Songs from Ireland), TV hosting, two published novels (One More Time and Remember June) through Harper Collins Publishing, and a recording studio in Sydney, Damien is one talented, hard working and in demand artist. He lives in Sydney with his wife, Eileen and three young kids, Jarvis, Jagger and Kikki, and slots tour dates in-between time with his young family. As proof too of how versatile Leith can be, this April he is embarking on a Roy Orbison tribute show across Australia just in time for what would have been the Big O’s 80th birthday.

Damien Leith

DrumWorx     

Drumworx is a group of pipe band drummers of the highest order! Their members have competed at the highest level on the world’s stages and they come together to perform routines that will amaze! The skills displayed will blow your minds with the speed and accuracy of drumming’s hardest rudiments. Drumworx has been a crowd favourite at all the venues they have played. This drum salute will be a highlight of the festival! Watch out for them around the venue, or on stage or even playing a guest spot with another of festivals great acts!

Drumworx

Drowsy Maggies     

A delightful group of four young ladies from Ballarat, Camperdown and Adelaide who have come together to play some swinging tunes and sweet, sad songs. With fiery fiddle, groovy double bass and some lovely harmonies, the band will have you dancing one minute and have your heart melting the next.

Felix Nobis

A modern day epic poem following 4 generations of one family from Ireland to Australia and back again. Complete with sea-voyages, battles with monsters, and a fair bit of boozing, Once Upon a Barstool is a modern adventure in storytelling.

“The hit of this year’s festival. Entertaining, touching and more engaging than anything I have seen in a long time” Irish Theatre Magazine

Filsket

Filsket (adj) meaning high-spirited (Shetland)Brothers Matt & Sean Smith (Melbourne – aged 16) join forces with Caitlin Martin (Geelong – age 13) to bring you fiddle and cello music from Scotland both modern and traditional. All 3 are students at VCASS and members of the Melbourne Scottish Fiddlers and possess sponge-like brains for tunes, they can never get enough of them! Come join them for some high-spirited music.

Gillian Boucher & Bob McNeill

Award winning Cape Breton fiddler Gillian Boucher seamlessly blends the music of her ancestors with contemporary sounds, enthralling not only with the serene beauty of her music but with her stage persona and skills. As part of a duo collaboration with Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist Bob McNeill, an award-wining artist in his own right, they present a truly dynamic yet sensitive acoustic conversation that is not to be missed. Heart wrenching slow airs and riveting arrangements of songs and tunes, Gillian Boucher & Bob McNeill take what you know about traditional Scottish music and bring it to another level altogether. www.gillian-boucher.com, www.bobmcneill.net

Highlander    

Highlander are an entertaining live act combining traditional Celtic based music with an acoustic rock edge that attracts audiences of all ages. Highlander delivers powerful covers of traditional songs and instrumentals as well as modern day classics and original music. The band’s last album, ‘The Dark Island’, received both traditional song and Instrumental of the year in the Australian Celtic Music Awards 2014.

Highlander

Homegrown

Festival veterans Neil Adam and Judy Turner team up with fellow members of the Melbourne Scottish Fiddlers Louise Godwin (cello) and Jessica Foot (oboe) to produce exquisite arrangements of their own music.

Irish Joe Lynch         

The wheel of life has turned in a funny and wonderful way for me. My gigs have evolved into predominantly Storytelling gigs. I have been performing those old ancient classics that I learned as a boy from those wonderful old storytellers. I have been filling venues at major festivals like Woodford and the National in Canberra and many more with stories like ‘Oisin in Tir na nOg’ and ‘The Children of Lir’. I have become ‘The Seanachai’ (the storyteller). What a buzz, what a privilege and a responsibility too, just quietly.

Irish Joe Lynch

Marcia Howard         

Marcia is the Port Fairy Folk Festival artist of the year and has recently been performing in Ireland with her good friend Laoise Kelly at and with Matt Malloys in Mayo and Bernie Phaid in Dingle and Liam O’Maoinlai in Cavan. Marcia was the first Australian female artist to feature on, A Woman’s Heart, A Decade On, with her song, Poison Tree, singing with renowned Irish singer, Mary Black along with other artists on that CD; Emmy Lou Harris, Dolly Parton, Sinead O’Connor and the Corrs. Her song, Angel Full of Grace, featured on the successful Australian, TV series, Sea change. In 1997 Marcia and the band, Goanna were asked to perform her song Sorry she had written for a member of the Indigenous Australian Stolen Generation.Marcia has just recorded a new album in Nashville

Marcia Howard

PFFF link About Marcia

Maria Forde   

Maria Forde is a solo singer song writer guitarist  and  the writer and performer of the Irish Show ”Sing a song for Ireland’. Maria will be launching her new album  – a collection of songs for the show called ‘Sing a Song for Ireland’.

Maria Forde

McSherry O’Connor Trio    (IRE)

Creators of Tripswitch which has been described as “”acoustic Perfection”, John McSherry & Dónal O’Connor are regarded as the finest, traditional irish, Uilleann Pipe & fiddle duet of their generation. hailing from highly respected musical families, both have been touring internationally & recording since their early teens.

McSherry O’Connor Trio

Melbourne Scottish Fiddlers

Celebrating their 21st anniversary and stronger than ever, the Melbourne Scottish Fiddlers explore the lively sounds of Scottish music with repertoire that both acknowledges and reinvents traditional roots, drawing enthusiastic and loyal crowds. Regularly collaborating with some of the world’s best traditional musicians, the Club puts on a charming and exhilarating show. They may have come of age, but like all 21 year olds, they’re here to party! www.melbournescottishfiddlers.com

Niki na Meadhra       

Niki na Meadhra embodies the storyteller, in a warm, captivating and sometimes electrifying style. On her recent tour of Ireland, which included several storytelling festivals and shows in Cork and Dublin, the local seanchais claimed her as one of their own. She invites you to be transported to ancient Ireland and the lands of the Other People, to immerse yourself in tales of heroes, crones, tricksters and maidens. Expect hyperbole, extravagance and wonderment!

Niki na Meadhra

Platform 3/4

Platform 9¾ is a new group on the Folk Music scene – based in Melbourne featuring wonderful vocal harmonies and unique keyboard arrangements. They were established in June 2013 to promote Welsh traditional and contemporary music and provide a Celtic balance in their repertoire., Platform 9¾ released their debut CD, ‘Celtic But Mainly Welsh’ in December 2014.

Señor Cabrales         

Señor Cabrales – six traditional musicians hailing from northern Spain and Australia, Señor Cabrales’ unique sound, combining Spanish bagpipes, fiddle, flute, mandolin, bouzouki and bodhran, has been thrilling audiences across Australia. Let them take you on an exciting Celtic musical journey from wild Atlantic coast of northern Spain, through Brittany to the windswept and haunted outer islands of Scotland. …. Hand-crafted from arcane regional components, Cabrales is unique, pungent and not for the faint-hearted. Hidden in darkness in vertiginous mountain caves in vain attempts to achieve maturity, the Señor emerges sporadically to delight aficionados (and unsuspecting others). Often complex, fruity and biting, mouldy, sometimes a mite crumbly, but never, never predictable. Best enjoyed with several tumblers of rustic sidra, or a crisp alboriño. Approach…. with caution !

Señor Cabrales

Siobhan Owen          

A performer in Australian Folk festivals since the age of 14, Welsh born Siobhan has developed a distinctively unique vocal style by blending her ethereal soprano voice with heart wrenching Celtic lilts  thus gaining her popularity on the international stage. Based in the UK in 2015 while touring Europe, Japan and Siberia, Siobhan also recorded her recently released album of original contemporary pieces entwined with traditional Celtic songs.

Siobhan Owen

Talisk

Winners of the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, Talisk are one of the fastest rising bands on the British folk scene. Mohsen Amini (Concertina), Hayley Keenan (Fiddle) and Craig Irving (Guitar) come together to create an energetic and dynamic sound that in a short year, earned them multiple awards and a nomination for Up and Coming Artist of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards. Coupled with Mohsen’s recent crowning as the 2016 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, performances at world renowned festivals including Cambridge Folk Festival, Cropredy Festival and Celtic Connections and live sessions on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio 2, the trio’s experience far belies their year’s.

The Borderers

Scottish / Irish / Australian band The BordererS  formed in 1994 and are well known performers at the Byron Bay Blues & Roots, Woodford, Edinburgh and Womad Festivals in Australia and the UK and have supported artists like Tom Jones, Donovan, The Proclaimers, The Saw Doctors and Shane McGowan from The Pogues. The band have also both recorded and played with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and been specifically asked to perform for the Australian Prime Minister on two separate occasions.

You’ve got so much energy!” are the words most commonly used to describe the band’s live stage show and what sets the BordererS apart from other bands is their ability to get the whole audience involved and to appeal to all age groups.

Lead singer, Alex, was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and came to Australia in 1987, whilst Jim was born in Glasgow, Scotland and arrived in Australia on Christmas Eve 1993.

The Borderers

The Freewheeler      

Forged of a deep and longstanding musical bond, The Freewheeler combines three of Australia’s finest traditional Irish musicians – Dougal Adams (flute), and Trouble in the Kitchen’s Ado Barker (fiddle) and Ben Stephenson (guitar). This is the sound of music set loose, the tunes lifting and rolling with a freedom that speaks of a rare connection. The Freewheeler come to the festival with their acclaimed self-titled debut album.

The Freewheeler

Zeon  

Not even in Ireland would you hear a sound as rich, full bodied and unique as Zeon. Like a fine Irish single malt, their liberated melodies were distilled in the streets of Ireland and matured in the lane ways and pubs of Melbourne, Australia.  Now in their fourth year, Zeon are gathering momentum with a widespread following. Zeon’s commitment to their performance will make you stomp and sing and shed a tear as you hear new tunes and old favorites.

Zeon