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Band of Burns at Union Chapel

Band of Burns at Union Chapel

Saturday 27th January at 7pm: Band of Burns live at Union Chapel

Band of Burns is a collaboration of twelve musicians from the top echelons of the folk scene. Bringing elements of the musical traditions of Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales, and even Turkey, this band are releasing their first album from a sellout show at London´s Union Chapel, in preparation of a nationwide tour in Jan 2018.

After several years of the musicians in Band of Burns doing one-off Burns night gigs in London’s famous Wilton’s Music Hall, the team behind the band - promoter Sophie Bostock and musicians Alastair Caplin and Dila Vardar - decided to put a more permanent group together of musicians who had always relished but had too little opportunity to play together; thus Band of Burns was born.

The final selection of the 12 musicians who make up the band was an easy choice to make as all had played together at some point in the past, and there was the highest level of shared respect in each other’s music. Aside from the music, the common link and glue that binds the musicians was a love and deep respect for both the works and philosophies of Robert Burns.

The resulting band was a tightly knit ensemble of musicians who individually all shine bright in their own right, with a string of awards and an admirable checklist of every big concert venue in the UK. They collectively create one of the most powerful and compelling sounds of Folk and World music.

The band debuted with two sell-out shows in Jan 2017, the first in Trinity Arts Centre, Bristol, and the second in London’s iconic Union Chapel. Since then the band has been producing the double-CD album Live from Union Chapel (raising over £10,000 from crowdfunding) and getting ready for a considerably larger tour in Jan 2018 with venues including Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket in collaboration with Celtic Connections (25th Jan), and a return to Union Chapel (28th Jan).

As with the material for the 2017 shows, the substance of the 2018 tour shows will be a compilation of beautifully re-worked Burns songs, music both ideologically and musically linked to Burns, and completely unique and original compositions to previously un-scored Burns poems.


Alastair Caplin (Isle of Lewis) - Musical Director, Violin, Viola, Vocals, Guitar – The Langan Band, The Odd Beats, 58° North https://www.alastaircaplin.com/ With his fiddle playing described as “Exquisite, passionate playing” (Scotsman) and his film composing as “Extraordinary” (The Times) and “One to look out for, a rising star” (Howard Goodall, Classic FM), Alastair has appeared on many albums from both the Scottish folk scene and the thriving East London folk scene, with many writing credits for these. He has performed his own music in some of the UK´s most prestigious music venues including The Royal Albert Hall, Westminster Abbey, The Barbican, Shakespeare´s Globe, both with bands and as a solo artist. His main bands now are The Langan Band, Band of Burns, and The Odd Beats. He has previously shared stages and recorded with Alasdair Roberts, Abigail Washburn, Mike Heron and Richard Thompson to name a few.

Ríoghnach Connolly (Co.Armargh, Ireland) – Vocals, Irish Flute – Honeyfeet, The Breath, Afro Celt Sound System http://rioghnachconnolly.com/ ⁃ Ríoghnach is the vocalist, flautist and lyricist with Honeyfeet and The Breath. ⁃ She is also guest writer and collaborator with Afro Celt Soundsystem. ⁃ The Breath are signed to Real World records, Honeyfeet to Wah Wah 45s, Afro Celts to ECC Records. ⁃ she comes from a traditional séan-nós background and is her family´s Caoíneamh. She has an All Ireland Medal for her flute playing. ⁃ She performed at the Royal Albert Hall with the Afro Celts for the BBC Folk Awards this year.

John Langan (Ayreshire) – Vocals, Guitar, Cajon – The Langan Band 2006 Won the prestigious Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections festival, Glasgow. 2007 Supported Show of Hands at Celtic Connections and was selected to play the Showcase Scotland weekend at the festival club. 2009 Sang lead vocals on Southern Tenant Folk Unions album "The New Farming Scene" 2010 Featured on Scottish/Malian collaboration album by Chandra Mather 2016 Headlined The Old Fruit market at Celtic Connections featuring Ross Ainslie (Treacherous Orchestra)

Adam Beattie (Aberdeenshire) – Vocals, Guitar, Double Bass – Adam Beattie & the Consultants http://www.adambeattie.com/ -Released 4 full length albums of original songs under his own name. "Incredibly beautiful" Mary Anne Hobbs, BBC RADIO 6 MUSIC "Superb! A great ear for melody and a natural talent for lyric writing."- Bruce MacGregor, BBCSCOTLAND "Carefully crafted, gently affecting songwriting with a dark twist" - Roddy Hart, BBC RADIO SCOTLAND -Supported Bert Jansch at ABC1 Glasgow in August 2006, Jolie Holland at Bush Hall in February 2015.

Mikey Kenney (Liverpool) – Violin, Vocals – Saltcutters, Mikey Kenney Band http://www.mikeykenney.co.uk/ After graduating with a degree in Musicology from Lancaster University, Mikey took up a post as Musical Director for the DT3 Youth theatre complex at Lancaster´s Dukes Theatre. Here he began writing the work he is best known for; the ´Ottersgear´ series, featuring albums Quest for Rest & Counsel of Owls, which received rave reviews from national press; Counsel of Owls being rated 5/5 and a pick of the month by fRoots magazine. Mikey´s passion lies in researching folk fiddle music of Ireland and the UK. He teaches fiddle for the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann; the organisation promoting Irish traditional music around the world. He´s also a member of the historical Liverpool Céilí Band and has been included as a feature in the specialist FiddleOn publication.

Dila Vardar (Turkey) – Vocals, Finger Bells – The Odd Beats Since 2012 Dila has been singing with bands such as Gipsydelica, The Turbans and Sheelanagig and in 2014 formed her own band Dila V & the Odd Beats. Performing a range of Turkish and Eastern folk with a twist, The Odd Beats are still winning the hearts of UK audiences with appearances at most major UK Festivals and stages. This year she also performed with Sheelanagig for the opening ceremony of Womad Festival UK where she appeared with 130 Malmesbury School children. She ran workshops with school children teaching them eastern songs and doing workshops on eastern music.

Dominie Hooper (Dartmoor) – Vocals, Cello – Dominie Hooper, The Brooke Sharkey Band

Ellis Davies (Camarthenshire) – Guitar, Vocals – Honeyfeet

Ewan MacDonald (Ross & Cromarty) – Violin, Cittern – 58° North, Voice of the Santur, Twisted Twenty

Dave Tunstall (Angus) – Double Bass, Border Pipes – The Langan Band, Concrete Mountain

Lewis Murray (Aberdeenshire) – Violin Viola – 58°North, Ceilidh Liberation Front Feilimi Devlin (Co.Antrim, Ireland) - Bodhran

Tickets £25 +bf

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