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Peel Your Own Spuds warm up for Loughrea



Peel Your Own Spuds will play at The Sibin, Loughrea this weekend

Citing The Pogues and The Saw Doctors as key influences, Peel Your Own Spuds play An Sibín, Loughrea, this Saturday, August 15.

The band are a six-piece based in Newport, South Wales, with strong Irish roots.

They began when mandolin player and songwriter Tom Flannelly met lead-singer Rosie O’Donnell.

“We’re eight years going now,” says Tom. “Rosie, who’s a Welsh girl of Irish descent with parents are from Cavan and Donegal, approached me and asked if I’d like to be in an Irish band.

“I said ‘yeah, no problem, but we’ll need some original material, and not just go banging out the same old tunes’. I wrote about four or five original songs, and then we got my old line-up from a rock band many years ago. So we’ve a mixture of old and young in the band.”

The rest of Peel Your Own Spuds are Dave Treharne, Keith Boast, Seán Keane and Mick Vodden. The band members draw from Newport’s large ex-pat Irish community.

“There’s a big Irish community there,” says Tom. “I played for a Gaelic team there as well, Pride of Éire, may years ago. There’s a Comhaltas there, and I started pulling together the main people from there – stealing them, I was!”

Tom is a massive fan of The Saw Doctors – in an email subsequent to the interview, he asked to ‘ put an ultimatum out to the Saw Doctors if anyone of them is interested in playing with the Spuds they’re welcome and we’ll see them in An Sibin in Loughrea!’

“The Saw Doctors are tremendous,” he says during the interview.

“I’ve seen them a couple of times over in the UK. You have to remember we’re emigrants, four of us. I left in the 1980s, and then you have lads who left in the two thousands. We like the Saw Doctors’ stuff and they sing about emigration, just like we do.”

Tom is the chief songwriter in the band, but is keen to credit his colleagues.

“I usually bring them in, and the lads add a riff or some harmonies, and lead parts, and breaks,” he says. “The songs would cover emigration, different topics.

“The single we have out now, I wrote about my kids doing their exams. In the UK it’s the exactly same as Ireland! The kids had to struggle through and had a lot of other influences and distractions. But at the end of the day they had to put their head down because it’s their future, y’know?”

The Loughrea show is part of Peel Your Own Spuds four-date Irish tour. How does it feel to be bringing it all back home? “It’s brilliant, I come to Ireland quite regularly on holidays but the other members, especially the Welsh lads, have asked, for years, to tour Ireland,” Tom explains.

“We finally said ‘right, we’re going home’.

For more about Peel Your Own Spuds and their upcoming Loughrea gig see this week’s Tribune


Folk duo launch What Will Be Will Be



Niall Teague and Pádraic Joyce.

Folk duo Niall Teague and Pádraic Joyce are launching their new album What Will We Be, a  blend of folk, Americana and acoustic music, this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in An Taibhdhearc.

The success of their well-received 2020 release Taobh le Taobh, as well as recent successes at the Pan Celtic and Oireachtas Song Contests, spurred the duo on to record this new album which represents many years of collaboration and musical development.

It features Niall and Pádraic on vocals, harmonies, and acoustic guitars, Maidhc Ó hÉanaigh on double bass and Neil Fitzgibbon on fiddle. The catchy title track, What Will We Be, features contributions from percussionist Jim Higgins (The Stunning, Christy Moore, Paul Brady) and haunting, driving melodies on vocals, guitar, and fiddle.

Themes of love and hope are woven through Come Away with Me which features interplay between piano and fiddle as well as rich vocal harmonies.

People, places, and broken dreams are celebrated and lamented on Martin and Tom, Guitar Gold, Memories of You and Achill Island. The influence of David Henry Thoreau’s novel Walden features on the tracks Simple and Wise and Walden, with the beauty of nature, escape and simple pleasures at their core.

The album moves from minimalistic folk ballads such as Galway Ghost to swirling, string-laden arrangements on the song Neptune, both of which are influenced by maritime tales from Galway. Much of the work on this album was supported by the Arts Council, including work with musical arranger Eoin Corcoran and the string ensemble Treo.

The album will be launched this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in an Taibhdhearc. Tickets €22, plus booking fee at

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All roads lead to Dunmore as town tunes up County Fleadh



Most of the competitions for young musicians will take place this Saturday in Dunmore Community School. All the competitions are open to the public.

Dunmore is the place to be this weekend for lovers of traditional music, as the Galway County Fleadh will take place there from this Friday, May 19, to Sunday, May 23.

It is 10 years since Dunmore last hosted a fleadh and the local Comhaltas branch, which has re-formed since Covid, is looking forward to facilitating this gathering of music, song, dance and craic.

The official Opening Concert will take place in Dunmore Town Hall this Friday at 8pm with the acclaimed Mulcahy family from Limerick. Mick, Louise and Michelle are well known throughout the country, thanks to their live performances, television appearances and numerous CDs. They were the winners of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Grúpa Ceoil Award for 2023.  Tickets for their concert can be purchased on the door and a great night of music is promised.

Two days of competitions will kick off this Saturday at the town’s Community School, with more than 1,500 competitors taking part. Participants will be hoping to qualify for the Connacht Fleadh 2023, which will be held in Ballina, County Mayo, from June 23 to July 2.

Competitions for those aged Under 10, Under 12 and Under 15 will be held in a large variety of instruments on Saturday, as well as in singing and Comhrá Gaeilge. Sunday’s competitions will be for the Under 18 and Over 18 ages groups, as well as in dancing.

On both days a large entry is expected for Grúpaí Cheoil and Céilí Band competitions across all age groups.

Seventeen Comhaltas branches from across Galway will have participants in this weekend’s competitions, which will result in a large number of visitors to the Dunmore area.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the competitions, which offer a great opportunity to hear and see the talent on display. There will be sessions in local pubs over the weekend as well and everybody is welcome to attend these.

For more information on the County Fleadh, go to


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Piano concert rescheduled for Tuesday



Pianist Cédric Pescia.

Music for Galway’s concert with renowned Swiss pianist Cédric Pescia which had been due to take place on April 27 but which had to be deferred, will now take place next Tuesday, May 23, at 8pm, in the Emily Anderson Concert Hall at the University of Galway.

This concert of German classics with Bach at its core, will brings the Bach element of Music for Galway’s 41st season to an end.

This world-class pianist who won the famous Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition, has a repertoire that spans many eras from baroque to contemporary and he is widely known for his elaborate programmes. Cédric Pescia describes music as  ‘language and movement at the same time’.

Audiences will have a chance to experience his soft, clear touch as he performs a programme for solo piano that will include classics such as Schumann’s popular Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), a suite of nine short pieces, and the penultimate of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, No. 31.  These pieces will be interspersed with French Suites by Bach.

■ Ticket for Cédric Pescia’s concert are available at, or by phone 091 705962 and on the door on the night. They cost €20/€18. The price for fulltime students of all ages is €6 while MfG Friends can avail of the friends’ rate of €16.

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