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Young Men of Twenty keep faith with home



Indie Rock outfit Young Men of Twenty will be in concert in Monroe's next Friday night, November 20.

Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell –

Up-and-coming indie rock band Men of Twenty will play Monroe’s Live on Friday next, November 20. The band members are Johnny McDonnell (vocals/guitar), Daniel Clarke (lead guitar/vocals), Paul McCarthy (bass) and Conor McCarthy (drums/keys/vocals). Now based in Dublin, the group originally hailed from Limerick.

“We all went to school together,” Daniel says. “Myself and John have known each other since we were about 10, so about 13 years now. We all started playing guitar around the same time, and you know yourself, once you’re good enough at that you say ‘let’s start a band’.”

Originally called Animal Beats, the band went for a name change when they became wary of being mistaken for a dance music act.

“We chose the name Men of Twenty because it suits the image of the band a bit more, it’s a bit more mature,” Daniel says. “It comes from a play by John B. Keane called Many Young Men of Twenty. It’s about when the Irish were moving over to England all those years ago for work – similar enough to what’s happening now.”

Although many of their friends have made a similar journey, Men of Twenty are determined to make an impression on home soil.

“We were resistant to moving over to England like other bands have done, to look for a label,” Daniel says. “We feel the music scene over here is absolutely incredible. The likes of Hozier prove you can write an album in your attic in Bray and still manage to get it out there. You don’t have to go to Abbey Road.”

Studying in Dublin gave Men of Twenty the chance to record three singles at the Sound Training College. They spent some time in Temple Lane and Sun Studios, before getting the tracks mixed at Westland Studios. Daniel feels the band have benefited from stepping up to this more professional environment.

“When we were younger, we were scraping what little earnings we had together,” he says. “Usually recording was very minimal. You’d go in for two days, or whatever time you had, and whatever you recorded was what you came out with.  There was very little thought gone into it.

“Now what we’re able to do is spent a lot of time on pre-production and focus on things we weren’t able to before, like what amps we were going to use, what tones. Even what gauge strings we were going to use, what to pick. We were very lucky to be able to spend time on it; we loved every second of it. John, the main songwriter, is a sound engineer. I think out of all of us, he feels at home in the studio.”

Given that the band is fairly new on the scene, who would Daniel cite as influences?

“My dad was a big AC/DC fan, and all our parents loved Thin Lizzy,” he says. “In terms of other influences, there’d be the Kings of Leon early days and myself and John would be huge fans of The National. Connor would be a big Killers fan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht 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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