It was a pleasure to have the visit of Jamie Smith’s MABON, who won ‘Best Group’ in the 2014 Spiral Earth Awards, decided by public vote at the Spiral Earth Folk and Roots website. South Wales with strong Manx connections! They delighted the audience at the Centenary Centre with their verve and dynamic musicianship.
With family roots firmly entrenched in the Donegal Gaeltacht, traditional musicians The Friel Sisters - Anna, Sheila and Clare – though born and brought up in Glasgow, played a mixture of music and song, many from their family repertoire, on fiddle, flute and uilleann pipes, and had the audience stomping for more!
Another family connection was Ar Vreudeur Lorho-Pasco, brothers Eliaz and Meriadeg from Brittany, playing bombarde and biniou. Members of their family have brought a taste of Brittany to Yn Chruinnaght in times past. In fact, Eliaz had a picture of himself as a very young child, during a visit to Yn Chruinnaght in the 1990s, so it’s a pleasure to welcome him and his brother to Yn Chruinnaght, plus Jowdy Davey from Cornwall, who led Breton dancing.
From Cornwall, we welcomed The Brim, with Jamie Toms (guitar) and Alan Pengelly (accordion) providing a powerful sound which was perfect to accompany dances for a Cornish ceili (troyl) called by Julian Whiting, or just to enjoy the mix of Cornish music they played for us.
Another musical duo came in the form of Frankie Archer & James Taylor, playing fiddle and guitar respectively, and bringing a whole blend of influences to their music from all over the north of England, Ireland and Scotland.
As the Island of Culture incorporates the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of renowned Celtic designer Archibald Knox, Yn Chruinnaght was delighted to welcome Ruth Black from Inverness, who works in textiles, particularly traditional tweeds, featuring Celtic and Pictish designs. She has given two workshops on Celtic knotwork embroidery, and also brought many examples of her beautiful work applied to a range of garments and objects.
Plus, as ever, we are so fortunate to have so many friends amongst the fantastic body of top-class musicians and singers here in the Isle of Man, who gave wonderful performances at our events, including internationally-renowned singer and guitarist, Davy Knowles, Ballacottier School Choir,The Fecktones, Perree Bane and their guests from Menorca, Grup de Ball Es Penell, Sharon Rye’s Scoill Daunse Yernagh Ellan Vannin, Yvonne Cresswell, John Kilgallon & friends, Rachel Hair & Claasagh, Possan Noa, Annie Kissack & Clare Kilgallon, Bree, Azariah, The Unwanted, Michelle Jamieson, Matt Creer, The Mollag Band, Ny Fennee and Bailey Murray Academy of Irish Dancing.