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Ladies with Voices of Angels

Posted on 27 October 2017

Preview and interview carried out by Peter Mann BSc
Photocredit: Carsten Windhorst

Extraordinarily angelic and beautifully mind-blowing, Irish classical folk quartet, Celtic Woman, certainly possess the looks, and voices, of angels.

Recently releasing their eleventh album, the multi-award winning, singing sensations are set to embark upon yet another epic tour which not only sees them perform in venues across the United Kingdom and Ireland, but also in Australia and Japan.

Founded by David Kavanagh, Sharon Browne and David Downes in 2004, Celtic Woman have found themselves performing for three US Presidents, received Grammy nominations, had ten chart-topping albums, and have had the Billboard World Artist Album of the Year awarded to them on six occasions – they’re that good.

Consistency has always been a perfect key and, with this merry band of damsels having changed on numerous occasions since that of vocalists Chloe Agnew, Orla Fallon, Lisa Kelly, Meav Ni Mhaolcatha, and fiddler Mairead Nesbitt first took to the Palladiums and Auditoriums over a decade ago, it’s testament to their abilities, passion and a willingness to produce year after year, that they are what they are.

Bizarrely though, playing across the home shores has been somewhat a difficult and rare commodity irrespective of the success ascertained on a global scale and the Voices Of Angels tour showcases the stunning voices of Susan McFadden, Mairéad Carlin, Éabha McMahon and introduces the breath-taking new Celtic violinist, Tara McNeill.

The phenomenal Celtic Woman celebrating a new album that showcases some of the most popular songs from their repertoire, along with never-before-heard tracks, all with new orchestral arrangements recorded with the 72-piece Orchestra of Ireland.

“The UK is definitely somewhere we want to be as they know their music and what they like” began Susan. “Our home of Ireland tends to be a difficult one for us though and, in playing Dublin on this tour, then it’ll only be the second time we’ve performed there in what, thirteen years, so we’re really pleased and looking forward to doing that.”

With both the UK and Ireland often producing talented musicians no matter what genre, and with several of the current line-up also producing and releasing their own, individual offerings, it’s a little wonder they continue to strive to succeed.

“We feel like there’s lots still to come and the feeling is there that we can take this onto the next step,” continued Tara. “We are consistently on the road and that means we have choices to make, personally and professionally (their schedule making family life a rare occasion).”

A no-fear attitude has also helped the girls to progress, be that in choice of genre, the spoken language, or via other elements to their flourishing music.
The creation of their latest album, Voices shows just that, the content being mostly of a classical nature.

Mairead added: “There’s been a quick turnaround with the new album but we’ve not been overthinking things and it’s definitely a very honest interpretation of our music. We are also very aware of the abundance of talent there is here in the UK,” turning conversation to their recent nationwide search for a ‘Celtic Angel,’ “We really wanted to give something back and the winners (of which there’ll be seven in total) will perform in their own respective regions.”

“There’s certainly some amazing talent around,” continued Eabha, “So much talent in fact; some of whom are just 15 years old and it’s not often opportunities like this come up.”

Dave Kavanagh, Executive Producer and founder of Celtic Woman, says: “The show is a joyful fusion of all things Celtic—from bagpipes and bouzouki to Irish dances. But it’s also so much more than that. It’s a universal celebration of life. It’s traditional. It’s contemporary. It’s yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

Celtic Woman has become a living legend, and the new album draws listeners into Irish culture and shares a heritage that is every bit as enchanting as the women themselves.

Celtic Woman, begin their tour tonight, on October 27 at the London Palladium, take in the delights of the north-east on the 29 with what is expected to be a stunning performance at Sage Gateshead (tickets available here) before going on to play venues in Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Glasgow and more.