Sunday 17 March 2019 01:49:55 PM

Big Names of Folk Club and Rock Music at Down Arts Centre
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DOWN Arts Centre is delighted to be welcoming folk and rock musicians of the highest standing to Downpatrick once again.  

On Friday 2 November at 8pm, Rath Celtair Folk Music Club present Brendan Begley and Steve Cooney, and on Saturday 3 November at 8pm, Summer Season favourites, The Illegals and Niamh Kavanagh will present their fantastic double tribute to The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac.

Brendan Begley is bursting with the wild and beautiful music of West Kerry. As a singer he is a gentle giant. On the accordion, he is a force of nature. His music could not exist were it not for the mountains, seas and storms of his native ‘Corca Dhuibhne’ – the Dingle Peninsula.

Kerry musician Brendan Begley ready to raise the roof.

Born into a famous musical family, the youngest of nine children, Brendan soaked up the music and song of West Kerry from an early age. Slides, polkas, songs and slow airs all run through his veins. He now carries on the tradition of his home place while playing with the next generation of Begleys – his children Bréanainn on Guitar, Cormac on concertina, Conchúbhair on accordion and Cliodhna on fiddle and sean-nós dancing.

Steve Cooney’s influence on Irish Music was recently summed up by Mike Scott, in his memoir, Adventures of a Waterboy. “His influence on Irish trad guitar is akin to Hendrix’s on rock: he raised the bar and the rest of the world is still catching up. Since Cooney, and in his image, guitar accompanists have driven Irish music with momentum and visceral energy, though none has yet matched Cooney’s genius.”

In 1997 Cooney won the National Entertainment Award for traditional music with accordion-player Séamus Begley. Their CD Meitheal is arguably the greatest Irish traditional music album of the 1990s, one thinks especially of their astonishingly beautiful version of Bruach na Carraige Bána. Steve’s songs have been recorded by Mary Black, Andy Irvine, Altan and others.  Don’t miss the opportunity to hear these two great musicians perform together.

The Illegals are no strangers to Down District, performing to full houses every summer as part of the annual Newcastle Summer Season programme.

From Desperado to Long Road Out Of Eden, and from Dreams to Rhiannon, this is the ultimate tribute to the giants of American rock music.  With an extraordinary blend of vocal harmony and genuine musicianship, The Illegals deliver the most authentic and completely live recreation of two of the world’s greatest bands in an exhilarating two-hours-plus show.

Don’t miss Steve Cooney at the Down Arts Centre

The seven-piece line-up includes the outstanding vocal talents of Niamh Kavanagh, one of the best female vocalists Ireland has ever produced. The former Eurovision winner and vocalist on the Commitments albums, Niamh has two successful albums to her credit and is currently working on a third album.  Expect a great night of unforgettable songs and a bit of craic!

To purchase tickets (Begley + Cooney £10 / £8; Illegals £15 / £12) and for further information on any Down Arts Centre events, please contact the box office on 028 4461 0747.

The complete Down Arts Centre Season Programme is available to download at