Irish folk music group back for gig in Welsh town where they formed 30 years ago

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Foot tapping music – the Wee Bag Band, left to right, Julian Anderson, Rory McGough, Paul Bassom, Steve Owen and Alan Colinson.

A globe-trotting Irish folk music group returns for a rare gig to their hometown in Wales where they formed nearly 30 years ago.

The Wee Bag Band will be bringing their brand of Celtic music to Denbigh Town Hall on Saturday 2nd April for the Mayor of Denbigh’s charity event.

Before Covid, the five musicians would typically have spent the month of March playing in more distant venues from Boston to Georgia to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint day.

Denbigh Mayor Rhys Thomas said: ‘At the end of our year as Mayor we wanted to have a fun and informal fundraiser, looking for a talented local band whose upbeat music would please everyone. world and felt the Wee Bag Band would do the trick.

“The event will raise funds for two deserving local charities Denbighshire Young Carers (WCD) and Women’s Aid (DASU) who are doing a great job of supporting local children and people.”

Mandolin player Rory McGough, from Denbigh, who founded the band with guitarist Paul Bassom in 1993, said they spent their early years playing around the UK and Europe, but after playing at the British Folk Festival in Lincolnshire, they were asked to play in concerts across North America, Canada and Greenland.

He said: “I got this email from America asking if we could play there and I thought it was a joke so I didn’t even bother to read it, I spammed it, but then I dug it up a few weeks later and they wanted us to play places like Miami and Baltimore.

“It turned out to be a genuine request. We had played the British Folk Festival at Spalding in Lincolnshire and someone had seen us and wanted to book us.

“This is the first year in over 13 or 14 years that we have played St. Pats in the UK. We used to visit all European ski resorts in March to coincide with March 17 and during the last seven years before Covid, we spent most of March playing in places like Baltimore, the Bahamas, Cuba and Curacao.

‘A lot of pleasure’

The band even played at a venue in Greenland where it was -32C outside before heading home where their next gig might be at the Bluebell in Conwy or the Raven in Llanarmon yn Ial.

All the musicians are based in North Wales after Paul moved to Denbigh from London, with percussionist Alan Colinson, who plays traditional drumming, bodhran, and fiddler Julian Anderson, both from Colwyn Bay while bassist Steve Owen is from Connah’s Quay.

Rory, who comes from an Irish musical family from Dublin and Dundalk, added: “It’s not often we play locally, just because we’re a five piece band and take up a bit of space, but we are really looking forward to playing Denbigh.

“We play traditional, contemporary and popular Irish music with a bit of something different mixed in there – we even play the Zorba the Greek theme – and two of the band members are dance callers so we should to be able to put people on their feet.”

The event is sponsored by five local companies Lock Stock Self Storage, JTL Architectural Hardware, Henllan Bread, Jones Brothers and Pendine Park.

Lisa from Lock Stock Self Storage said: ‘It looks like a lot of fun and I’m sure there will be a great turnout, especially for such worthy charities.’

Tickets for the event are available from Baroque in Crown Square Denbigh, Siop Clwyd on the High Street in Denbigh and online from the Denbigh City Council website. here.

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