Now in it’s 11th year, the Dublin TradFest has grown to become an essential feature – not only on the Irish circuit – but also with international acts. This year’s event is no different, offering a plethora of impressive acts working within the folk and roots genre. Here’s the five that have caught our imagination:
Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (St. Werburgh’s Church; 12.30pm Sunday 31st)
On solo duty before the Gloaming’s second album campaign kicks into gear, Ó Raghallaigh (pictured) brings all the majestic beauty of that band role to bear on his ten stringed hardanger d’amore fiddle.
Ciaran Lavery (St. Werburgh’s Church; 8pm Wednesday 27th)
A rare intimate show for Lavery, who was one of the undoubted success stories of 2015 – both as a solo artist and alongside Ryan Vail on the Sea Legs project.
Gilbert O’Sullivan (St. Patrick’s Cathedral; 8pm Saturday 30th)
Having stuck to his guns and refused to go down the ghastly nostalgia route, O’Sullivan has emerged with his dignity intact – if not with as high a public profile as he once had. There’s no doubting the quality of that back catalogue though.
Oysterband (Button Factory; 8pm Friday 29th January)
From their early days as a ceilidh outfit, Oysterband have moved through several phases (including the Levellers’ angry uncles) to their current, more mellow – musically at any rate – incarnation. The fire still burns bright though.
The Young Folk (St. Werburgh’s Church; 8pm Sunday 31st)
Hot off making an impression on European festival bookers at this month’s Eurosonic festival, the Dublin band return home to find themselves on more familiar ground – albeit still maintaining an alternative stance to much of what is on offer.