With a line-up which includes some of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians and fronted by one of the country’s best-known singers, Cathy Jordan, Dervish have been bringing Irish traditional music to the world for nearly 30 years.
Long-established as one of the biggest names in Irish music, Dervish are renowned for their live performances, which match dazzling sets of tunes with stunning interpretations of traditional songs.
Dervish were formed in 1989 when four of the founding members met while playing informal sessions in the pubs of Sligo – Shane Mitchell (accordion), Liam Kelly (flute/whistle), Brian McDonagh (mandola/mandolin) and Michael Holmes (bouzouki). They were soon joined by singer and bodhran (drum) player Cathy Jordan, and later by all Ireland Fiddle Champion Tom Morrow in 1998. It’s a remarkable and at times electric combination –“capable of playing with note-perfect accuracy and perfect control at nearly supersonic levels” (Irish Voice, New York).
Described by the BBC as “an icon of Irish music”, they accompanied the Irish President on state visits to Latvia and Lithuania and Prime Minister of Ireland on a trade mission to China as Cultural Ambassadors, taking time out to play an impromptu session on the Great Wall of China. They were the first Irish band to play the world’s biggest music festival, Rock in Rio, performing to an estimated 250,000 people. Over the years they’ve been on the same bill as artists such as James Brown, Neil Young, Sting and even Iron Maiden!
Dervish marry technical brilliance with a rare sensibility, born of an understanding of the music and many years of playing together. The Irish Times said their “integrity makes the group a formidable heir to the throne abandoned by The Bothy Band, if not a serious contender for The Chieftains’ international space.” The News Journal (Delaware) described Dervish as: “The most compelling, most soulful Irish traditional folk band playing today.”
Dervish play at The Apex on Tuesday 25 September at 7.30pm. Tickets are £18 (£16, concessions), ring the box office on 01284 758000 or see the website www.theapex.co.uk for more details, or to book.