Cathal McConnell 19th February

‘I play the flute and tin whistle and I sing songs and I’ve been around for many, many years’ – that’s how Cathal McConnell describes himself and he will be the special guest at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 19th February.

Fermanagh born Cathal was co-founder of the The Boys of the Lough – the first of the touring Celtic bands. The band with Cathal in it, played in Irvine on a number of occasions and people will recall the bespectacled Irishman who played up to being a bit bewildered at being on stage. But his onstage eccentricities belie a formidable musician.

Having taken up the whistle at age 11 and the flute at 15, Cathal was the All-Ireland Champion for both instruments. He has a deep love and knowledge of Irish music in particular and when not playing on stage is frequently to be found in the heart of a session. Cathal’s endearing stage presence is well known and the onstage eccentricities mentioned earlier would often include playing two whistles at the same time!

Resident in Scotland for a number of years, the Irvine Club is very pleased to have Cathal McConnell as guest artist on Wednesday 19th February. The Club meets in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road, starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB.

Finally, to hear young local traditional musicians, get along to Irvine Burns Club on Thursday 20th February to hear the North Ayrshire Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition. The young people are all pupils in North Ayrshire Academies and deserve to have a good audience. The competition organised by North Ayrshire Council’s Music Services starts at 7pm and admission is free. Go along and help keep music live.