There are musicians that were simply meant to play together and create that magic which happens only between like-minded souls. Irish band Sliotar and Tradish from Denmark are clear example of such connection. When they get together, the audience are surely able to witness that magic being created. The traditional Celtic evening in Kurim castle held on Thursday July 26th was no exception. This party is held annually in the courtyard of the castle. Sliotar have made it almost their home as they have been coming back year after year, with a different musician friends joining them on the bill each year.
This year these friends were aforementioned Tradish, one of the finest tradional music bands from Denmark. Czech Republic isn't an unfamiliar territory for them, having played at various festivals there in the past. Having just played with Sliotar at Keltska noc festival the past weekend, the Danish were surely excited to be a part of such a special night that the evenings of Celtic music in Kurim always are. The evening started with Tomas Somr, a musician and long-time friend of Sliotar, playing his own tune Irish morning in the memory of Jiri moravsky Brabec, a popular figure on the Czech music scene, lyricist, avid supporter of music, author of various TV and radio shows, who recently passed away. The performance of Sliotar during the night was dedicated to him as well.
Tradish played a mixture of songs from their two albums as well as a few apparently newer ones. The lead singer and guitarist John Pilkington, Englishman by birth but living in Denmark for many years, surely won the audience over with the constant smile on his face and friendly nature. He even faced the challenge of singing one song in Gaeilge, the Irish language. A very difficult language but the song sang in it are stunningly beautiful.The challenge was accepted and successfully accomplished.
The audience was encouraged to sing along on various ocasisons and they didn't hesitate to join in. For this event Tradish had a new member - an Irish dancer Katka who performed during two songs and the audience gave her a big and well-deserved applause. Towards the end of their performance Tradish sang The parting glass, a traditional Scottish song written about parting glass being the last glass you have before you embark on a journey.
Sliotar have been coming to Czech Republic for 16 long years and we can say they have seen it all, experienced it all. But this years evening in Kurim was exceptional in many ways. Not only it wasn't raining which has almost become a part of the gig over the years but more importantly, as mentioned earlier, Sliotar dedicated their performance to the memory of Jiri moravsky Brabec - as the lads said - a dear friend of Sliotar. The skies cleared up during the night and the Moon was shining bright so everyone thought Jiri is looking down and wishing all the best to everyone involved in this great event.
Sliotar are thrilled to finally bring the new album Voyage with them on tour and as JP mentioned " it's our baby so treat it gently,ok?". The audience was over the moon to hear the good news and even more to hear the brand-new songs from the long-awaited sixth album. One of the highlights came when Tomas Somr joined them on saxophone in Pain, a song that's - according to the sleeve note of the new album - about the ability of men messing things up when they are good. And the regret that comes afterwards. There is a part of Sliotar's gigs that's certainly unmissable and that's the moment where Ray MacCormack who plays pipes and whistles most of the time, sings a song. That's a moment to remember. This time sang a dark ballad A Crow on the Cradle that has been with Sliotar for ages but never made it to the album, until now. Ray's vocal abilities were immediately clear also in the next one, an old traditional Irish song he learnt from other singer. He sang a cappella, left no doubt about what he can do. You believe every word when you hear him sing.
There is no doubt about Sliotar being able to put on a great show full of energy and them taking the energy back from the audience who dances, sings, screams, enjoys themselves.