Geraldine MacGowan Press


Cuxhavener Nachrichten.

Virtuoso Whistle playing.

Cuxhaven. Geraldine MacGowan & Friends concert at the JFC. She came with great laurel, in the past several years she has played many concerts in Cuxhaven and had her fans in fits of rapture, at this concert however it was her partner Brian O'Connor (Flutes, Whistle and Bodhrán) who managed this. They have had a long musical career together, playing in the legendary group Oisín. Now with guitarist Donogh Hennessy they have formed a trio by the name of MacGowan and Friends.

Of course Geraldine McGowan stood in the foreground as singer. But her performance seemed strangely subdued, despite the dialogue with the audience.

Perhaps it was the concept of the evening, less extroverted songs and more melancholic, yet extremely varied and presented like a true virtuoso. Hennessys rich and varied  accompaniment with some extraordinary guitar playing. But the real star of the evening, who repeatedly brought the public to storms of enthusiasm, was Brian O'Connor. He did his reputation as a "magician on flutes and Whistles", all honour, without showing off he conjured breathtaking Jigs and Reels with surprising variations from his instrument and whoever concentrated on his quick fingers, became dizzy just from watching. Folk pure at the highest niveau.



Rheinischer Post.

Geraldine MacGowans Timeless tour played to a completely sold out club station.
The Irish folk legend is alive and kicking.

Heligenhaus. For 25 years, Geraldine MacGowan has been one of Irelands greatest folk singers. Her Pub in Hannover was for many the pilgrim site for European folk enthusiasts and meeting place of the creme de la creme of Irish musicians. The folk Lady has a legendary reputation. No wonder that her concert at the Cultural Centre was sold out down to the last standing place. Dressed more like a rock singer she interpreted her songs with a broad spectrum of vocal styles, she was wonderfully consistent and accurate, romantic and melodic Irish songs, with perfect backing supported by the combined sound of her first class musicians.

The "Grande Dame" of the Irish folk is still at home on the international stage, and fascinates whether in reputable houses such as the Frankfurt Opera or in unknown folk clubs. Her career began in the 70s with the legendary group Oisín, which she fronted for over twenty years, with six albums and over 3000 worldwide concerts. And on her Timeless tour, the singer remains true to her motto, not to go with trends or modern fads. She sang from the heart about the beautiful nature of her homeland, the mentality of its people, of soft and melting love and human tragedy. "I sing songs by contemporary songwriters and I also sing traditional," said MacGowan, and she interprets through her extremely versatile voice standards such as, The Lark in the Morning, Blackwater Side, Jealousy and many others.

She can also count on her three piece virtuoso band. The Sligo guitarist Shane McGowan with his deep understanding of the flow of Jigs and Reels, the very innovative Eámonn de Barra on piano and an outstanding Brian O'Connor, who has accompanied the singer for over 20 years, he is also the composer of the Instrumentals which were played with their zippy rhythms, rapid speeds and creative repetitions.



Achimer Kurier.

Soft ballads and fiery flute music.
New hall in the Schützenhof inaugurated with the very best of Irish Folk.

Achim. It was the first applause, the new House of Culture in Schützenhof experienced, the first of many to be sure. And it was enormous, audience participation and stamping feet. It was Geraldine MacGowan and her band, with her Timeless Irish Songs Tour who inaugurated the new hall of the culture center Schützenhof. 

With the meagre charm of a factory building the "semifinished" hall offered a cool contrast to the mainly soft ballads and the virtuoso instrumental pieces from the Band, with the ceiling lights still missing and the walls not yet painted. But the public were just happy to be there. With a nine month drought of cultural activity behind them, the culture society were happy to start their concert season.
The Geraldine MacGowan Band played to a full house, and thus were provided with the right backdrop to present the very best of love songs, instrumentals and ballads. And true to their tour motto, the music was really timeless, yesterday, today and tomorrow well all represented.

Geraldine MacGowan is touring at present with three musicians. She has worked together with Brian O'Connor for many years. A true virtuoso on flutes of every type, from the soft sound of the concert flute to the hard sound of the whistle, he pulls the public with him, puts them under his spell.

Advertised as the young wild Ruckies of the Irish folk scene, Shane McGowan and Eámonn de Barra, distinctly virtuoso instrumentalists, are considered by some the best musicians the Irish folk scene has to offer. Together the four merged into a single unit, wonderfully gentle, very rhythmic and highly musical. The audience was amazed by the performance, which was not only music, but stories from the Emerald Isle.



Bremervörder Zeitung.

Irish folk concert of the superlative.
All Bands inspired the 1.000 and more listeners in the Vörder lake in Bremervörde.

Bremervörde. Lively and fervently, a true firework of virtuoso and vocal interpretation of Irish folk music, the listeners reacted with storms of enthusiasm. Above all, the Geraldine MacGowan Band, who have an exceptional instrumentalist in their line up with Brian O'Connor.
He belongs to the most creative artists of the Irish music scene, measureless admiration from the public charged with cheering ovations when O'Connor played his flutes with contortions of the tongue and polished breathing technique, true Staccato and an almost inexhaustible repertoire of ornamentation. No doubt !, the Geraldine MacGowan Band set the climax in the Bremervörder lake.



Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

28th Irish Folk Festival.

Geraldine MacGowan is a well known entity to the Irish Folk Festival, however, this time with new moves. She is more relaxed and extrovert in her behaviour as well as in her voice. She was accompanied by the very accomplished guitarist Shane McGowan and, above all, by Brian O'Connor, the big surprise the festival.

From the atmospheric sounds of his keyboard playing he jumped to the tin Whistle like it's never been played before, on the traditional "Penny Whistle" he produced hard double tongued staccato, hardly possible, and partly by chance concessive jumps in octave to practically unattainable over blowing as if he had listened to the jazz saxophonists Bennie Wallace.



Hildesheimer Allgemeinen Zeitung.

Irish high voltage, The Geraldine MacGowan Band were guests in Vier Linden.

Hildesheim. On the poster under a red light she looks rather shy and vulnerable. Quite the opposite on stage. Her appearance impressed from the first moment.
Geraldine MacGowan is a robust woman, tall and dressed entirely in black, and is clearly experienced and resolute, and thats how she sings. She tells stories of alcoholics, delicate relationships and Irish history, all packed in tradition and with a good portion of contemporary songs and that with a powerful voice. Her melodic singing adds to the dynamic interplay between Brian O'Connor (Flute, tin whistle), Eámonn de Barra (piano) and Shane MacGowan (guitar), she sings with unbelievable emotion, then suddenly stands back and breathes the words into the microphone.

The public already applaud frantically after the first piece. MacGowan thanked them, took the Bodhrán and melted into the background. The next piece was played by her musicians. An instrumental piece in which O'Connor played clear intoned lines on flute, accompanied by atmospheric piano chords and skilled Guitar picking. "Oh, beautiful!", sighed the audience afterwards.

It's also commendable when the star of the evening takes a back seat and leaves the band enough room to unfold their musical abilities. And they exist in abundance, when Brian O'Connor plays an extremely fast improvisation on the Tin Whistle, no leg on the stage remains still. The band jumps and dances, grin wildly, the public clap, meanwhile O'Connor up's the tempo with apparent ease. "When does the man actually breathe?," asked a marvelled listener who had long given up the attempt to count the number of the notes per second.

The musical creativity and technical versatility on the stage is overwhelming. Behind the professionalism is a large portion of humour and the sheer joy of playing, which spreads out in enormous energy for two hours and brings the audience to boiling point. And if it were possible to capture this energy and bottle it, Hildesheim would have had one days worth of electricity, free of charge.



Achimer Kreisblatt.

Finest of Irish Folk in Culture Hall. Over 200 listeners on a building site "inspired".

Achim. The Geraldine MacGowan Band presented Irish folk at its best in the new Cultural hall in Schützenhof. The name of their tour "Timeless Irish Songs" proved to be very apt, with melancholic and emotive songs. An audience of over 200 thanked the Irishwoman with enthusiastic applause. 

MacGowans spontaneity set the tone of the evening, as guitarist Shane McGowan broke a string, herself and band colleagues Éamonn de Barra and Brian O'Connor reacted immediately with a set of reels that brought the house down. The singer sat down, took her Bodhrán and even without singing impressed.

With overwhelming flute playing from Brian O'Connor, whose fingers glide so quickly and skilfully above the small instrument that the whole hall begins to applaud frantically. Even the highest, almost squeaking tones, are so skilfully played, they are not disturbing, but set as stylistic ornamentation's. The Irishman spoke perfect German, but the public rejected, with thanks, his offer to moderate in German and opted for moderation in English.

Although the large hall of the Schützenhof resembled more a building site than a concert hall this not detract from the concert. Rather, through her powerful and sensitive voice she brought a warm homely feeling in the gray and cold room. She was thanked by her many fans with a rousing round of applause.

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