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A complex outfit who take traditional music into strange new territory, Kila fuse folk rhythms with all kinds of otherworldly sounds without losing their Irish identity
Troy Barrott, 23 Jul 2003
If you’ve been to this extraordinary yearly gathering, you’ll surely agree that pockets of the Glastonbury festival are radiating with magic. Real magic. Whether it’s watching the sun-rise over the stone-circle to the sound of conga rhythms, or blissing out in a tipi sauna to the sounds of a didgeridoo in the healing fields – there is no doubt this is a mystical part of the world. And the Avalon Fields at Glastonbury reflect a tribal gathering in the truest sense.
Nestled away from the noise of the Pyramid Stage and main arena, the Avalon Stage celebrates the Celtic sound from the global perspective, through artists who praise music, art and dance as one. That’s why Kila played the 2003 festival as though they were newly crowned Kings Of The Vale Of Avalon. What a glorious melding of ancient sounds with exciting new directions the Kila set proved to be.
Kila have never been a ‘’trad’ band in the (ahem) traditional sense. They are exponents of gorgeous world music and are clearly way ahead of all other Irish artists in this genre. They play with an imagination which allows the set, and each individual song, to morph from hypnotic, lonely pipe playing to a frenetic bodhran rhythm – more akin to south-eastern Asia than Ireland – which is just what they did with the wonderful instrumental “Grand Hotel”.
A complex outfit who take traditional music into strange new territory, Kila fuse folk rhythms with all kinds of otherworldly sounds without losing their Irish identity. It is fitting then that they close this set with their most ‘Irish’ sounding recent track ‘Luna Park’, as the crowd drift away from the stage and the sun starts to set we may have witnessed another career-defining Glastonbury moment. Very special.