- 17 Feb 14
A folk-rock band has offered a compelling take on the writings of James Connolly
The most unexpectedly brilliant event I’ve chanced on in some time was the James Connolly Songs of Freedom Band gig at Sandino’s. Not much of a turnout, admittedly. Everybody I talked to afterwards had assumed from its name that this was a band of the fife-and-battered-drum variety, possibly favouring saffron kilts.
Not a bit of it. JCSFB offered orchestrated blasts of guitars, fiddles, a whistle, an accordion, keyboards, bodhrán and pipes, plus soaring vocals from Yvonne Moore and Ger Fitzgerald. Reminiscent of the hugely underrated McSweeney phase of Moving Hearts.
JCSFB’s specific accomplishment lies in giving Connolly’s lyrics a rock beat while preserving the skirl and rebel fervour. They have a Motown version of ‘The Red Flag’ the likes of which you’ve never heard, but will be avid to encounter again.