As Eamon Murray pointed out from the stage in the Ballroom at the Irish Center last night, a lot has changed in the 10 years since Beoga last played here. But the most important thing hasn’t changed: Murray, Liam Bradley, Niamh Dunne, Seán Óg Graham and Damien McKee are still Beoga and still know how to bewitch their audience.
It’s a pretty mean feat to bring 200 people out to listen to trad music on a Thursday night in mid-May with less than a month’s notice, but that is exactly what went down at the concert brought to you by the Philadelphia Ceili Group and the Commodore Barry Arts and Cultural Center last night.
For the nearly 16 years they’ve been together, the “four Nordy lads and a Limerick lass” have been re-illuminating trad music, and they are continuing that evolution in a seemingly seamless forward progression. Joined by singer Niall McCabe who hails from Clare Island, Mayo, on their newer songs like “Matthew’s Daughter” which was co-written by Ed Sheeran and released as a single last month, they prove that traditional music is finding a whole new audience.
Their set list included old favorite tunes like “Mischief” and “August 27th” as well as songs from their 2016 CD, Before We Change Our Mind” (listening to Niamh Dunne sing “Wexford Town” written by her late cousin Pecker Dunne was nothing short of divine). But looking ahead, the band who has just been signed by Columbia Records, will be wowing with tracks like “Matthew’s Daughter” and “Never Let You Go.”
We don’t have any videos, as we respect their request to not record them as they are working out their new material, but Jeff Meade got some fabulous photos of them. So, enjoy!