Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

TSCD679T “It was mighty!” The Early Days of Irish Music in London

TSCD679T pack shot

A new 3CD set featuring a total of more than 100 vital performances by, among others: Michael Gorman, Bobby Casey, Martin Byrnes, Julia Clifford, Jimmy Power, Nan Landers, Vincent Griffin, Edmond Murphy and Tommy McCarthy. Compiled and researched by Dr. Reg Hall, the acknowledged expert in this field, “It was mighty!” is a superb addition to the widely acclaimed Voice of the People series.

Some of the most talented young traditional musicians from rural Ireland found themselves in London in the 1950s, working on the buildings and in heavy construction, away from home, but among hundreds of people like themselves. Music was played in pubs and dance halls and, for a decade or two almost every night of the week, Camden Town, Fulham and neighbouring boroughs were buzzing. Even as far as the outer suburbs, in some back-street pub or other, there was great music to be found, that is, if you knew where to look for it. Beyond the gaze of mainstream society and unknown to the media, promotion was solely by word of mouth among the Irish themselves. This three-CD collection of rare recordings gives us a very privileged view of a unique community who lived this music. Here are some great musicians, some great tunes, and great warmth and humanity. At the time, it was often said, that there was much better Irish music to be heard in London than in Ireland. An overstatement, of course, but there was certainly more of it to be heard in London than anywhere else in the world. A companion three-CD album, “It was great altogether!” The Continuing Tradition of Irish Music in London, Topic TSCD680T, brings the story up to the present time.

Track list:

CD1
Michael Gorman, fiddle.
1. Reel: The Jolly Tinker
2. Reel: Bonnie Kate
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at his flat in Belsize Park, London, 25 October 1952.
Gerry Wimsey, flute (3), Clarke’s tin whistle (4).
3. Reel: The Boys of Ballisadare
4. Reel: The Copperplate
Recorded by Janet Kerr in Collooney, Co. Sligo, 31 January 1972.
Paddy Taylor, flute.
5. Hornpipe: Paddy Taylor’s
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Camden Stores, Camden Town, London, 1959.
6. Reel: The Cabin Hunter
7. Slow Air: With Kitty I’ll Go
8. Slides: Pat Hanley’s No. 1 / Pat Hanley’s No. 2
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at his flat in Belsize Park, London, 2 December 1956.
Nan Landers, melodeon
9. Hornpipe: Nan Landers’
10. Slide: Nan Landers’
Recorded by Dick Landers at their home in Chiswick, London, probably mid-1960s.
Jimmy Power, fiddle; Patsy Goulding, piano.
11. Reels: The Wild Irishman / The College Grove / Jenny Picking Cockles
Recorded by Jimmy Power in London, circa 1959.
Danny McNiff, flute.
12. Slip Jig: Doherty’s
13. Polkas: Danny McNiff’s / Farewell to Whiskey
14. Reel: The Streams in the Valley
Recorded by Peter Kennedy & Sean O’Boyle, Belleek, Co. Fermanagh, 20 July 1952.
Bobby Casey, fiddle.
15. Reel: The Beauty Spot
16. Hornpipe: Poll Ha’penny
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, London, 18 December 1956.
17. Jigs: Brian O’Lynn / The Maid in the Meadow
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Mick Gorman (nephew), fiddle.
18. Reels: The Girl that Broke My Heart / Dick Cosgrove
Recorded by Bill Leader, Reg Hall & Michael Plunkett at Michael Gorman’s house, Manchester, 5 July 1970.
Jimmy Hogan, accordeon; Bobby Hall, piano; Brian Green, drums.
19. Reels: The Copperplate / The Bunch of Keys
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, 8 March 1958.
Martin Byrnes, fiddle.
20. Reels: St. Ruth’s Bush / Paddy Kelly’s Favourite
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Paddy Malynn, accordeon.
21. Jigs: Wallop the Spot / The Tongs by the Fire
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Norwood Hotel, West Norwood, London, 7 October 1962.
Julia Clifford, fiddle.
22. Slow Air: The Red-Haired Boy
23. Jig: The Cliffs of Moher
Recorded by Reg Hall at Lucy & Eric Farr’s house, Ladywell, London, 16 August 1964.
Paddy Breen, flageolet.
24. Hornpipe: The Cuckoo’s Nest
25. Polka: Tralee Gaol
26. Jig: The Pipe on the Hob
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, March 1952.
Bobby Casey, fiddle; Willie Clancy, uilleann pipes.
27. Jig: Munster Buttermilk
28. Reels: The West Wind / Sean Reid’s Fancy
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, 18 December 1956.
Martin Byrnes, fiddle; Tony Howley, flute.
29. Reel: The Humours of Scarriff
30. Reels: The Galway Rambler / The London Lasses
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Camden Stores, Camden Town, London, 1959.
Martin Wynne, fiddle.
31. Jigs: The Rose in the Heather / The Gold Ring / The Maid on the Green / Saddle the Pony
Michael Gorman & Martin Wynne, fiddles; Bill Rollison, piano.
32. Reel: The Boys of the Lough
HMV recording studio, Oxford Street, London, probably 14 July 1948.
Jimmy Power, fiddle; Clancy, flute; Tommy Maguire, accordeon; Paddy Furey, piano.
33. Reels: The Liffey Banks / The Shaskeen
Recorded by Reg Hall in the Bedford Arms, Camden Town, London, 2 December 1960.
Bobby Casey, fiddle; Willie Clancy, uilleann pipes.
34. Jig: When We Were Drinking
35. Reels: The Old Bush / The Chicago
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, 18 December 1956.

CD2
Roger Sherlock, flute; Liam Farrell, mandolin.
1. Reels: The Chicago / The Green Fields of America
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Camden Stores, Camden Town, London, 1959.
Edmond Murphy, fiddle; Mick Gorman (nephew), flute.
2. Reels: Limerick Lasses / Come West along the Road
3. Reel: Cregg’s Pipes
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Camden Stores, Camden Town, London, 1959.
Michael Gorman, fiddle.
4. Reel: Farrell Gara
5. Reel: Miss McLeod’s
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at his flat in Belsize Park, London, 25 October 1952.
Paddy Breen, flageolet (6/7/8/9); lilting (10).
6. Hornpipe: The Red-Haired Lad
7. Set-Dance: The Orange Rogue
8. Set Dance: Rodney’s Glory
9. Fling: Green Grow the Rushes O
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, March 1952.
10. Katie’s Reel
Recorded by Bill Leader & Reg Hall at Bill Leader’s flat, Camden Town, London, 19 April 1967.
Sonny Murray, concertina.
11. Reel: Christmas Eve
Recorded by John Tams & Neil Wayne in Co. Clare, January 1974.
Jimmy Cleary, banjo; Margaret Barry, banjo.
12. Hornpipe: The Belfast
Recorded by Ewan MacColl at his house in Croydon, 10 March 1955.
Michael Gorman, fiddle.
13. Reel: Put the Cake on the Dresser
14. Jig: The Strayaway Child
Michael Gorman, fiddle; Margaret Barry, banjo.
15. Reel: Jenny’s Welcome to Charlie
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, 21 August 1956.
Michael Falsey, flute.
16. Reel: Big Pat
17. Jig: Molloy’s Wife
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Seamus Ennis, uilleann pipes.
18. Slow Air: The Clay of Kilcreggan
19. Programme Piece: The Ace and Deuce of Piping
20. Jigs: Paddy O’Rafferty / The Sixpenny Money
Recording supervised by Paul Carter at the City of London Studios, London, 1960.
Bobby Casey, fiddle.
21. Reel: Sean sa Ceo
Bobby Casey, fiddle; Sean Kenny, piano.
22. Jig: The Frieze Britches
23. Reel: The Flax in Bloom
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, 18 December 1956 (21) & 20 May 1962 (22/23).
Mick Gorman (nephew), flute.
24. Reels: The Salamanca / The Yellow Tinker
25. Jig: The Newport Lass
26. Reel: The Flogging
Recorded by Bill Leader, Reg Hall & Michael Plunkett at Michael Gorman’s house, Manchester, 5 July 1970.
Michael Gorman, fiddle.
27. Hop Jig: The Kid on the Mountain
28. Hornpipe: Dwyer’s
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at his flat in Belsize Park, London, 25 October 1952.
Gabe O’Sullivan, fiddle (29), flute (30).
29. Reel: The Lady on the Island
Recorded by Nic Kinsey & supervised by Peter Bellamy at Livingstone Studios, Barnet, London, April 1979.
30. Reel: Maud Miller
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Galtymore, Cricklewood, London, July 1964.
Liam Farrell, banjo.
31. Polka: The Mountain Pathway
Michael Daly, flute; Liam Farrell, banjo.
32. Reel: The Galway Rambler
Recorded by Michael Daly at Liam Farrell’s house, Epsom, Surrey. December 1962.
Johnny Discin, fiddle.
33. Reels: The Bunch of Keys / The Star of Munster
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Mick Gorman (nephew), flute.
34. Reels: Mulhaire’s / Father Kelly’s
Recorded by Bill Leader, Reg Hall & Michael Plunkett at Michael Gorman’s house, Manchester, 5 July 1970.
Edmond Murphy, fiddle; Mick Gorman (nephew), flute.
35. Reel: The Concert Reel
Recorded by Michael Daly, London, late 1950s-early 1960s.

CD3
The Hibernian Ceili Band: Brendan McGlinchey, fiddle; Roger Sherlock, flute; Raymond Roland, accordeon; Liam Farrell, banjo; PJ Hines, piano; Brian Green, drums.
1. Reel: The Dublin
Recording studio, Bayswater, London, 1960.
Bobby Casey, fiddle.
2. Reels: The Duke of Leinster & his Missus
3. Reel: The College Grove
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Oliver Roland, accordeon.
4. Reel: Kitty in the Lane
5. Jigs: The Rookery / The Cliffs of Moher
Recorded by Imelda Gardiner at the Roland family house, Loughrae, Co. Galway, mid-1960s.
Vincent Griffin, fiddle.
6. Reels: Night in Ennis / The Maid behind the Bar
7. Reels:    Paddy Ryan’s Dream / Mamma’s Pet
Recorded by Robin Morton, Ennis, Co. Clare, December 1976.
Roger Sherlock, flute.
8. Reels: The Galway Rambler / The London Lasses
Roger Sherlock, flute; Raymond Roland, accordeon; Liam Farrell, mandolin.
9. Reels: The Old Bush / The Galty
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Camden Stores, Camden Town, London, 1959.
Martin McMahon, fiddle (10/11), accordeon (12); Teresa McMahon, guitar (10/11), keyboard (12).
10. Reel: Speed the Plough
11. Reel: The Bucks of Oranmore
Recorded by Teresa McMahon at their house, near Shannon, Co. Clare, c.1990.
12. Reel: The Star of Munster
Recorded by Austin Barrett in a north London pub, probably 1990s.
Tommy McCarthy, concertina (13); uilleann pipes (14).
13. Reel: The Laurel Tree
14. Jigs: The Miners of Wicklow / Paddy Taylor’s
London, 1970s. McCarthy Family collection.
Sean Maguire, fiddle
15. Jigs: Garrett Barry’s Favourite / The Luckpenny
Recorded by Seamus Ennis, Belfast, 1 January 1957.
Raymond Roland, accordeon; Benny O’Connor, drums.
16. Reel: The Eel in the Sink
Raymond Roland & Kit O’Connor, accordeon; John Joe Doyle, fiddle; Paddy Taylor, flute; Benny O’Connor, drums.
17. Reel: Sean sa Ceo / Come West along the Road
Recorded by Reg Hall at the Willesden Junction Hotel, Willesden, London, 15 March 1964.
Andy Boyle, fiddle; Michael Falsey & unidentified, flutes.
18. Reels: The Congress / The Bag of Spuds
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Joe Ryan, fiddle.
19. Reels: Dinny O’Brien / Farewell to Connacht
20. Reel: Tommy Potts’s
Recorded by Reg Hall at Breege McArdle’s flat, Crouch End, London, 5 November 2001.
Tommy McCarthy & Bobby Casey, fiddles.
21. Reel: Maud Miller
22. Reel: The New Custom House
Recorded by Tommy Keane, London, 1982.
Gerry Clancy, accordeon; unidentified, bodhran.
23. Reels: I’m Waiting for You & The Bag of Spuds
London, probably late 1970s, Larry Masterson Collection.
Johnny Hynes, Clarke’s tin whistle.
24. Reel: Carmel O’Mahony
25. Jigs: The Boys of the Town / We Drink and Kiss the Ladies
26. Reel: Scotch Mary
Recorded by Reg Hall at his flat, South Norwood, London, 14 February 1965.
Frank Mahoney, fiddle.
27. Reel: The Stoney Steps
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Galtymore, Cricklewood, London, July 1964.
Julia Clifford, fiddle; Billy Clifford, flute; John Clifford, piano-accordion.
28. Hornpipes: Bill Black’s / O’Byrne’s
Recorded by Reg Hall at Lucy & Eric Farr’s house, Ladywell, London, 16 August 1964.
Tommy McCarthy, uilleann pipes.
29. Jigs: Old Hag, You Have Killed Me / Old Tipperary
Recorded by Tommy Keane, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, 1998.
Raymond Roland & Kit O’Connor, accordeon; John Joe Doyle, fiddle; Paddy Taylor, flute; Benny O’Connor, drums.
30. Jig: Father Kelly’s
Raymond Roland, accordeon; Kevin Taylor, drums.
31. Reels: The Little Thatched Cottage / Down the Strand
Recorded by Reg Hall at the Willesden Junction Hotel, Willesden, London, 15 March 1964.
Michael Falsey, flute.
32. Reel: Sporting Paddy
33. Reel: Cregg’s Pipes
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Oliver Roland, accordeon.
34. Reel: Imelda Roland’s
Recorded by Imelda Gardiner at the Roland family house, Loughrae, Co. Galway, mid-1960s.
Edmond Murphy, fiddle; Mick Gorman (nephew), flute.
35. Reels: Colonel Roger’s / Happy Days of Youth
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Camden Stores, Camden Town, London, 1959.
The Hibernian Ceili Band: as track 1.
36. Hornpipes: The Friendly Visit / The Cuckoo
37. Reels: The Merry Harriers / The Hut in the Bog
Recording studio, Bayswater, London, 1960.

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