Radio Bremen Issues 1979 Planxty Recording
Radio Bremen and the MIG (Made in Germany) label have released One Night in Bremen, a live recording of the original Planxty line-up along with Matt Molloy in April 1979.
The concert took place at Bremen University amidst an extensive European tour in which they played forty-seven concerts in fifty-eight days.
Recalling the tour, Andy Irvine writes in the sleeve notes:
In the spring of 1978, Christy was playing with The Christy Moore Band, Donal was in The Bothy Band, which was in the process of breaking up, Liam was playing solo and I was either touring with Mick Hanly or playing solo too.
Christy saw it as a good time to recreate the ‘Original Planxty’. Liam and myself agreed wholeheartedly. I think I had been hoping for this moment for a couple of years. Donal still felt a responsibility towards the other members of The Bothy Band, but eventually he was persuaded and he brought with him the great Bothies flute player Matt Molloy…
Things were different. Looking back at it, we had all grown up by this time. Life was not as freewheeling as it had been. Mortgages had to be paid and children fed. Still we felt that we could pick up where we had left off in 1975 and a monster tour was planned for the spring of 1979…
I remember we played our tryout gig at The Meeting Place in Dublin, a pub that held about 60 people and two days later we opened the tour at the Hammersmith Odeon that held about 3,000! It was a nervous start. The tour went on through Britain and Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Holland and finally Ireland. 45 gigs in 58 days. We finished in Dublin and the following week we were in the new Windmill Lane studios to record After the Break.
One Night in Bremen features 12 tracks, including ‘The Pursuit of Farmer Michael Hayes’, ‘You Rambling Boys of Pleasure’ and ‘Smecana Horo’. Listen to the opening track below.
The album will be released on vinyl, CDand online in March. For more, visit https://goo.gl/3UqtnQ
Published on 28 February 2018
The release of a previously unreleased concert of PLANXTY brings us further into the realm of Irish folk. Their influence on the development of contemporary Irish music is still huge.
One of the first to witness PLANXTY’s live debut at Easter 1972 at Galway was DONOVAN Philips Leitch. Neither the Scottish singer nor his management knew that it was the band’s very first performance in front of a bigger audience when they took the four folk newcomers on as support.
However, Andy Irvine, Christy Moore, Dónal Lunny and Liam O’Flynn passed their baptism of fire with flying colours. Donovan and the crowd felt well entertained. As a result, the scouts from the label Polydor had the band sign a longer-term contract. The first single “Three Drunken Maidens” went into the charts. During the years to follow, PLANXTY worked for the rating “most influential band in the history of traditional Irish music”. In doing so PLANXTY did not only concentrate on Irish traditionals but let also enter more and more influences and elements from other cultures into their music while drawing on a multitude of different instruments.
Despite the success, PLANXTY’S line-up is rather a roundabout – i.e. as early as in 1973 Johnny Moynihan comes for Dónal Lunny, a year later Paul Brady replaces Christy Moore.
As late as in 1979, PLANXTY played in their original formation again and released the album “After The Break”. Paul Brady had left the band again to start a successful solo career and Matt Molloy expanded PLANXTY to a quintet.
The Irishmen went on tour and also stopped by in Bremen, at the university canteen on April 24, 1979. Radio Bremen recorded the show which MIG Music will release before long. For Molloy, it was the first and only tour with PLANXTY, because as soon as he was back on the island the versatile flautist replaced Sean Potts with the legendary Chieftains. Molloy is still performing and regularly making records with this Irish folk institution. Once in a while, you could also meet him at his pub “Matt Molloy’s” in Westport, pulling a pint for his guests or playing a couple of sessions with friendly musicians.
The other members of PLANXTY are on the stages of the world, either solo or together in different formations like for instance Dónal Lunny, Liam O‘Flynn and Andy Irvine as LAPD (the name stands for their initials Liam, Andy, Paddy and Donal). Dónal Lunny found worldwide acceptation as album producer of artists like Kate Bush, Elvis Costello, Rod Stewart, Clannad or Sinéad O’Connor, whom he also has a child with. Christy Moore founded after PLANXTY the more rock-oriented Moving Hearts and supported his younger brother Barry with his start within the rock business who then made a career under the pseudonym Luka Bloom.
PLANXTY’s influence on the development of contemporary Irish folk music to this day is huge. Christy Moore’s album with the Scottish guitarist Dick Coughlan as regarded as a milestone of acoustic folk. Critics also were on the same page after the show of PLANXTY at the Bremen University canteen forty years ago – more masterly, enthusiastic and expressive you simply can’t combine Irish traditionals with elements of modern folk. Once again, PLANXTY had set an exclamation mark in this genre.
MIG Music has scheduled the release of the live album from 1979 to March 2018.