Musicians’ Union Of Ireland & SIPTU announce livestream gig in aid of Gaza
The concert will be broadcast on Facebook and Youtube on May 31st from 8pm, with proceeds being donated to MECA (Middle East Children’s Alliance).
Musicians’ Union Of Ireland and SIPTU have organised a livestream ‘Gig for Gaza’ concert, set to raise vital funds for children’s medical aid in the region.
Supported by the Palestinian Embassy, ‘Gig for Gaza’ will feature special performances and appearances from Palestinian rap sensation MC Abdul, Frances Black, Harry Bradley, Paul Anderson, Francy Devine, Andy Irvine, Róisín Elsafty, John Kelly, Aoife Kelly, Charlie le Brun, Sean McGinley, Sean McKeon, Niamh Parsons, Graham Dunne, Ann Russell, Ciara Taaffe, and Éoghan Ó Ceannabháin.
All proceeds will be donated to MECA (Middle East Children’s Alliance) to aid the youth of Gaza.
Details of how to donate will be carried on the broadcast and contained in a Facebook Event page.
“Thanks are due to the musicians and actors who are taken part and freely giving their talents – a tremendous commitment to the Palestinian cause. Lockdown has meant that in most cases, musicians and other workers in the arts have been denied any opportunity to perform, engage with an audience or earn any income,” a press statement says.
Lillebjørn Nilsen and Andy Irvine had known each other for about 17 years when they met at the Telemark Festival back in 1994, what they both had dreamt about became a reality. Their collaboration resulted in an exhilarating concert. The live recording is finally released as an album in June 2021.
If it hadn’t been for the invitation from the Telemark Festival, 17 more years might have gone by. “We got together this summer when I visited Dublin, but decided that there was no rush to practise, since we had so much to talk about. Today was the first time we really sat down and went through our material.” Lillebjørn Nilsen said back then, before starting the concert with one of his own songs, “Danse, ikke gråte nå”.
The album is filled with a superb variety of songs, both serious and humorous, characterised by two performers in top form. Norwegian and Irish folk music suit each other admirably. “We were on the same wavelength from the moment we met.” Andy Irvine also said back then. And that Saturday this common wavelength gave the audience an unforgettable experience.
The two troubadours complement each other perfectly, musically as well as thematically. When Lillebjørn Nilsen sings about the Norwegian emigrant who became “The Girl in Chicago”, Andy Irvine counters with the homesick Irish emigrant in “Indiana”.
Lillebjørn Nilsen is a Norwegian singer, songwriter and folk musician. In total he has five Spellemannspriser (Norwegian Grammy’s) both as a solo artist and as a part of bigger groups. He is often mentioned as Norway’s “Folk King”.
Andy Irvine is known as one of the greatest Irish singers and songwriters and is referred to as “a tradition in himself”. He is also well known for being at the helm of such legendary bands as Planxty and Sweeney’s Men.
releases June 18, 2021
Andy Irvine: vocals, harmonica, mandola and bouzouki (string instruments built by Stefan Sobell) Lillebjørn Nilsen: vocals, willow flute (seljefløyte), guitar (Gibson L-00 ca 1930) and Hardanger Fiddle (The “Bente” by Sverre Sandvik. Given to Lillebjørn by Tinn Municipality, Telemark, as Solprisen, The Sun Prize.)
Cover: tapestry “Gardian Valkyrie” by Borghild Georgine Kraus 1915-1982. Telemarkfestivalen, 11.-14. August 1994 On site recording, Theatre Gulbring, Bø Telemark, Norway. Magic wand and remix: Audun Strype, Strype Audio, Oslo Norway 2020