Andy Irvine was born in London of Irish roots. His career has taken him from traditional Irish and English folk songs to traditional music of Bulgaria, Greece and Hungary and the latter changed his output forever. From his early Irish folk days with Christy Moore, Paul Brady and Donal Lunny, Andy’s helped turn the sound of folk music from an unaccompanied form to include bazouki’s, gaida’s and the kaval, but always resisting drum kits and bass guitar. He’s in for a live set with mandolinist Luke Plumb.
Music played live in this segment:
Farewell to Kellswater (Trad. Sam Henry collection)
Frank Ryan (comp. Irvine)
Performed on bass mandola and mandolins by Andy Irvine and Luke Plumb
The legendary DJ John Peel was the first to play them on UK radio and he remained a lifelong supporter of their music.
Peel was impressed enough by Planxty to have them do three sessions for his shows in 1972-73. They also did many folk shows for the BBC and the B-side of their first single, the instrumental “Sí Beag, Sí Mór”, became a lasting favourite of Bob Harris. Like the Chieftains, they were an influence on the many Irish folk bands who emerged in the 1970s, some of whom did sessions for Peel. There were also session appearances by Paul Brady (as a solo artist) and Matt Molloy and Dónal Lunny (with the Bothy Band).
The most famous former member of Planxty is Christy Moore, who has enjoyed a long and successful solo career, although he never did a solo session for Peel. However, during a concert in April 2016 he paid tribute to the DJ, and to his colleague Terry Wogan :
“That’s our new single and you’ll be lucky to hear that on the radio as no one would play that nowadays as Terry Wogan is no longer around. The other one who would have played it was John Peel. When no one was taking any notice of Planxty he played our songs and then he asked us in for a session in 1972 and then it all went mad! So three Hail Marys for John Peel and God bless Terry Wogan.”
Three sessions. No known commercial release.
Dates below for #2 session taken from Ken Garner The Peel Sessions, sessionography, p319, but do not appear to match 1973 show listings on p213-4.
I'm just coming to the end of a long, long tour of UK and Germany. 43 gigs in 59 days. It's been great but the number of kilometres driven would astonish ....even me! Have day off today!
Under some pressure to publicise forthcoming gigs with Donal Lunny!!
We are playing THE MAGISTORIUM in South Anne Street in Dublin on 1st December and would love to see a full house! Ditto for FOXFORD WOOLEN MILLS on December 3rd. While I'm at it, tune into RTE on November 30th at 4pm and hear us playing a couple of songs and talking about the latest Planxty release. More happening the following week but I'll give this a rest for the moment.
Tune in to RTE – Sean Rocks on 30. Nov at 4pm and hear Andy Irvine & Donal Lunny sing a couple of old Planxty hits and talk about new CD/DVD