MEL LEHAN HALL AT ST. JAMES i
3214 West 10th Ave, Kitsilano
Accessible All ages
$40 Advance | $45 Door
(NO service charges)
Available soon for purchase
Parcels O'Rogues cannot be used for this special show.
“There are many reasons to be excited about new Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar – not least a line-up featuring current and former members of Mànran, RURA, Talisk, Barrule and Cara whose collectively crammed trophy-cabinet includes the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Musician of the Year, 2016 Radio Scotland Musician of the Year, BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award, BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award and several All-Britain & All-Ireland titles. By far the best and biggest reason, however, is how excited the band are themselves.
Ímar’s formation also embodies a more personal reconnection with its members’ formative years, dating back long before their recent camaraderie around Glasgow’s justly celebrated session scene. All five of them – also including fiddler Tomás Callister and bouzouki ace Adam Rhodes (Barrule), both from the Isle of Man, plus Glasgow native Mohsen Amini (Talisk) on concertina – originally met as teenagers through Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the Irish traditional music network that tutors budding players throughout the British Isles and beyond, and stages the annual schedule of Fleadh competitions.
It was via the latter that Ímar’s paths first crossed, as its future members began to amass what’s now a heavyweight collective haul of top prizes – nine All-Ireland and eight All-Britain titles between them – while Murphy is also a double winner of the prestigious Oireachtas contest. Bringing the tally of accolades up to date, Amini is the current BBC Radio 2 Musician of the Year and the 2016 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year. He with his band Talisk won the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award and at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards won Folk Band of the Year in 2017 and the Belhaven Bursary for Innovation in 2018 and was noted in The Lists What’s Hot top 100. Meanwhile, Brown at the same awards celebrated RURA’s crowning as Live Act of the Year, in 2015.
It’s this combined commonality and diversity of background and influences that fuels Ímar’s unmistakable synergy, centered on the overlapping cultural heritage between Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. All three places once shared the same Gaelic language – the name Ímar comes from a 9th-century king who reigned across this combined territory – and a similar kinship endures between their musical traditions.
“Tomás and Adam [Rhodes] have done a lot of research into the Isle of Man’s music, and some of the tunes they’ve unearthed are really quite similar in style to the music from my area in Cork,” Murphy says. ”So we’re blending these elements to sound like one, even though these tunes might not have been played together for hundreds of years. At the same time, we do want to reflect all the different backgrounds, including Scotland, and we also have tunes from Cork that haven’t been widely played further afield. To begin with, we’ve been leaning mainly toward traditional material, but we’ll probably bring in some of our own compositions too, as well as other contemporary tunes. For now, though, it’s great having no fixed parameters – we’re just seeing what happens.”
“One of the things I really like is not worrying about how to make ourselves sound ‘different’ – ‘modern’ or ‘poppy’ or whatever – in order to get noticed,” adds Brown. “All of our other bands have that element to them, and it’s great, but with Ímar we are kind of going back to basics – which is different in itself these days. In a way, sometimes it’s easier to get people’s attention by doing something a bit weird, whereas properly nailing a set of good tunes, really well, is actually pretty hard.” And all the more so when you’re playing at the level that these five virtuosos have reached, as Amini observes: “This is one band where you definitely have to be on your game.”
The Rogue Folk Club is pleased to provide great Sponsorship Opportunities for all our shows. For a nominal cost, individuals or businesses can sponsor any of our shows and reap a number of benefits - free tickets, reserved table, recognition on literature, our web site and at the concerts. Find out more here, or simply contact our Sponsorship Director Morris Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org