Pavee Song – Pavee Culture: Thomas McCarthy in Concert

A Season of Photograohs, Films and Music, paying Tribute to the Culture and Song Tradition of the Irish Gypsy and Travelling Community.

This short season will comprise of an exhibition, three films and a concert

🗓Thu 16 November – EXHIBITION of Photography opens “The Travellers by Donovan Wylie”

🗓Fri 17 November – FILM: “Dark Horse On The Wind”, a homage to the life and songs of the traditional ballad singer, song-writer and Travellers Rights Campaigner, Liam Weldon (1933–1995)

🗓Sat 18 November – FILMS (A DOUBLE BILL) “Songs Of The Open Road”, a focus on the life of the award-winning Irish Traveller, Traditional Singer and Song Collector, Thomas McCarthy, (winner of the 2019 Gradam Ceoil Award’ – Ireland’s most prestigious award for Irish song & traditional music): Followed by Sé Merry Doyle’s film “Traveller Tales” winner of the prestigious “2019 Irish Garda Award”.

🗓Sun 19 November – A LIVE CONCERT with the award-winning Irish Traveller, Traditional Singer and Song Collector, Thomas McCarthy.

Sun 19 November 2023

Doors 7.00pm, Starts 7.30pm

Tickets: £15 for concert, £30 for weekend pass

One of the most exciting and moving voices in traditional singing today, ‘you would stand in the snow to listen to Thomas McCarthy sing’. Thomas comes from a well-known musical Irish Traveller family who kept the tradition of singing strong. He is the grandson of a renowned seanachie and grew up surrounded by the singing of his late mother, her father and aunts and uncles. McCarthy is also a passionate activist on behalf of his people and is an ambassador for Traveller singing and Traveller song.
Thomas has a unique ability to connect with his audience and is described by Gradam Cheoil as captivating “This singer has a voice of great strength, tone, character and sublime beauty’.

His technique is a joy to listen to. His art is particularly illustrative of the power of storytelling through song, beyond simply singing the song. His style of presentation, of narrative and history before and around the song, is captivating. He has a unique ability to connect with his audience. On top of that, he carries with him that distinctive style of singing – a movement in the longer notes – known as ‘the warble’.

In 2019, McCarthy won “The Gradam Ceoil Award – Traditional Singer of the Year”, The Gradam Ceoil is the most prestigious award for Traditional music and song in Ireland.  Thomas  has collected more than 1,200 songs and  is committed to preserving this powerful and beautiful part of Irish Traveller culture.

What The Press Are Saying….

“Tom has an outstanding voice, he sings from the heart, as if he were living the story”  – The actual quality of Thomas’s voice stops you in your tracks rather and holds you spellbound thereafter.”  David Kidman: Living Tradition,

“One can see exactly what it is that makes him such an extra ordinary singer” Rod Stradling in Musical Traditions magazine,

“A warm and engaging character, he is a fine though modest ambassador for his Community and Country.” Hector Gilchrist in his Sidmouth Festival.