Music

the Olllam with Síomha

The Olllam are delighted to announce that SÍOMHA will be joining them as special guest for many of the venue dates on their forthcoming tour of Ireland and England.

Recently awarded Best Group at the RTE Folk Awards, the olllam are a transatlantic supergroup featuring the twin pipes and whistles of master uilleann piper John McSherry and his protégé, Grammy-nominated producer Tyler Duncan, weaving melodic soundscapes over the post-rock groove of Joe Dart (otherwise bassist extraordinaire with Vulfpeck) and drummer Mike Shimmin. Live, the band are joined by Limerick guitarist Seán O’Meara and keyboard player Joe Hettinga. This summer sees them play a series of festivals and venues in Ireland, then their first shows in England since 2014.

SÍOMHA (pronounced She-vah) has a special relationship with the band: in 2018, she was invited to tour with the olllam and instantly formed a bond with founding member Tyler Duncan, who went on to produce her debut album Infinite Space, also featuring Joe Dart on bass; a single from the album, CRAOBHACHA, featured the olllam. SÍOMHA will perform her own set at Cork, Dublin, London, Kendal and Manchester dates.

The band’s guitarist Seán O’Meara has made a name for himself as a solo artist in his own right the past 12 months, and Seán will perform his own set at Dolan’s in his home town of Limerick, and will open the show at Vicar Street in Dublin on 29th July.

And at the Belfast Tradfest gig at Mandela Hall on 28th July, fiddler and bilingual singer Clare Sands opens the show.

In addition to the venue dates, the olllam appear at Forest Fest, Laois; and at WOMAD, Wickham, Valley and Underneath The Stars festivals in England.

Tue 01 August 2023

Doors 7.00pm, Starts 7.30pm

Tickets: £24/£22

More information:

Alongside mastering piping and whistle-playing, Duncan had established himself as a multi-instrumentalist and Grammy-nominated producer (with Carly Rae Jepsen, Vulfpeck, Theo Katzman and others), and he recruited drummer Michael Shimmin (May Erlewine, Millish) and renowned Vulfpeck bassist Joe Dart, respected as one of the finest, funkiest players of these times, to form the olllam. With this core line up the band unleashed a new Transatlantic post-rock groove, lush with intricate trance-like melodies, stunning instrumental virtuosity and a magical marriage of tradition and technology, finding the listener somewhere between Radiohead and Planxty, or Tortoise and the ambient emotionalism of the Gloaming.

The inventive genre-defying compositions of the first album built a strong grassroots following, and the band convened in real life for their debut gig at Sligo Jazz Festival in 2013, the start of a short tour of Ireland taking in Soma Festival and venue shows in Cork, Dublin and Belfast, and some shows in the States. The olllam were then invited to Celtic Connections in 2014, linking this with concerts in Liverpool, Manchester, London and returns to Belfast and Dublin, and followed this with a series of US shows and a more extensive Irish tour that summer as well as an appearance at the Lorient Festival in Brittany.

It was four years until the olllam returned to live gigs, which earned them sold-out shows and appearances at rock, jazz, art and folk festivals and venues across Ireland, and an audience base who were now singing the melodies back to the band, with hardcore devotees following them from show to show. Then came the pandemic …

… which gave the olllam the opportunity to return to collaborating digitally, as they had done a decade earlier, on a new album. The result, “elllegy,” was released in May 2022, ten years after their debut. It led to a triumphant Irish festivals and venues tour that summer including Dublin’s National Concert Hall, to the olllam winning Best Folk Group at the 2022 RTE Radio One Folk Awards.

 

Listen to The Olllam here:

Listen to Síomha here:

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