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31st August 2018 – Weekly  Newsletter

Bringing you the latest news from London’s Hub for Irish Culture

Dia Dhaoibh

Welcome to your ICC newsletter. 

I’m feeling the Autumn is upon us with this cooler weather. You may be mourning the loss of summer but I think there’s some joy to be found in our new Autumn season which kicks off tomorrow night with Carmina’s launch of their new album ‘Landmarks’. Thanks for choosing the ICC for your launch, Carmina!

Latest news

Shhhhh! You didn’t hear this from me but RTE is planning to broadcast its flagship Late Late Show programme live from London on 12th October.  It’s forty years since they broadcast the show from the capital. How times have changed since then but, of course, the Irish community continues to have a huge impact on London life. I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out in the content. I wonder who will be the first to mention the dreaded B@^!*t word??

Trad session

Our free trad session returns this coming Friday 7th September. Led by the ever-jolly Tad Sargent (also our great bodhran and guitar tutor), everyone is welcome to join us and play or simply sit and listen to some lovely trad session. The evening offers a unique opportunity in London for beginners to come along, join others and play from 5pm to 6.30pm and we then continue until 8pm. I’ve even been known to sing a song myself but don’t worry – next time we’ll give you sufficient warning when that’s about to happen so you can disappear for a comfort break while I’m warbling away! This session was really building up before our August break so it’s time to get back into the swing. Come along! Bar opens 5pm.

Improving your experience at the ICC

As we launch our Autumn programme, we know you like your pre-show and after-show drinks, so we’ve sought to improve your experience at the bar.  First the wine. In an effort to improve the wine quality, we’ve sourced two great wines for you from Doran’s  Vineyard in South Africa, owned by ebullient Irishman Edwin Doran. For the information of any wine lovers, the well-balanced white is a mix of Chenin Blanc and Grenache with tasting notes of  ‘”developing some pineapple aromas and flavours to the original honey, lychee and dark green apple characteristics”. The red is a Pinotage – “plummy, red berries with a hint of aniseed”. There you are – you don’t just find out about Irish culture in our newsletter, you get a bit of wine education too! 

To these wines, for contrast, we’ve added a Luis Philipe Edwards Viognier and a popular Cabernet Sauvignon.

Secondly, alongside the new wines we’ve also added quality tonics and mixers, including the excellent Fever Tree tonic for G+T lovers. Over the coming months, we’ll be experiencing new wines alongside craft gins and whiskeys from Ireland. So come down early and enjoy a few drinks before our shows!

Keeping the tradition alive

We all know that Ireland has an ancient storytelling tradition but, if I’m right, few of us experience it in the present day. I have to admit I was probably one of them but I was somewhat blown away when I dropped in on our own Kate Corkery’s ‘Around The Fireside’ storytelling night the first week I started as General Manager. There really is something magical about a storyteller conjuring up a mythical or indeed a true tale while simply sitting on a stool in front of your eyes. And our open-mic style Scoraíocht night just before we broke up for the summer featured a range of myths and stories from all over the world brought to life fantastically by our participants who came from many different backgrounds and traditions. To me this is a very different night of wonder, creativity and live entertainment in a tradition we must keep alive. Kate, our hugely talented resident storyteller, is here with great special guests on the second Friday of very month. This is a hidden gem in London’s live scene – I’d really encourage you to come along and see this for yourselves.

More information on the first storytelling night of the season (14th September) under, along with some other gems!

Hope to see you at the ICC soon,

Beir Bua,

David O’Keeffe
General Manager

Events at the ICC early September!

Saturday 1st September
New Album Launch – ‘Landmark’

Carmina has been acclaimed as one of the ‘freshest and most original Irish Celtic Bands.’ Drawing from traditional and contemporary Irish folk-jazz, and world music influences, they create a sophisticated original sound which simply defies logic. Featuring the haunting voice of Pippa Marland (who also plays saxaphone, Irish flute and whistle) and the magical arrangements of Carmina’s co-founder, Rob King (also plays guitar, mandola, bodhrán).

Carmina returns to play at The Irish Cultural Centre, to launch their long awaited new album ‘Landmark’.  The album features some of the best UK jazz and folk musicians, and 2 choirs. It is released on I&E Records in association with Real World Music.

Doors: 7.30pm

Starts: 8pm

Price: £12/£10 (concession)

Frank Carson

Thursday 6th September 

Traditional Irish Singer

Daoirí Farrell


Hot from the Cambridge Folk Festival, singer and bouzouki player Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’) Farrell is described by some of the biggest names in Irish folk music as one of most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years. In 2017, six months after releasing the album ‘True Born Irishman’, Daoirí won two prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best Traditional Track’, and performed live at the awards ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Since then he has toured twice in the UK, and played at festivals in Australia, Canada, the UK, Belgium, Denmark and more. In February 2018 he toured with the all-star Transatlantic Sessions in venues of up to 2,000 capacity and continues to be in demand across the world.

Doors: 7.15pm

Starts: 7.45pm

Price: £12/£10 (concessions)

Frank Carson

Friday 14th September
‘Around The Fireside’

Storytelling with Kate Corkery and Special Guest Jan Blake 

Plus Open Floor Spots

Kate is an Irish storyteller with a background in acting, singing and language teaching. Born and educated in Cork, she originally left Ireland to work in Kenya, after which she moved to Europe, performing in a variety of theatres before joining UK-based Common Lore, a company of storyteller/musicians from different folkloric backgrounds.

This month she will be joined by the fantastic Jan Blake and the amazing percussionist, John Pradere, who will bring us excerpts from their show:

Birds and Slaves & Stuff; Tales of Magic & Wonder

‘Conjure women, shapeshifting babies, JuJu trees and stubborn chiefs all inhabit the landscape of these tales of magic from Africa, the Caribbean and the Deep South. Told by Jan Blake & accompanied by percussionist, John Pradere.’

Doors: 7.30pm

Starts: 8pm 

Price: £8.00

Frank Carson

Sunday 16th September

Irish Mythen


Irish Mythen is a globetrotting troubadour – an Irish-born, contemporary Canadian folk artist who’s been amassing accolades and achievements across several continents over the years. Irish Mythen has established herself as a major stage presence at the world’s international folk festivals. In the last 12 months, she has sold out the Philadelphia Folk Festival, following the iconic Lyle Lovett. She also recently held an audience of many thousands in her hands at Australia’s Woodford Folk Festival and at the Cambridge Folk Festival. Irish Mythen can take a traditional Irish, folk, Celtic song and add her unique magical touch to it, like you have never heard before.

Irish Mythen comes to The  Irish Cultural Centre hotly anticipated after her performances at the Cambridge Folk Festival for her premiere London appearance!



PRICE: £12/£10 Concession

Frank Carson

Talks and workshops

Wednesday 19th September
‘Beckett And The Wake’ 

A Talk by John Minihan

Irish photographer John Minihan photographed the great playwright, Samuel Beckett, many times in Paris and London, capturing moments that have become iconic images of twentieth-century culture. Minihan’s friendship with Beckett certainly produced some of the most memorable photographs ever taken of the writer. He is credited by Beckett’s friend and publisher, John Calder, with capturing ‘the introspective, infinitely sad gaze of a man looking into the abyss of the world’s woes.‘ This special illustrated talk (with slides) will feature a selection of Minihan’s beautiful images of Beckett. It will also feature images from Minihan’s acclaimed exhibition ‘The Wake of Katy Tyrell’ which he shot in 1977 while visiting his hometown Athy, County Kildare.

Minihan will reminisce spending time with a playwright who was often a reluctant subject and rarely posed.




Frank Carson

Wednesday 26th September
Interactive Workshop

‘1916, 1919-1921 and the First World War in Irish Memory‘

Join Dr Ciara Meehan (Everyday Lives in War Engagement Centre, University of Hertfordshire) for an evening of discussion and recollection about how different generations of Irish people in both Britain and Ireland have understood and negotiated the legacies of the First World War and 1916/1919-1921.  At this interactive memory workshop, you will be invited to share family stories, and personal memories of these stories, from tumultuous times in Irish history. You will then have the opportunity to reflect on the relationship of these personal and family stories to official national narratives and explore the tensions created by present-day politics which have privileged a particular type of national narrative. The workshop will also look at the voices of those who feel excluded from that narrative.

In a project that looks at Irish memory of 1916, 1919-1921 and the First World War led by Dr Ciara Meehan, this is one of a series of four public workshops held in different parts of Ireland and Britain. The project is particularly keen to hear from the Irish diaspora on what memory of these times and events means to them.The evening will open with a short presentation about the Irish in the First World War and the Irish Independence Struggle, followed by an opportunity for the audience to share their thoughts and memories.

STARTS: 7.30pm


Frank Carson