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STOCKTONS WING ANNOUNCE NEW SINGLE & ‘A RETROSPECTIVE’ TOUR
‘WE HAD IT ALL’ FIRST NEW MUSIC IN OVER 20 YEARS - released in aid of MS Ireland
HOW TO BUY THE SINGLE

MP3 & WAV HERE
IMAGES HERE

‘A RETROSPECTIVE’ TOUR:
Thurs 18 April Áras Chrónáin Ionad Cultúir, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
Doors 8pm / show 8.30pm. Info: 01-4574847 or gig@araschronain.ie. Tickets: €15 araschronain.ie

Fri. 19 April Triskel Christchurch, Tobin St, Cork
Doors 7.30pm / Show 8pm. Box office 021 427 2022. Tickets €27 triskelartscentre.ie

Sun. 21 April Treacy’s West County Hotel, Ennis, Co Clare
Doors 7.15pm / Support: Fiddle Case 8pm. Stockton’s Wing on stage 8.45pm. Bookings 065 686 9600
Tickets €25 + booking fee in advance / €30 on the door on the night treacyswestcounty.com

Fri. 3rd May The Venue Theatre, Ratoath, Co Meath
Doors 7.45pm / show 8pm. Tickets €25 + €2 booking fee online. Box office 01 689 5600
venuetheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873602825


STOCKTON’S WING present their new single ‘We had it all’ on 7th March, marking their first new music in over twenty years. ‘A Retrospective’ tour follows in April & May. All proceeds from the single go to MS Ireland, as frontman Mike Hanrahan explains “Two of my close musician friends Mark Gilligan and Niall O Callanáin have been living with MS for a number of years. Their courage and determination to adjust their lives through re-education and sheer positive thinking is inspirational. We are delighted to release ‘We had it all’ be involved and we urge everyone to download and donate every cent to MS Ireland who provide such a high level of support and care for thousands living with the condition”.

Ava Battles CEO of MS Ireland “Everyone at MS Ireland is delighted that Stockton Wing have reunited and are launching their single ‘We Had it all’ in aid of MS Ireland. All proceeds from the sale of the single will go directly towards the provision of services provided by MS Ireland to the 9,000 people living with MS in Ireland. We are greatly appreciative of their fantastic support and generosity”.

The single is supported by their ‘A Retrospective’ tour - tickets are on sale now for their concerts in Dublin, Cork and Ennis on 18th, 19th and 21st April and 3rd May in Ratoath. ‘A Retrospective’ tells the story of Stocktons Wing through music, songs and stories and their vast music catalogue spanning 4 decades - from the early recordings of ‘Take a chance’ to the innovative and critically acclaimed ‘Light in the Western Sky’, the excitement of a big band sound on ‘Full flight’ and ‘Stockton’s Wing Live’ and the engaging and stunning return to basics on ‘The Crooked Rose’.

Stocktons Wing is made up of a collective of musicians who have stepped in and out over the years, all adding their own sounds to the band. This tour will feature special guests and regulars including Tara Breen, Karol Lynch, Tommy Hayes, Paul Roche, Mike Hanrahan and Paul McSherry. During their 40-year career, Stocktons Wing recorded and performed with Ronnie Drew, The Dubliners, Sammy Davis Junior, Maura O Connell, Val Doonican, Sharon Shannon, Moxie, Sean McGuire, Finbar Furey and The Clancy Brothers, played at both Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ shows in Ireland and appeared in Oscar nominated movie The Field featuring John Hurt and Richard Harris.
‘Retrospective’ Tour covers 40+ years of music and highlights – overview:
1978 First album ‘Stockton’s Wing’ released
1980 ‘Take A chance’ featuring Mike Hanrahan and Maura O’ Connell duet.
1982 ‘Light in the Western Sky’ - a highly polished album which represented a significant shift in their musical direction, focusing more on the band's creative original material. The album featured two hit singles, written by Mike Hanrahan - ‘Beautiful Affair’ and ‘Walk Away’. The album, produced by PJ Curtis, is regarded by many as one of the great innovative recordings in Irish music.
Several TV appearances with Val Doonican on BBC.
‘Beautiful Affair’ enters the British charts.
Intensive touring throughout Britain including all major Folk festivals
1985 Live album ‘Stockton’s Wing Live-Take One’ produced by Bill Whelan. Reviewed by The New York Times “they were eclectic, electric, passionate, personal, innovative and powerful.” Tours of America, Canada, Europe and Australia.
1986 ‘Full Flight’ featuring hit singles ‘Why Wait Until Tomorrow’, ‘Avondale’, ‘New Clare Revival’ and ‘So many Miles’.
1986 Hit single ‘Avondale’ released in America where the group continued to headline major festivals.
1987 ‘Celtic Roots Revival’ album produced by Steve Cooney received critical acclaim.
Recorded two tracks with The Dubliners.
1988 Played before Michael Jackson at both ‘Thriller’ gigs in Pairc Ui Chaoimh Cork.
1989 Guest appearance performing with Sammy Davis Jnr. in Dublin’s Lansdowne Road as part of his world tour with Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli.
1990 Stockton’s Wing on location in Connemara for the Noel Pearson/Jim Sheridan film production of the John B. Keane play ‘The Field’ which featured Oscar nominee Richard Harris and John Hurt.
1992 ‘The Crooked Rose’ produced by Bill Whelan shows a return to the acoustic sound of previous releases.
1993 On tour with Finbar Furey
1995 ‘Beautiful Affair’ voted into the Top 75 Songs in the history of RTE Radio.
‘Beautiful Affair’ voted number 7 in all time Irish songs Poll by Today FM listeners.
2003 Stockton’s Wing held their first reunion concert in their hometown of Ennis, Co. Clare, which was a huge success with over 1200 people packed into the West County Hotel.
2017 Awarded a Civic reception by Clare County Council for contribution to Music and to Clare throughout the world.
2018 40-year celebration Tour – the band performed a number of key festivals to mark forty years of their music.
2019 Stockton’s Wing ‘A Retrospective’ tour in April & May with new single ‘We had it all’


facebook.com/stocktonswingmusic
mikehanrahan.com
twitter.com/stocktonswing1

For more information & to request interviews, please contact:
ANN MARIE WALSH, NOVATONE MUSIC MEDIA
Mob: 087 2460957 Email: musicireland@hotmail.com Twitter: @novatonemm

TRADFEST

The Porterhouse
Thursday Jan 24th 6pm (Doors 5pm)

The Norseman
Saturday Jan 26th 4pm (Doors 3pm)

The Old Storehouse
Sunday Jan 27th 4pm (Doors 3pm)

 

ENNIS EASTER SUNDAY TREACYS WEST COUNTY HOTEL-

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Three shows at the 2018 Fleadh in Drogheda

Wed 15th August The prestigious Flanagan Brothers award will be presented to founding member Kieran Hanrahan

The show will feature a very rare Wing line up with Kieran, Tommy Hayes, Paul Roches Maurice Lennon and Mike Hanrahan as they performed back in the days of Take A Chance, released in 1980 to critical acclaim.

Other shows

Sun 5th Aug O’Carolan Festival, Keadue, Co. Roscommon
Sat 11 Aug Screenes, Guilka, Menlough, Co Galway
Sat 18th Aug Marquee at The Thatch, Fleadh Drogheda
Sun 19th Aug West Court Hotel, Drogheda
Thurs 13th Sept Open air event, Listowel - during Listowel Race

30 years on August Bank Holiday Stocktons Wing perfored two shows supporting Michael Jackson at Pairc Ui Chaoimh in Cork

 

2018

https://ticketstop.ie/view.php?id=1935

Fleadh gigs in Drogheda

2017 40 years anniversary gigs planned for later this year. Gigs with Leslie , Stocktons Wing and Roy Buckley

Mike sings his songs at Sunflower club Belfast April 6th.

Stocktons Wing live gigs to celebrate 40 years of Wing music.

Apr 20th Draoicht theatre Blanchardstown

June 16th Glengarrif Festival

July 8th. Mermaid Theatre Bray

July 20th Munroes Galway

Aug 6th. Ballyshannon folk festival

Aug 18th. West County Ennis Fleadh

Aug 26th Ballykeefe Amphitheatre Kilkenny

Sept 6th Clifden Arts

 

contact stocktonswingmusic@gmail.com

Twitter

Tommy Hayes, Karol Lynch,Tara Breen, Mike Hanrahan, Paul Roche, Steve Cooney

Stocktons Wing are back performing after many years away from the music except for the odd reunion show. After a very successful run of gigs at The Temple Bar tradfest 2016 the band have decided to get back to play venues and festivals. There are no immediate plans for recording but that is a consideration.

Stocktons Wing began their career in Ennis sometime in 1977 with Kieran Hanrahan on banjo , mandolin and harmonica, Paul Roche on Flute and whistle, Maurice Lennon on fiddle, Tommy Hayes on Bodhran, spoons and bones and Tony Callinan on guitar and vocals. The name Stocktons Wing came from a Bruce Springsteen song, “Backstreets” from the album “Born to Run”
“ Slow dancing on a moonlit street at Stocktons Wing, where desperate lovers park to meet the last of the Duke street kings.”

The band signed a deal with Tara records after winning the Trad section of a music contest in Limerick. A group called U2 won the rock section.
Stocktons Wing first album, produced by Clareman PJ Curtis received rave reviews from national and international press
Singer/songwriter, Mike Hanrahan, after spending a couple of years with Maura O Connell in a duo called Tumbleweed, replaced Tony Callinan in 1979 and in the spring of 1980 they released their second album on Tara "Take a Chance." The album featured some original music and marked the arrival of a progressive, creative and original force into the world of Irish music. Following the success of the album, they toured extensively, creating a storm of enthusiasm at major Folk Festivals across Europe.
At Ballisodare Folk Festival in the west of Ireland, they met with Australian, Steve Cooney, who joined forces shortly afterwards, playing bass guitar and didgeridoo. In 1982, the Band released their third album "Light in the Western Sky" - a highly polished album which represented a significant shift in their musical direction, focusing more on the band's creative original material. The album featured two hit singles, written by Mike Hanrahan, "Beautiful Affair" and "Walk Away." It also featured a haunting composition "The Golden Stud" a combination of Aboriginal and Irish music. The album was produced by PJ Curtis.
Percussionist, Tommy Hayes, left the band in 1983 and was replaced by Fran Breen on drums and Peter Keenan on keyboards. After listening to the band, a critic for the New York Times wrote "they were eclectic, electric, passionate, personal, innovative and powerful." In 1985, a live album "Stockton's Wing Live - Take One" was recorded in Galway and Dublin, produced by Bill Whelan, capturing that 'eclectic, electric' sound and enjoyed major success.
Tours of America, Canada, Europe and Australia kept the band away from the recording studios until the autumn of 1986 when they recorded their fifth album "Full Flight." The album contained no less than four hit singles - "Why Wait Until Tomorrow", "Avondale", "New Clare Revival" and "So Many Miles." The group's sixth album, produced by Steve Cooney, received critical acclaim in America where the group headlined many major music festivals.
In the summer of 1988 they shared the stage with Michael Jackson in Cork. The following year they made a guest appearance with Sammy Davis Jnr. in Dublin as part of his world tour with Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli. In 1990 Stockton's Wing went on location to take part in the Noel Pearson/Jim Sheridan film production of the John B. Keane play "The Field" which featured Oscar nominee Richard Harris and John Hurt.
Beautiful Affair was voted into the top 75 songs in the history of RTE radio.
Today FM voted the song no 7 in a top 20 all time poll of Irish songs.
Mike Hanrahan, Paul Roche, Steve Cooney and Tommy Hayes are joined by clare musicians Tara Breen on fiddle and Karol Lynch on banjo and mandolin.
In November 2003 Stockton's Wing held their first reunion concert in their home town of Ennis, Co. Clare. The concert was a hugh sucess with over 1200 people packed into the West County Hotel. In the words of the band's producer PJ Curtis "what an extraordinary, amazing, mind-blowing concert the Wing delivered last night. I'm still spinning from it. It was TRIUMPHANT!..no other word for it....such an incredible turn-out....and the music and the vibe (Ronnie (Drew)too...who was pure magic as usual) made it a NIGHT TO REMEMBER!!! It rates as one of the top gigs of the decade for me..."

Stocktons Wing), 1978
Take a Chance 1980
Light in the Western Sky, 1982
American Special, 1984/85
Take One Live 1985
Full Flight, 1986
Celtic Roots Revival, 1988
The Collection 1991
The Crooked Rose, 1992
Letting Go, 1995
The Very Best of Irish Jigs, Reels & Songs 2005
Live - Take One (re-release) 200

 

1

2006 Take One 1985 Live CD reissue Tara Records

Milwaukee fest

With Bela Fleck

The music of Stockton's Wing has evolved into an exciting lend of traditional and contemporary Irish music and song, performed with power and precision by some of the finest musicians in Ireland. Back in 1977, in Ennis, Co. Clare, the five member group including all-Ireland champions, Paul Roche, Maurice Lennon, Kieran Hanrahan and Tommy Hayes with Tony Callinan won the traditional section of a Guinness sponsored talent competition in Limerick (the rock section was won by a little known group from Mount Temple School, called U2). As a result of this competition they secured a recording contract with Tara Records and released their debut album, Stockton's Wing.
Singer/songwriter, Mike Hanrahan, replaced Tony Callinan in 1979 and in the spring of 1980 they released their second album on Tara "Take a Chance." The album featured some original music and marked the arrival of a progressive force into the world of Irish music. Following the success of the album, they toured extensively, creating a storm of enthusiasm at major Folk Festivals across Europe.
At Ballisodare Folk Festival in the west of Ireland, they met with Australian, Steve Cooney, who joined forces shortly afterwards, playing bass guitar and didgeridoo. In 1982, the Band released their third album "Light in the Western Sky" - a highly polished album which represented a significant shift in their musical direction, focusing more on the band's creative original material. The album featured two hit singles "Beautiful Affair" and "Walk Away." It also featured a haunting composition "The Golden Stud" a combination of Aboriginal and Irish music.
Percussionist, Tommy Hayes, left the band in 1983 and was replaced by Fran Breen on drums and Peter Keenan on keyboards. After listening to the band, a critic for the New York Times wrote "they were eclectic, electric, passionate, personal, innovative and powerful." In 1985, a live album "Stockton's Wing Live - Take One" was recorded in Galway and Dublin capturing that 'eclectic, electric' sound and enjoyed major success This album will be re-released on CD in the coming months on the Tara Music label.
Tours of America, Canada, Europe and Australia kept the band away from the recording studios until the autumn of 1986 when they recorded their fifth album "Full Flight." The album contained no less than four hit singles - "Why Wait Until Tomorrow", "Avondale", "New Clare Revival" and "So Many Miles." The group's sixth album, produced by Steve Cooney, received critical acclaim in America where the group headlined many major music festivals.
In the summer of 1988 they shared the stage with Michael Jackson in Cork. The following year they made a guest appearance with Sammy Davis Jnr. in Dublin as part of his world tour with Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli. In 1990 Stockton's Wing went on location to take part in the Noel Pearson/Jim Sheridan film production of the John B. Keane play "The Field" which featured Oscar nominee Richard Harris and John Hurt.
In 1991 Kieran Hanrahan was replaced by Davey McNevin on banjo and mandolin. Drums and bass guitar were dropped from the lineup, shifting the musical emphasis to an acoustic based sound. With the release by Tara Records of a compilation of the best of the Band's earlier work called The Stockton's Wing Collection, they renewed their contract with Tara and together with producer Bill Whelan, recorded their seventh album The Crooked Rose in January 1992. The album of original music highlights the excitement, drive and virtuosity of each individual musician and creates the sound that will keep Stockton's Wing to the forefront of contemporary and traditional Irish music.
In July, 1994, Stockton's introduced to the lineup the award-winning young singer/songwriter from Omagh, Co. Tyrone - Eamon McElholm. He replaces Mike Hanrahan who retired from the Band to follow a solo career. Eamon is a recipient of the revered PRS/John Lennon Songwriters Award and reinforces the band's reputation for musical excellence with his live performances and songwriting skills. 1995 saw the release of the Letting Go album which featured Eamon's songwriting talents.
In November 2003 Stockton's Wing held a reunion concert in their home town of Ennis, Co. Clare. Founding members, Kieran Hanrahan, Paul Roche, Maurice Lennon and Tommy Hayes, were joined by long-time band member Mike Hanrahan. The concert was a hugh sucess with over 1200 people packed into the West County Hotel. In the words of the band's producer PJ Curtis "what an extraordinary, amazing, mind-blowing concert the Wing delivered last night. I'm still spinning from it. It was TRIUMPHANT!..no other word for it....such an incredible turn-out....and the music and the vibe (Ronnie too...who was pure magic as usual) made it a NIGHT TO REMEMBER!!! It rates as one of the top gigs of the decade for me..."

Traditional/Folk

Stockton’s Wing review from Gerry Quinn at The Irish Examiner

West County, Ennis

Saturday January 31st 2008

Four stars ****

The enormous drawing power of 70’s/80’s traditional group Stockton’s Wing was confirmed on Saturday night last, with 1,500 devotees showing up in the band’s home-town for a once-off, rollicking romp through their eclectic back catalogue. Minus the talents of the Wing’s regular banjo/mandolin player Kieran Hanrahan for the night, his absence was more than made up for by a sterling display from stand-in Enda Scahill. The Galway man’s ornate mandolin began the show with ‘Drops of Brandy’, as Maurice Lennon’s compelling fiddle soared over and gradually cajoled the other group members into the icebreaker - laying down a definite marker for a rambunctious and utterly compelling performance.

‘Miss McLeod’s Reel’ affords the basic footing for Mike Hanrahan’s ‘Beneath The Shade’, with Paul Roche’s lilting whistle lifting the song
to lofty and lark-like heights. The introduction of guests, Tony Molloy (bass), Steve Flaherty (electric guitar) and Danny Byrt (drums), generated
an upsurge in intensity, particularly on ‘Walk Away’, with Flaherty’s searing solo adding an extra dimension to the popular song. Guest singer, Eleanor Shanley rendered a rousing version of Stephen Foster’s ‘Hard Times’, while an innovative bodhrán solo by the peerless Tommy Hayes added to the diverse and entertaining nature of the overall presentation.

The low-key, banjo/jaw’s harp introduction from Scahill/Hayes to ‘The Maid Behind The Bar’, signalled a calm-before-the-storm approach, culminating in a manic and uninhibited version of the old reel. With a fiddle/flute/banjo axis, underpinned by Byrt’s Ceili band style drumming,
an explosive Chicago Reel extracted gasps and howls of approval from the large and frivolous audience. Though hindered somewhat by an obdurate room, sound-wise and pockets of boisterous revellers in the throng, Stockton’s Wing magnificently soared above perceived adversity to produce a memorable and satisfying recital that hopefully will re-emerge again, in the not too distant future. Gerry Quinn
Click to view larger image

 

Gig to be announced for Jan 2009 Stay tuned

July 07 look out for a show in December in Ennis this year. Its looking good.

There may be some shows this year. Its possible that the lads will get together for the Legends of Folk series of gigs in Dublin and Cork.

Meanwhile...............

Beautiful Affair Archive video from Self Aid Concert, Dublin 1985

Listen to Stockton's Wing on Internet Radio

BEAUTIFUL AFFAIR VOTED NO 7 in TODAY FM POLL OF BEST 25 SONGS IN THE LAST 25 YEARS. Magnificent result. Thanks to all who voted. Check out Mikes News Page for comments.

MIKE HANRAHAN HOME PAGE

STOCKTON'S WING REUNION GIG

VICAR STREET WAS A MAJOR SUCCESS AND THE LADS HOPE TO GET TOGETHER FOR A FEW GIGS IN 2005. WE WILL KEEP YOU UPDATED ON ANY DEVELOPMENTS.

If you wish to contact in relation to the Wing Reunion please e-mail

stocktonswingmusic@gmail.com

 

Stocktons Wing "light in The Western Sky reunion"

at Vicar Street, Dublin May 15th 2004

RONNIE DREW AND SEAN KEANE (Chieftains) were special guests on the evening.

STOCKTONS WING
In 1982 Stocktons Wing made their seminal recording 'Light in the Western Sky' featuring band members Kieran Hanrahan (Banjo and Mandolin), Mike Hanrahan (Guitar and vocals), Maurice Lennon (Fiddle and Viola), Paul Roche (Flute and Whistles) and Tommy Hayes (Bodhran, spoons and percussion)
Remember..... Beautiful Affair, Walk Away, The Belltable, The Golden Stud...The line up that gave you this innovative and exciting music are delighted to return to the stage in their home town of Ennis in Co.Clare.
In the early eighties the band toured their unique blend of Traditional and Contemporary Irish music the length and breath of the globe entertaining audiences wherever they performed. It is almost twenty years since this particular line shared the stage and in the intervening years each of the lads have continued to carve out successful individual careers in the music industry. The great success of a recent Charity gig in Ennis prompted the notion of a Dublin show.
" It's twenty years since Mike, Maurice, Paul, Tommy and I played together on stage. We're very excited about the gig at Vicar Street and we're looking forward to a great night " Kieran Hanrahan . Kieran is the presenter of RTE Radio's flagship traditional music programme Ceili House
" It will be a special night for the band and our fans who constantly request the return of this particular line up" Mike Hanrahan. Mike has a successful solo career with two CD releases, performs and records with Ronnie Drew and is currently Chairman of IMRO Irish Music Rights Organisation.

The Band recently came together for the first time in twenty years to play a benefit gig in Ennis. Here are some of the comments:

" I recorded with the lads many years ago and I have always loved their style of music, honest and straightforward and never afraid to take the odd chance. They have not lost any of the fire and if anything only got much better. It was an amazing performance" Ronnie Drew


A more passionate and powerful gig has not been witnessed in the Clare town in recent times. "Light in the Western Sky" probably the group's finest album provided a satisfying source for some of the finer moments of this excellent concert. Instrumentals like "The Belltable" and "The Golden Stud" showcased their highly innovative approach to arranging and presenting traditional tunes, while songs like "Walk Away" and "Beautiful Affair" reaffirmed the reason why Stockton's Wing crossed over successfully into a more pop/folk market at the time.
Gerry Quinn, Irish Examiner

"what an extraordinary, amazing, mind-blowing concert the Wing delivered last night. I'm still spinning from it. It was TRIUMPHANT!..no other word for it....such an incredible turn-out....and the music and the vibe made it a NIGHT TO REMEMBER!!! It rates as one of the top gigs of the decade for me..."
PJ CURTIS, Broadcaster, writer and Producer

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NOVEMBER 2003 Reunion gig

Thanks to all who supported the re union gig.We are delighted to report that it was the most memorable of occasions. A full house who cheered the great talent that is Ronnie Drew and welcomed the return of Stockton's Wing to the stage after so many years. We had an extra guest, thirteen year old fiddle player Tara Breen, whose talent is quite special.

Orla Platten and Footsteps Downs Syndrome (Clare) were the main beneficiaries but 1400 music fans, Ronnie Drew, Tara Breen, Kieran Hanrahan, Paul Roche, Mike Hanrahan, Maurice Lennon and Tommy Hayes have all added a new room to their memory and it is filled with Jigs, reels, songs, stories, the incredible audience reaction and participation and an amazing buzz that filled the room to make this event a "should have been there gig"
As PJ Curtis put it:

"what an extraordinary, amazing, mind-blowing concert the Wing delivered last night. I'm still spinning from it. It was TRIUMPHANT!..no other word for it....such an incredible turn-out....and the music and the vibe (Ronnie too...who was pure magic as usual) made it a NIGHT TO REMEMBER!!! It rates as one of the top gigs of the decade for me..."

And so say all of us at mikehanrahan.com, Stocktons Wing, Footsteps Downs Syndrome (Clare) and Orla Platten.

SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HELPED IN SO MANY WAYS TO ENSURE A GREAT SUCCESS

Gig Review

By Gerry Quinn
Irish Examiner Tue Dec 2nd 2003.

gquinn.ennis@eircom.net

A palpable drone of expectation gathered around Ennis' West County Hotel's function room prior to the appearance of Stockton's Wing for a once-off benefit concert in aid of Down Syndrome Awareness, and in particular the plight of 4 year old Orla Platten who suffers from atlanto-axial subluxation. Twenty years had passed since this assemblage of Kieran Hanrahan, Tommy Hayes, Paul Roche, Maurice Lennon and Mike Hanrahan played on stage together and now 1400 fans eagerly awaited
the sound of fiery traditional music, the hallmark of a group who blazed a trail around the world in the late seventies and right throughout the eighties.

Though varying ensembles have traded under the moniker in the interim, this was the Stockton's Wing line-up that many saw as being the most creative and distinctive in the band's long career. The large audience shoe-horned into the venue were not disappointed. A more passionate
and powerful gig has not been witnessed in the Clare town in recent times. Given the fact that little Orla is the niece of the Hanrahan siblings,
and Ennis was the birthplace of the "Wing" back in 1977, it was clear that
the regrouped quintet were always going to be faced with a partisan welcome. Yet the boys did not rest on their laurels and produced a balanced set of instrumental virtuosity interspersed with plaintiff and melodic vocals.

"Light in the Western Sky" probably the group's finest album provided
a satisfying source for some of the finer moments of this excellent concert. Instrumentals like "The Belltable" and "The Golden Stud" showcased their highly innovative approach to arranging and presenting traditional tunes, while songs like "Walk Away" and "Beautiful Affair" reaffirmed the reason why Stockton's Wing crossed over successfully into a more pop/folk market at the time.

The addition of "Dervish" members Tom Morrow on fiddle and Shane Mitchell on accordion for two sets of tunes, added to the frantic nature of the gig, but it was Ronnie Drew's collaboration that drew the bulk of approval from the ecstatic attendance. Earlier in the night the Dubliner had performed a potent set to a capricious and vacillating congregation, but on this occasion in the company of the home-town heroes, the hirsuted legend delivering "Now I'm Easy" and Mike Hanrahan's "We Had It All", had the large crowd spell-bound.

Other highlights included percussionist Tommy Hayes' spoon playing, while Paul Roche paid special tribute to the late Micho Russell with a fantastic rendition of "The Boy in the Gap" on the whistle. Good-natured fun, coupled with intense and passionate playing elevated this gig to that of epic proportions. The meritorious cause benefited immensely from the band's laudable and dynamic musical efforts, and the uproarious audience reaction added to the incredible buzz generated.

As a footnote, the fiddle playing of thirteen year old Tara Breen who opened the show, emphasised the fact that the conveyor-belt of traditional
talent that exhibits prodigious Clare musicians, is as productive as ever: definitely one for the future.

 

Click to view larger image

 

 

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