The Headline Agency
Madeleine Seiler 39 Churchfields Milltown Dublin 14
Tel: 01 260 2560 mobile: 087 247 5791
STOCKTONS WING CONTINUE TO CELEBRATE 2018
Following the critical success of their reunion tour to celebrate
40 years of Stocktons Wing the band will continue to perform throughout
2018 and beyond. In October 2017 the band were the proud recipients
of a prestigious civic reception presented by the Clare County
Council at there headquarters in Ennis. It was a momentous occasion
and the memory is cherished by band members and their families.
A new song written by Mike Hanrahan “We Had it all”
will be released in May 2018, the first Stocktons Wing release
for many years and plans are in place to record a new CD before
the end of the year. Meanwhile a series of shows have been added
around Ireland for the coming months.
The line up includes:
Mike Hanrahan (vocals & guitar), Paul Roche (flute & tin
whistle), Tommy Hayes (percussion, bodhran, spoons), Tara Breen
( fiddle) and Karol Lynch on (banjo & mandolin)
Stockton’s 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 Stockton’s Wing came from a Bruce Springsteen song,
“Backstreets” from the album “Born to Run”.
“ Slow dancing on a moonlit street at Stockton’s Wing,
where desperate lovers park to meet the last of the Duke Street
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.
Stockton’s Wing first album, produced by Clareman PJ Curtis
received rave reviews from national and international press.
Singer/songwriter Mike Hanrahan replaced Tony Callinan in 1979.
Mike had spent the previous few years with singer Maura O’Connell
in Tumbleweed. In 1980 Stocktons Wing 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. It is regarded by
many as one of the great innovative recordings in Irish music.
They signed to an American agency and toured extensively throughout
the states playing theatres and major music festivals. After listening
to the band, a critic for the New York Times wrote: “they
were eclectic, electric, passionate, personal, innovative and
In 1985, a live album “Stockton’s Wing Live-Take One”
was recorded in Galway and Dublin. Produced by Bill Whelan and
it certainly captured that ‘eclectic, electric’ sound.
Tours of America, Canada, Europe and Australia kept the band
away from 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”. Their sixth album, “ Celtic
Roots Revival” produced by Steve Cooney received critical
acclaim in America where the group continued to headline major
In the summer of 1988 they shared the stage for both nights 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, and Today FM voted the song no 7 in a top 20 all
time poll of Irish songs.
In November 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.
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 NIGTH TO REMEMBER!!! It rates as one of the top gigs
of the decade for me…”
For further information please contact Madeleine Seiler at 01
260 2560 or 087 2475791
An Evening with Ronnie Drew, Theatre Cité Bleue, Geneva
- April 16, 2005
No historian could ever summon up the feel and texture of the
nation the way Ronnie Drew does through the course of a ghost-filled
In Geneva last Saturday night, he took us on an unsentimental
journey down the last 150-odd years, in humorous yet often touching
tribute to the lives of working men and women: from the mass
graves of Famine-times through the streets of tenement Dublin;
from the newly independent nation's sometimes ludicrous sense
of its own Roman Catholic self-importance to the uglitudes of
SUV Ireland badly mauled by the Celtic Tiger.
His voice rolls out of a deep place to tug at your heartstrings
and alert your ear to something important, stories full of grit
and passion, told with remarkable sensitivity when required
as in the impeccable rendition of Shane MacGowan's "The
Dunes", a chilling evocation of the fate which overcame
those who wandered starving among the dunes of mid-19th century
Other stories are told with a rollicking, searing kind of jollity
which makes familiar anthems like McAlpine's Fusiliers and Dicey
Reilly sound as fresh and potent as they must have, the first
time he performed them in public with The Dubliners.
It's as if, with the aid of Mike Hanrahan's beautiful guitar,
he has been able to revisit these word paintings and painstakingly
remove the layers of disrespect shown to them over the years
by all the rest of us who have beaten them to death in bars
up and down the land in happy singalong mediocrity. (I was secretly
glad he did not shame me by delivering my own so-called party
Ronnie links up all these musical vignettes with the aplomb
of an accomplished actor, wryly mining the comedy in his own
life and the lives of those who were, and are close to him.
These narrative diversions included a side-splitting account
of Ronnie, the not entirely proud father, recovering from a
horrendous hangover in the uncomfortable surroundings of Dublin
zoo's hot-houses with his young daughter at his side.
Or his sobering account of the fate that befell himself and
Terry Woods from the Pogues when they let Barney McKenna attempt
to drive them home because he "only had five pints."
A hint: it leads into the Auld Triangle.
A shining moment occurs when he transforms himself unannounced
into the person of Captain Boyle to deliver the magnificent
"What is the stars" speech from O'Casey's "Juno
and the Paycock".
His appreciation of literary life in Dublin has a nice cynical
undertow thanks to his personal acquaintance with the citizenry
of pre-Celtic Tiger Baggot St. and his own frank revelations
about the paramount importance of whiskey in those circles.
His sincere affection for Behan and Kavanagh comes through in
his interpretation of some of their finest songs. Even Luke
Kelly could not but have applauded Ronnie's interpretation of
Raglan Road last Saturday.
Mike Hanrahan's guitar work provided the perfect foil for Ronnie's
voice, particularly on Nora from Sean O'Casey. Hanrahan's own
composition Garden of Roses was one of the musical highlights
of the evening, a painful but deeply sympathetic evocation of
the loss inflicted on victims of child abuse at the hands of
The Swiss in attendance may have been puzzled at times but
the Paddies working for the UN, the banks, SITA, DuPont, Proctor
and Gamble, Immogen and the Red Cross were lost in the music,
captivated by the words and transported back home for the evening.
And it was all in aid of a good cause. Euros 5,000 was given
April 22 to Stu Flavell, international co-ordinator of the Global
Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS and another Euros 1,000
is earmarked for an orphanage in Harar, Ethiopia, pending finalisation
of the project proposal.
All in all, it gave a great boost to those of us involved in
organizing the event, the Geneva Literary Aid Society formed
to support the arts and people living with HIV/AIDS who are
estimated to number 40 million worldwide in the greatest public
health emergency the world has ever seen with 7,000 to 8,000
people dying every day.
The GLAS web site is in its infancy but you can check it out
at www.theglas.org and photos of Ronnie and Mike will be posted
there shortly. They have won a new fan base in this part of
The Irish Times Review- Fintan O'Toole Friday 4th March
There is a lovely sense, in Ronnie Drew's new solo show, of
a circle being closed. The folk boom that started to roll in
the late 1950s and the theatrical revival of the same era were
in some respects intertwined. They gushed from the same wellspring
of energy, the same rebellion against the drabness of an increasingly
stale official culture.
The Dubliners in particular embodied the relationship. Luke
Kelly was married to the founder of the Focus Theatre, Deirdre
O'Connell. Ronnie Drew started his career as a performer with
the actor John Molloy, and later worked with Niall Tóibín.
The group performed, both as actors and as musicians, in Brendan
Behan's last, unfinished play, Richard's Cork Leg, in 1972.
Tom Murphy wrote The J. Arthur Maginnis Story for them in 1976.
This new show is not, strictly speaking, a piece of theatre,
but it does explore the borderlands between folk songs on the
one side and theatrical and literary culture on the other.
The world Drew evokes, and from which he himself emerged, is
one in which writers and singers shared a common hinterland
of story-telling, bohemianism and anti-establishment attitudes.
In conjuring it up, he reminds us of the richness of that landscape
and the way the shared terrain of music, narrative and performance
has been explored by Irish playwrights from Sean O'Casey to
Behan and from John B. Keane to Murphy.
The evening is loose, relaxed and intimate. Accompanied only
by the often exquisite guitar work of Mike Hanrahan and against
a changing backdrop of monochrome photographs from the National
Photographic Archive, Drew talks, recites, reads and, of courses,
The spiel is an engaging mix of personal anecdotes from his
own drinking days, poems by Paul Durcan, Brendan Kennelly and
James Joyce, and reminiscences of the likes of Behan and Patrick
Kavanagh. The songs are chosen with the innate good taste that
has made Drew such an immensely influential figure in Irish
culture, ranging from the music-hall simplicity of Finnegan's
Wake to the surreal wordplay of the Ballad of Humpty Dumpty
from Joyce's novel of (almost) the same name.
The latter is one nugget in a seam of literary songs that includes
Behan's The Captain and the Kings and Shane McGowan's The Dunes
that highlight Drew's unique mixture of the rough-and-tumble
street singer and the sophisticated artist.
It is, above all, his voice, that volcanic rumble from somewhere
near the centre of the earth, that holds together what might
otherwise have been a scattered series of reflections.
The voice is in great shape: the advantage of sounding ancient
when he was still in his 20s is that he still sounds the same
now that he is edging into his 70s.
In the course of a very funny anecdote about one of his encounters
with Kavanagh, he remarks of himself that he is not a conventionally
fine singer but has "a storytelling kind of voice".
This sums up the reason his show hangs together so well. The
transition from speaking to singing is just a shift of register
between telling stories with and without tunes.
The voice, sweet as paint-stripper and smooth as sand-paper,
also makes nostalgia impossible. Even if he tried to be sentimental
- and he doesn't - it would come out sardonic. Anyone else telling
yarns about Behan and Kavanagh would almost inevitably be sucked
into the swap of rare-oul'-times Dubbalin melancholy. Drew's
tone whether singing or talking, is so dryly mordant , however,
that the anecdotes retain their sting.
He has, besides, the right to tell these stories. He knew these
people, and he himself occupies the same semi-legendary space
of half-remembered, half-invented stories that the city has
created around their memories. He tacitly acknowledges this
by weaving stories about himself into the fabric of tales about
the dead writers.
For funny, engaging, entertaining and absorbing as it is, An
Evening with Ronnie Drew is also a chance to encounter a genuine
Anyone over 40 will relish the chance to meet one of the genuine
heroes of Irish popular culture in such an intimate setting.
Anyone under 40 should go along to learn that even without Elvis
we had our own rock and roll.
RETURN TO MAIN PAGE
A REVIEW FROM NEW YORK
"Drew paints a Dublin picture" (Irish
Echo, 8-14 December 2004)
At the start of this past Sunday's matinee performance of "An
Evening with Ronnie Drew" at the Irish Arts Center, the star
neglected to plug in the cord that powers his electric guitar.
Drew's performance partner, Mike Hanrahan, jumped to his feet
and remedied the situation. It was a nice gesture, but Hanrahan
really needn't have bothered. Drew has sufficient natural energy
to drive the show he and Hanrahan will be doing through this coming
Sunday, without additional help from Con Ed or anybody else.
The key to Drew's considerable clout as a performing artist involves
at least two of his dominant attributes: authenticity and honesty.
Born and raised in Dun Laoghaire on the south coast of County
Dublin, the singer, guitarist and tale spinner reflects the city
that made him, from his harsh Dublin vowels to the candor which
reverberates in virtually everything he says and does, whether
he's reciting a sardonic poem by Paul Durcan or giving the audience
his version of a song by Shane MacGowan.
The Durcan stanzas describe, with considerable bitterness, the
social snobbery the poet feels has accompanied the arrival of
the Celtic Tiger in Irish life. It's a point of view with which
Drew appears to agree without qualification.
The MacGowan song leads him into a pungent anecdote about a noontime
concert in which The Dubliners, the celebrated group of which
Drew was a pillar for more that three decades, shared a Dublin
stage with the Pogues, the aggregation of which the rowdy young
sister was a part.
Standing ramrod straight through the two halves of his show,
each about an hour in length, Drew manifests the intelligence,
clarity and articulation which have characterized his performing
from the start, whether he's relating a yarn about Brendan Behan's
longitude as a housepainter, or sharing details about the life
and personality of the Monaghan-born poet, Patrick Kavanagh.
There are glancing references to the years Drew spent as a keystone
of The Dubliners, from 1962 through about 1995, with brief acknowledgement
of vanished colleagues, Luke Kelly among them. But Drew's show
is by no means a career retro, a Dubliner's equivalent to the
"and then I wrote," or "and then I did" ventures
to which so many American performers seem addicted.
Drew's swiftly paced presentation resonates with the singer's
unsentimental view of the times of which he has been a part, and,
among other things, with a clear-eyed vision of the changes, positive
and otherwise, which have influenced Irish life as the decades
have passed. He stands, dressed in black, except for the white
cardigan sweater he adds when there's a chill in the theatre.
Drew confronts his audiences directly and unyieldingly, as though
he expects them to contribute intelligence and perception to equal
Drew is a familiar figure on the Irish music scene, with his
well-groomed head of grey hair and his abundant beard, square
as a spade, but what intuitive audience members are perhaps most
likely to take away with them is the memory of his directness.
You get the distinct feeling that not only has he observed, close
at hand, the things about which he speaks and sings, but, more
to the point, he's thought about them and understood them, deeply
Very seldom, perhaps at just one or two points in his program,
does Drew seem to be performing something because it's expected
of him, because it's a song or story that's inextricably connected
to his own life. His performance is as literate as it is musical,
with reflections and reference to the work and life of such Irish
greats as Sean O'Casey, James Joyce and Kavanagh, to name just
a few of the artists whose work is woven into the fabric of "An
Evening with Ronnie Drew."
Mike Hanrahan, the former lead singer of Stockton's Wing and
a native of Ennis, Co. Clare, has been teamed with Drew since
1997, when they joined forces to create "Ronnie I Hardly
Knew Ya." The show enjoyed an eight-week run at Dublin's
Andrews Lane Theater and then toured Ireland, the Continent, and
the United States.
"An Evening with Ronnie Drew" clearly reflects the
modesty and lack of pretension which both men manifest, as well
as the respect and affection they so obviously feel for each other
as creative artists and as performers.
There is a kind of darkness, a kind of poignant sobriety to much
of what Ronnie Drew and Mike Hanrahan have chosen to perform,
along with the brisk and bright recollections. Their choices include
reflections about loss and death, and even touch upon subjects
as risky as sexual abuse involving the clergy.
The program the pair have constructed is all the more powerful
for the intelligence and courage with which they have assembled
NEW YORK REVIEWS DEC.2004
"Drew's Rare Auld Times" (Irish Voice, 8-14 December
Review by Ronan Creaney
Drew's two hour show is a throwback to a Dublin and a style of
performance that is slowly disappearing from the landscape. How
many of today's "artists" could regale an audience with
comedy, story telling, literary anecdotes and social commentary
and still come out with the line, "I'm not really known for
Drew is joined on stage by Mike Hanrahan, formerly of Stockton's
Wing and one of Ireland's foremost songwriters. Hanrahan's musical
skills on the bodhran and guitar expertly blend with that unique,
gravelly singing style of Drew.
That the two spend a large part of the performance chatting only
adds to the show's experience. The audience is given a crash course,
a who's who of Irish literary characters, interlaced with little
sound bites of the Ireland and world of the time. The politically
correct brigade obviously hasn't managed to gain access to Ronnie
yet. Thank God. He takes audience members to "The Dunes"
of Connemara with Shane MacGowan and a lament for all the poor
famine souls who couldn't afford a proper burial. General O'Duffy's
blue shirts get a mention as does the other general, Franco.
Brendan Behan turns the tables on a famous U.S. talk show host.
Patrick "Paddy" Kavanagh advances the education and
bank balances of some eager American students.
The story that best defines Drew and the performance revolves
around his first and only foray into the world of "pensionable
jobs." During the course of his tenure and the telephone
exchange he had the privilege of chatting with the minister for
communication's rather proper wife.
This turned out to be Drew's last day on the job. We are all
the better for it.
The heart of this performance is the music. Ten years removed
from his long time group the Dubliners, Drew is still a powerful
Old favourites like "The Auld Triangle" and "Mc
Alpine's Fusiliers" are included in the set, as is a touching
rendition of "Raglan Road," a tribute to his old friend
The beard might be a little greyer, but the Drew wit is just
as sharp and the voice just as unique. Excusing himself to clear
his throat, he explains that a matinee is not the ideal performance
time for his voice. "I'm normally only getting out of bed
at dis time," he jokes.
The intimate setting of the Irish Arts Center, long an oasis
for Irish culture in New York, provides the ideal platform and
the perfect Seisiun atmosphere for this two man show.
Ronnie Drew and Mike Hanrahan represent a style of Irish entertainer
that we less see and less of today. Coming from Dublin, maybe
I'm biased. Coming from Ireland I certainly am.
Go see this show while the opportunity is still there. Ni bheidh
a leithid ann a
"An Evening with Ronnie Drew and Mike Hanrahan"
(Irish Emigrant, 6-12 December 2004)
By Gerard Flynn
Wearing a white cardigan and black shirt buttoned up to the collar,
former Dubliners front-man Ronnie Drew stepped on to the stage
at the Irish Arts Center the other night for a very enjoyable
evening of anecdotes and accompaniments with former Stockton Wings'
front-man, Mike Hanrahan.
"People say he's a legend," Gabriel Byrne said to me
during the show's intermission; he is a legendary part of the
original folk movement to come out of Ireland in the 60s; friend
of Behan and Kavanagh, he's a chronicler of a Dublin that's for
the most part gone.Before each ballad there was the preamble,
as Ronnie remembered, among other things from, fellow drinking
buddies and balladeers poets Brendan Behan and Patrick Kavanagh.After
a few minutes with this man you can see that he's as much a showman
and a character as the poets themselves.
Through song and story, this veteran seanachai, chanted and chartered
a course through the streets of Old Dublin, Famine Ireland, and
the plight of the Irish laborer in 60s and 70s London.
"Mc Alpine's Fusiliers" remembered, with some revulsion,
the Irish laborer and his plight in the England of the 50s and
60s and the total lack of tolerance they endured from construction
firm founder, Mc Alpine, later made "Lord Mc Alpine"
by Her Majesty.
Typical of his charming, and at times controversial, character,
Ronnie quipped that Mc Alpine apparently remarked on his death
bead, in that awfully aristocratic accent he could muster up,
up "Keep the mixer going and Paddy behind it." You had
to laugh, as everyone did, at the wry wit of the man.
Through the verse of contemporary Irish poet, Paul Durcan, the
irascible Irishman poked fun at the New Ireland and her new elites,
the "Fine Gaelers," as Ronnie called them.
The chorus, "We had it all; we had the best of times. We
had a life that dreams are made of," delivered half way through
the evening really summed up, in song, what the evening was all
about, and what it felt like to be there - for myself and evidently
for the audience.
It really was an evening of the best times and this veteran and
venerable entertainer undoubtedly enjoyed it as much as we did.
Ronnie Drew TEN YEARS GONE
2017Gigs 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
With Roy Buckley
May1st. Mallow/ Cork
June 6th Blackpool Cork
Mike and Leslie Page
June 15th.Ballina Arts Centre
July 22nd Trim Castle
Aug 19th. Kilkee theatre
Leslie, Clive Luan and Mike play Temple Bar St. Werbourghs church
Sat 25th Jan
Stocktons Wing play temple bar trad fest Thurs, Fri and Sunday
LESLIE DOWDALL MIKE HANRAHAN DATES
Leslie and Mike on nationwide tour from Mid FebFri 17 Gibbon’s
Pillar House, 8 Society St, Ballinasloe, Co.Galway
Doors 8pm / on stage @ 9pm
Tickets €20 available from Pillar House 090 96 43939 or contact
Sat 18 Presentation Centre Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford (140 seats)
Doors 8pm / Start @ 8.30pm
For bookings and information contact Emily Whelan
Bookings/info via Wexford Arts Centre:
053 912 3764/ email@example.com
Tickets €18/€16 conc
Thurs 23 Number Twenty Two, South Anne St, Dublin 2
Doors 7pm | Dinner 7.15 onwards | Stage time 9.15
Tickets €17.50 + bf / dinner and show €55
Fri 24 Sirius Arts Centre, The Old Yacht Club, Cobh, Co. Cork
doors 8.15pm /on stage 8.30pm
Bookings/info: 021 4813790 / Info@siriusartscentre.ie
twenty Two Dublin
GIGS WITH LESLIE DOWDALL LUAN PARLE and CLIVE BARNES
Dec 28th. Cleares Theatre Kilkenny
GIGS WITH STOCKTONS WING to celebrate 40 years
Fleadh Ceoil 2017
Amphiteatre Kilkenny August 26th. 2017
Mike Hanrahan Solo gigs
Tour Dates With Brendan
Previous tour dates from pre 2012
Leslie Dowdall / Mike Hanrahan Tour Dates
Tour opens with Late Late Show RTE on april 13th.
All dates posted on myspace. Click on the space to see all details
and listen to the new song LEARNING TO LET GO
Check The Space
APRIL/ MAY /JUNE Dates with Leslie Dowdall
13th The Late Late show RTE
14th Forum Theatre Waterford
15th Dolans Warehouse Limerick
19th. Colfers Carrig on Bannow Wexford
20th St. Johns Theatre Listowe
25th Moving Stairs Boyle
26th Barrys The grange Sligo
29th The Crane Bar Galway
5th.Bog Lane Ballymahon Longford
10th De Barras Clonakilty
12th Bobs place Kanturk
16th New Music club Clonmel
24th. Glór Theatre Ennis
27th The roundy Cork City
1st The Stables Mullingar
2nd Iontais Theatre Castleblaney
3rd The Flat top Music club Belfast
9th The Corkscrew Cafe bar Gorey Wexford
Tour dates 2006