ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Tir Na Nog - 2015 - "The Dark Dance"

(36:42; Tir Na Nog)


In Irish mythology and Scottish mythology, Tir na nOg ("Land of the Young") is one of the names for the Celtic Otherworld. It is also the name of a somewhat mythical Irish folk band formed in 1969 by Leo O'Kelly and Sonny Condell, who were received huge critical acclaim for their three studio albums before calling it a day in 1974. Over the years they have continued to perform sporadically, and a new generation of fans discovered their original albums, plus some new live and demo collections. But in 2015 the unthinkable happened, O’Kelly and Condell released their first new studio album as a duo in more than 40 years. A short three years later and I am playing it, and then comparing it back to their debut from 1971. They may have mellowed slightly, and have a warmer sound, but there is no doubting that this is a direct continuation from their earlier works. They were rightly seen as one of the most important bands coming out of the folk scene, alongside contemporaries Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention, and here show that they have lost none of their desire for experimentation as they happily sit between folk and prog folk, and fans of either genre would find this to be indispensable. Throwaway numbers such as the whimsical “I Pick Up Birds At Funerals” sit happily alongside the more forceful “Ricochet”, resulting in the important question of “Why haven’t you been releasing more albums in the last forty plus years??!!” They may have taken far too long to get back into the studio, but they have come back with something which is an absolute delight that is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of listeners

Kev Rowland: November 2018

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