Fermoy music group Loudest Whisper – pictured above performing at The Burren Storehouse, Lisdoonvarna during their recent nationwide tour – round out their 30-date tour of Ireland with gigs in Fermoy and Ballycotton this weekend, and have recently announced a three-date staging of their renowned Children of Lir concert in Wexford Opera House next year.
The group, consisting of members Paud, Brian and Oran O’Reilly, have performed across the island since April on their ‘Back to Basics’ tour, playing in venues throughout Munster, Leinster and Connacht.
The band formed in the 1970s, originally as The Wizards, and have experienced critical and commercial success throughout the decades.
‘BACK TO BASICS’
Last year they brought a full-length operatic version of Children of Lir to Germany, and on the back of this success are finalising plans to bring the show back to Ireland in February 2017.
Ahead of gigs in Tipperary Town and Castleblayney in County Monaghan last weekend, Paud O’Reilly sat down with The Avondhu and explained how the young generation of music aficionado are taking to their style of progressive, folk rock music.
“It’s gone very well, it’s been a back-to-basics tour for us, the three of us playing it has been very successful. Overall, the gigs were fantastic, we’ve had an odd gig where we weren’t suited maybe to be audience, but that’s the way life is, you can’t please everybody.
“But what we find lately, and I’m very happy with, is we have the older people who know our music, and then a lot of younger people are starting to see us now. I think music is changing and I think there is a trend of going back to a ‘70s sound, which we have. The young people seem to like it.
“Lately, what I was amazed with, was the amount of young people coming up asking us what was that number, and particularly girls, asking about specific songs and what album was that on and buying that album. We’re delighted with that, it’s great to see,” Paud said.
In 2015, Loudest Whisper – on the suggestion of Sunbeam Records in London – staged a large-scale, full-length concert version of Children of Lir, based on their 1974 debut album, in three venues across Germany.
Paud described the experience: “We had a 100-piece choir, a string quarter, narrator, and it was amazing. The reaction was very emotional. It was packed every night with standing ovations.
“There was an Irish man, a fan of the band, who came over to see it. He was so impressed – he’s from Kilkenny but lives in Wexford – and he said we must put it on in the Wexford Opera House, and he kept getting on to us about it, so we negotiated, and the week after next we will be finalising the whole thing.
“We will have 100 voices with us, so we’ll have choirs from two schools from Wexford town and one school outside Wexford town, then about 20 males from the operatic society, plus we’ll have a string quarter, narrator and a 10-piece Loudest Whisper. We’re really looking forward to it. We’ve never done it in Ireland on that scale. It’s exciting, but a lot of work and a lot of pressure. It’s a huge chance for us.”
In co-operation with Wexford County Council, the concerts will take place on Friday, February 3rd and Saturday, February 4th 2017 with a matinee performance on Friday for schools.
END OF TOUR
Closer to home, Loudest Whisper will perform in Cheers Bar, Fermoy this Friday night, July 1st at 10pm – sure to be a jam-packed session. While the tour rounds off in The Blackbird, Ballycotton on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information on the band, visit loudestwhisper.com