Irish bands play a vital role in Irish culture. To be more precise, music is what defines Ireland as a country. Music is instilled into our souls from a very young age and when you become an adult, music becomes an inseparable part of our nightlife also.
As music is a major part of our Irish culture it often results in friends meeting in the local pub and either playing or listening to traditional Irish music sessions.
Being a big part of Irish culture, it is not a surprise that one can easily find numerous Irish bands all over the country. Selecting the top five Irish bands is next to impossible but we have given it a try! Check them out below.
1. The Chieftains
One of the most loved Irish traditional folk music bands is The Chieftains. This band was created in Dublin in 1963. With a strong Irish individuality, this band was formed by Paddy Moloney, Michael Tubridy and Sean Potts. The band members are also known as the main players for the modern-day development of Irish traditional music form.
The fame and success of The Chieftain spread globally, including the United Kingdom and the United States. Their success further increased when they got involved with the soundtrack of Barry Lyndon (a film by Stanley Kubrick in 1975), the movie received an Academy Award later on.
The Chieftains received a lot of awards for their amazing performance in music both in their native country and overseas as well. They even received the respectful title of “Ireland’s Musical Ambassadors” in the year 1989.
With their Celtic rock style form, the Horslips are one of the most popular Irish traditional bands. This band is especially famous for the use of traditional reels, jigs and airs as the basis of their impressive music.
The Horslips were formed in 1970 in Dublin. They became a well known band that beautifully played Celtic fusion music. The band remained on a prolonged break during the period of 1980-2004. After returning to the music scene, the band has been gaining even more popularity.
During the conflict in Northern Ireland, Horslips played music on both the South and North border and were very popular in both regions. Soon people started considering this music group as a symbol of unity among people who had different political opinions.
3. The Dubliners
Originating in the Emerald Isle, The Dubliners are indeed the best traditional Irish band without any doubt. This band began in 1962. The lead members of this band (Luke Kelly & Ronnie Drew) have remained the lead singer for The Dubliners.
The band has achieved various awards for its contribution and participation in the Irish music scene. In 2012, the band won a Lifetime Achievement Award. They also got immense support from its followers like Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan.
When Barney McKenna, the final founding member of the band, passed away in 2012, the Band decided to come to a halt after an awesome, popular and very bright career of 50 years.
The Clannad music band began as a family band initially. It consisted of siblings including Moya Brennan, Ciarán Brennan and Pól. The band included twin uncles of the family, namely, Pádraig Duggan and Noel. It was formed in County Donegal in the year 1970, and it started achieving global success soon after.
The Clannad band has released a wide collection of music. During the period of 1980-1982, the band did not only tour internationally but toured with Enya.
As a symbol of their talent and skills, the Clannad band has been given a lot of rewards. The band even achieved a Grammy Award, a Billboard Music Award and a BAFTA during their career. The band always remained connected to its Celtic base but it got more recognition abroad than in Ireland.
This famous band was created in 1972 in Dublin. It included Andy Irvine, Liam O’Flynn, Christy Moore and Dónal Lunny. They were experts in the traditional Irish music scene. The band became famous mainly for presenting and popularizing the traditional folk music in such a beautiful way.
Just as it happens commonly with most traditional Irish music bands, many different musicians joined this group throughout Planxty’s career. The band played great music for three significant periods of time which included the period of 1972-75 (the first term), 1978-83 (the second term), and the final revival took place from 2003 to 2005.
There is no information about the comeback of this band. However, the band lead, Christy Moore is still connected with music writing and production. He retains his fame as always. Moore is also planning a tour around Ireland in 2018-19 for the promotion of his very new music album titled ‘On the Road’.