The Academy, Dublin.
Friday 16th April 2021.
Tickets €19.90 Incl. booking fee.
Doors 7 pm | Over 18’s Show
BEOGA drop new album ‘Carousel’ and announce headline 2021 show at The Academy
With an adventurous spirit and a passion for charting the road less travelled, Beoga have shown that Irish traditional music can take fresh new directions. Constantly evolving, the quintet have proved that new audiences are eager to embrace the genre’s life-affirming energy.
That world-facing potential was proven by the popularity of their collaborations with Ed Sheeran on his all-conquering ‘÷’ album. Those two songs – ‘Galway Girl’ and ‘Nancy Mulligan’ – have been streamed over a billion times on Spotify alone. Their creative connection continued with some huge outdoor shows, including an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime moment when they joined Ed during his headline set at Glastonbury.
Emboldened by the experience, Beoga focused on creating attention-grabbing hooks rather than exploratory instrumentals. As accordionist Damian McKee notes, “We were making music like we’d never done before. It was like starting again from scratch.”
Beoga’s forthcoming mini album ‘Carousel’, which will be previewed by the brand new single ‘In A Rocket’. Featuring vocals from Lissie and a topline written by James Bay, blends Beoga’s Irish-fuelled rhythms with Lissie’s Midwestern folk-pop as it looks ahead to better times to come. “Spent too long in this lonely room,” Lissie emotes, “Kicked out the locks, going to run with you / Sun’s waiting on the other side.”
‘Carousel’ adds a new chapter to a story that goes back almost two decades. The band were formed when Eamon Murray met future bandmate Séan Óg Graham through childhood classes at the Irish music institute Comhaltas. Graham played the accordian, later with tuition from Damian McKee, and also took up the guitar in his mid-teens. Soon enough, Murray, Graham and McKee connected with pianist Liam Bradley, who had been inspired to play tin whistle and then the piano through a background in Irish dancing.
The quartet toured Ireland, performing at dancing competitions and fleadhs. “I was usually only there for the drink,” laughs Bradley. “But when the four of us got together at one of these fleadhs in 2002, that’s when we decided to start the band.”
In the years that followed, Beoga toured the world, released several albums and experienced things they’d never dreamed of doing, such as performing at BBC’s Proms in the Park. The Wall Street Journal even heralded them as, “‘The most exciting new traditional band to emerge from Ireland this century.” At times, says Graham, their leftfield take on the sound didn’t fit the biggest Irish-American festivals, yet the connection with Ed Sheeran ultimately helped to make their singular style not only viable but rewarding.
Now they’re poised to take that talent to a whole new audience. In the time they’ve been away, they’ve not only delivered ‘Carousel’ but they also have the bones of another two or three albums’ worth of material. As Murray concludes, “It felt at times like we were knocking our heads against the wall, but looking back at it now we realise we are being more creative than we’ve ever been. We know our strengths and that’s a fortunate position to be in.”
‘Carousel’ is available to pre-order HERE now on iTunes.
- ‘Make A Mark’ (featuring Ryan McMullan)
- ‘In A Rocket’ (with Lissie)
- ‘We’re Blood’ (featuring Foy Vance)
- ‘Aurora II’
- ‘Matthew’s Daughter’ (featuring Devin Dawson)
- ‘Homebird’ (featuring Niall McCabe)