Month: April 2017

Archive: 25th May 2004 – Hotpress Interview

Andy work if you can get it

Most people slow down a bit when they turn 60, but not trad legend Andy Irvine. Colm O’Hare hears about his latest collaboration with Donal Lunny, the Planxty reunion and the perils of being stranded in small German towns.

Andy Irvine is not all that keen to go to Germany tomorrow. Just back from the States after yet another gruelling tour he is sitting comfortably in a plush Dublin hotel. The notion of hopping on an early morning plane for a 15-date trek around Germany and Switzerland isn’t as appealing to him right now as it might sound, he insists  (more…)


Listen Back: 16th Apr 2017 – RTE Radio 1 – The History Show (Easter Sunday)

The History Show

A special Easter Sunday programme looking at Ireland in 1917 – a year on from the Rising, with historian Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh; playwright Philip Orr; and poet Dermot Bolger.

Andy Featured on the History Show singing a song written in 1917 "That's the Stuff to Give 'Em". 
Unfortunately the songs has been intentionally excluded from the podcast. 
You can listen back to the show to hear a background to the song anyway which is rather interesting none the less.

 A year on from the Easter Rising

In the programme, we look at life in Ireland in 1917 – a year on from the Easter Rising.  Myles is joined by Galway historian, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh; Belfast playwright Philip Orr; by Katherine McSharry from the National Library; and Mark Duncan from Century Ireland.  There’s also music from Andy Irvine and Kate O’Callaghan; a poetry reading by actor, Barry McGovern; and a reflection by writer, Dermot Bolger.

About The Show

Bringing the past to life! Discover how our world was shaped as Myles Dungan and guests explore events ranging from medieval times to the recent past.

We want to help explain ourselves to ourselves. We will search out fresh angles on familiar topics, seek out the unfamiliar and will not shy away from bizarre or controversial issues. Our ultimate goal is to make The History Show the primary port of call for those with an intense or even a modest interest in the subject. We want to entice the casual and the curious to join us in celebrating the past.

Our aim is to create informative, reflective, stimulating and above all, entertaining radio.

Join us on Sundays from 6.05pm for The History Show with Myles Dungan on RTÉ Radio 1.



I’m always fond of company; I’m always fond of noise
And never so delighted as when with the Khaki boys
To try and make our Tommies smile of songs I’ve sung a few
It’s grand to hear them on the march and don’t they sing ’em too.

Chorus: That’s the stuff, that’s the stuff, that’s the stuff to give ’em
There’s nothing beats the cheery song
To help our gallant boys along
Never mind about the words
Blow the bloomin’ rhythm
But a nice little girl with a saucy curl
That’s the stuff to give ’em.

They do say half a dozen women round a pot of tea
Will talk for hours and hours of things they never see
But if you’d like to hear the spicy stories they can spin
Just place that same old half a dozen round a drop of gin.

Chorus: That’s the stuff, that’s the stuff, that’s the stuff to give ’em
A drop of Mother’s ruin neat
They soon begin to feel their feet
When their tongues begin to wag
There’s nothing in it with ’em
And to open a school for scandal, whoa
That’s the stuff to give ’em.

When nice and cosy in your bed you can’t say it’s a treat
When wifey dabs into your back a pair of icy feet
And when the twins begin to cry then off will go the clothes
For safety pins and dummies, well you bet that Mother knows.

Chorus: That’s the stuff, that’s the stuff, that’s the stuff to give ’em
And when the twins begin to shout,
You shouldn’t put yourselves about
Mother knows just what to do
As soon as she gets with ’em
Oh, a tickling up with the powder puff
That’s the stuff to give ’em.

You often hear a fellow say he’s tired of married life
Well, that’s because he knows not how to treat his darling wife
But I’ve invented something that will please each little dear
It isn’t much but I can guarantee what I’ve got here.

Chorus: That’s the stuff, that’s the stuff, that’s the stuff to give ’em
When wifey dear begins to jaw
Why, don’t go out and slam the door
Never argue, never shout,
Or say that you’ll forgive ’em
But a nice little tap on the top of the nap
That’s the stuff to give ’em.

Written and composed by Harry Freeman & George Grant – 1917
Performed by Harry Freeman (1858-1922)


Archive: 1st Aug 2000 – Irish Times Review – Andy Irvine (with guests)

Andy Irvine (with guests)

Tue, Aug 1, 2000, 01:00 – MIC MORONEY

The whisper had gone out about a reunion of the Planxty desperadoes, but this was Andy Irvine’s night, and a huge crowd gave him pin-drop attention as he boldly executed long, historic, left-wing pinko ballads like that Australian anti-conscription song, Gladiators – and they roared for more.

He lilted unaccompanied into that hilarious auld diddle about the Irish mother who posted a letter addressed to “My Son in Americay”, then swooned back off onto mandolin/bouzouki for Braca Hill, or that Antrim song, Come With Me to the Mountain.

Personally, I was raging to hear Born in Carrickfergus, but it was great to see those idiolectic tunings and pickings again; mandolin melodies plucked at great variance to what he was actually singing.

After the break, Donal Lunny came on, and there was a lot of tuning and fussing. It never got right in the end, but Lunny quietly shouldered Irvine’s My Heart Tonight’s In Ireland. On Chetvorno Horo, a Balkan 7/16 tune, Lunny’s bouzouki and Irvine’s mandolin were making that magical mesh of strings again, even though – the old Planxty curse – they could hardly hear each other.

When Christy Moore arrived, the extremists were howling “Up Newbridge”, but the boys kept it low and accoustic, trying to find some way back between Christy’s so-gently flogged guitar/bodhran and the out-there mandolin/bouzouki of the others.

That’s when they started very quietly strumming the heartstrings: leaving you swaying gently to Andy on Arthur MacBride, or his Ur-camp A Blacksmith Coorted Me, while Christy dug the emotion out of Lord Musgrave and The Lakes of Pontchartrain. No joking, they finished up with Andy’s great song The West Coast of Clare, and I’ll Go No More A- Roving.

God forgive me, but there were tears in my eyes.


This review featured in the Irish Times it is unclear the venue the performance took place. It seems to be a rare performance by 3 members of Planxty.
 If anyone has any additional info please get in touch.

Usher’s Island (Album Review) | Folk Radio UK

9th Jul 2017 – Paxos Festival “Bouzouki Concert” with Donal Lunny, Apodimi Compania & Elias Dendias

Bouzouki Concert with Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Greek Musicians of Apodimi Compania and Paxiot bouzouki player Elias Dendias

Old Loggos Schoolhouse – Sunday 9th July, 8.30 pm

Andy Irvine  is an Irish folk musician, singer-songwriter, and a founding member of the popular bands Sweeney’s MenPlanxtyPatrick StreetMozaikLAPD and Usher’s Island. He plays the mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, harmonica and hurdy-gurdy.  Irvine has been influential in folk music for over five decades. He has recorded a large repertoire of songs and tunes he assembled from books, old recordings and folk-song collections rooted in the Irish, English, Scottish, Eastern European, Australian and American folk traditions. He sets these songs to new music and writes about his personal experiences or the lives and struggles of his heroes:Tom BarkerMichael DavittMother JonesDouglas MawsonRaoul Wallenberg, and Emiliano Zapata, among others.

Andy Irvine Website

Dónal Lunny is an Irish folk musician and producer. He plays left-handed guitar and bouzouki, as well as keyboards and bodhrán. As a founding member of popular bands PlanxtyThe Bothy BandMoving Hearts, Coolfin, MozaikLAPD and Usher’s Island, he has been at the forefront of the renaissance of Irish traditional music for over five decades. In 1970, Lunny formed a musical partnership with Andy Irvine, who had returned from his travels in Eastern Europe after an initial gig at a party for the Irish-Soviet Union Friendship conference. They also created their own Club Night, downstairs at Slattery’s Pub in Capel Street, Dublin, which they called ‘The Mug’s Gig’. This featured Irvine and Lunny, and guest performers such as Ronnie Drew, Mellow Candle and the group Supply, Demand & Curve.

Donal Lunny

Apodimi Compania (Band of Friends) was formed by a group of students of Greek heritage studying under Greek scholar and musicologist Stathis Gauntlet at Melbourne University in Melbourne, Australia in the early 1980s. The band – brothers George Galiatsos and Manuel Galiatsos, Nick Vergopoulos, Jim Dimitriou and Tom Dimitriou – immersed themselves in old recordings of Rebetika music. They started to perform around the inner-northern suburbs of Melbourne, which are home to many people of Greek descent. The  band members moved to Athens in the mid-1990s, where they were increasingly recognised as a leading force in Greek “roots music”, world-wide. Ireland’s Andy Irvine has been one of their enthusiastic guests and collaborated with them on new tunes.

Apodimi Compania, the early story in Melbourne

Apodimi Compania performing with Andy Irvine

Rebetika, the first album of Apodimi Compania, made them famous in Australia.

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Famous Irish musicians, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny perform together with Apodimi Compania