Who are these guys?
These guys are the hottest property on the trad scene right now. Individually, they are among the top musicians on their chosen instruments in the country. Collectively, they are dynamite. A force to be reckoned with. A phenomenon. We’ve been incredibly keen to entice them to our shores and are thrilled to be able to have them play for you at Ceòl Cholasa 2019.
Adam Brown (bodhrán), Adam Rhodes (bouzouki), Mohsen Amini (concertina), Ryan Murphy (uilleann pipes) and Tomás Callister (fiddle) share a strong background in Irish music – although only Ryan actually hails from Ireland; Adam Rhodes and Tomás are from the Isle of Man, whilst Mohsen is a Glasgow native, and Adam Brown originally from Suffolk – and it is these foundations which underpin many of Ímar’s distinctive qualities, in both instrumentation and material. Ímar’s unmistakable synergy, however, centres on the overlapping cultural heritage between Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. All three places once shared the same Gaelic language, and a similar, clearly potent, kinship endures between their musical traditions.
You may remember a couple of the band if you have been to previous runnings of Ceòl Cholasa. Ryan, multiple all Ireland piping champ that he is, appeared with Cara back in 2013, shortly before he left to join the mighty Mànran. Adam Brown popped up a year later as part of RURA, playing the guitar. With Ímar, he shows off his musical virtuosity by seamlessly switching to bodhrán. Combined with the bouzouki of Adam Rhodes, the 2 Adams provide the driving backbone of some of the most astonishing tune sets you’re ever likely to hear.
Don’t just take our word for it, soak up these quotes:
striking musicianship, artful arrangements and sheer absolute delight”
“Genuinely jaw-dropping collective virtuosity supplied frills to burn” (***** five stars)
“The energy that’s seemingly bursting to let loose is tempered by a variety of instrumental formations and an attention to pacing that showcases the tunes’ melodic strength, and even when the floodgates open the effect is all the more exhilarating for the underlying control and musicality.”
“The superb quality of the musicianship here is beyond question. What makes Ímar exceptional is their ability to combine old and new music in an innovative but sympathetic way, the essence of the living traditions of Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man”
The Living Tradition
Strong words. If you’re still not convinced then how does the BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award 2018 grab you? And if you still require further proof of their quality, then all you need do is visit this page to see them in action.
Why bring them to Colonsay?
Well it’s obvious isn’t it?! For stonkin’, rip roaring, feet stompin’ tunes. For first class musicianship. For the thrill of having these 5 play in oor wee hall. And when they open up those floodgates and really let rip, these guys are going to tear the roof off!
When can I see them?
Ímar will almost certainly be playing 2 shows, most likely one on Saturday night and another on Sunday afternoon.
How do I get to see them?
By purchasing a ticket of course! Festival passes for Ceòl Cholasa 2019 are £80 and can be bought online (just follow the link). The pass gains you entry to all the concerts in the hall, the stomping late night Ceòl Ceilidh and the workshops. It also entitles you to a seat at hotel gigs (though this is strictly first come, first served).
Remember, Ceòl Cholasa is a limited, bijou event. It’s best to purchase your ticket as soon as possible as then you can rest assured that you will be one of a maximum of only 250 people attending the best wee music festival in the west!