TOP reggae band Bréag from Belfast, Dublin singer/songwriter Enda Reilly, and blues band MANA share the billing at this month’s Irish language Cabaret Craiceáilte in Hiúdaí Beag’s pub, AN Bun Beag, Gaoth Dobhair, tomorrow night (Saturday), April 26.
Celebrating 21 years together this year, Bréag were formed initially to raise money for local Irish language schools, Bréag have become one of the most refined and original of acts their kind. Over the last decade, having performed as far a field as Sri Lanka, Bréag have developed a Celtic fusion never before heard. The first generation of urban Gaelic speakers in modern Belfast, their Gaelic heritage permeates through their lyrics and music. With Eastern European and Latin American traditional styles, branched with roots of Reggae and Ska, Bréag give the listener, and inevitably the dancer, a unique musical experience.
Bréag have performed throughout Ireland, Europe and Asia, and have returned to the Basque country and Switzerland on numerous occasions. Having performed at the Sligo Arts Festival, Féile an Phobail and other festivals, Bréag have twice shared a stage with the infamous Jamaican reggae outfit The Wailers, as well as Shane McGowan, Sly & Robbie, Bad Manners, Steel Pulse, The Beat, Mano Negra, Neville Staple, Alabama 3, Lee Thompson, The Rubber Bandits,The Hothouse Flowers, Black 47, John Spillane, and Kila.
Their spiritual home will always be the Cabaret Craiceáilte, having performed at the very first Féile Craiceáilte, in Ráth Cairn, in 1993, and many more Feilte Craiceáilte and Cabaret Craiceáilte’s in Gaoth Dobhair, Dublin, Galway, Conamara, Oileán Thoraigh, Belfast, Condae na Mí in the last 21 years.
Bréag have made numerous television appearances on RTE, BBC, TG4 as well as performances on Sri Lankan, Basque and French television.
Bréag have released three albums first in 1995 with Jah Sa Jungal under their own label Comhcheoil. Not long after its release, Bréag were approached by Outlet Records and consequently recorded their second album Gan Jah. Bréag’s latest album, An Peaca, mastered by Robyn Robins, former member of Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, was released in 2004. Performing on this recording is ex-Wailers keyboardist, Nathaniel Wynters.
What people say: “Bi-lingually stretching the language to new, unimagined possibilities and welding it to new musical forms…though the weight of traditional Irish songs still lies hauntingly at the bedrock of their sound” (President of the Gaelic League). They have been compared to sounds such as the Gypsy Kings and Bob Marley and the Wailers but now stand alone and unique.” (Lá)
You can see for yourself at the Cabaret Tigh Hiúdaí, An Bun Beag, this Saturday, 26 April, 9pm.