Profile: Tir Eolas

This week on Gigseen, we have chosen to present to you a group called Tir Eolas; a contemporary folk band, rapidly rising through the London circuits with their mix of traditional and modern folk arrangements and original material.

It has now been three years since the five-piece formed after meeting during their studies at The Royal College of Music, and with each member sporting huge musical talents and backgrounds of intense musical training and performing, it's no wonder this band are soaring to the top of the folk circles. Tir Eloas is comprised of Philippa Mercer (vocals, flute, whistle), Ruairi Glasheen (percussion, drums, glock, vocals), Laura Snowden (guitar, vocals), Georgie Harris (viola, vocals), Kristina Edin (bass, vocals). The group have an impressive amount of experience under their belts - most began playing and performing form very early ages, and they've all attended highly prestigious music institutions such as The Yehudi Menuhin School, as well as, of course The Royal College Of Music, where it all came together.

The range of genres, influences and roots that the group encapsulate is something very refreshing in today's music world, and with the recent revival of folk music (Laura Marling, Mumford And Sons, Kate Rusby), it seems Tir Eolas are have a winning combination. With the group's different nationalities from French, Swedish and Irish, they cleverly infuse elements of celtic folk traditions with more contemporary material, and what they produce is something intriguing, delicate and entirely captivating.

Their compositions stay true to standard folk conventions; beautiful, lingering vocals with classic end-phrase embellishments and lyrics portraying folk-lore stories of love, loss and suffering. The instrumentation on tracks like All Of This feature a fast-paced, pulsing guitar with a menacing feel, and the blend of the viola countermelody and the driving percussion makes for a heartfelt, foot-stomping track. Other songs such as Don't ShootThe Messenger capture the pure vocals of singer, Pip, and the haunting backing vocals. The guitar takes the limelight in I've Lost Interest (Put Back On Your Vest) with a delightful finger-picked sequence while the lyrics take a somewhat tongue-in-cheek stance; "Put back on your vest, I didn't really need to see that did I?" and "Don't just lie there naked like a brainless Cheshire cat", reminding you of the fun, heart-on-sleeve elements of folk music and it's narratives.

The group perform regularly throughout London, have had played many headline slots at renowned venues such as The Troubadour and the Green Note Cafe in Camden. After turning heads with their music, they were invited to perform at the Bethnal Green Folk Day this summer, which was a huge success. A concert by Tir Eolas would guarantee to deliver, and for those who aren't die-hard folk fans, their performance as a group; tight, enchanting and fresh, is sure to win you over. If you'd like to see the group in action, their gig dates are as follows:

Future Gigs:

  • The Troubadour, London - 15th November
  • The Joy Exchange, Wimbledon- 3rd December
  • The Lock Tavern, Camden - 7th December
  • The Royal College Of Music - 13th December

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