Ye Vagabonds talk about the key to their re­cent suc­cess on the Ir­ish folk cir­cuit

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - THE BEAT -

Ever since they formed Ye Vagabonds, Car­low brothers Brían and Diar­muid Mac Gloinn have taken a unique ap­proach to song writ­ing.

Us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of am­a­teur archaeology and in­tel­li­gent melody writ­ing, the duo have amassed an im­pres­sive cat­a­logue of work.

Their reper­toire in­cludes a com­bi­na­tion of orig­i­nal songs along­side - in some cases – cen­turies old mu­sic, dug up and re­worked to their own unique style.

It’s a process that has at times con­sumed Brian for months at a time.

“It’s like archaeology,” he told The Beat.

“You dig and dig for old songs, look­ing for ones that peo­ple might think are ex­tinct and then you re­work them and play them us­ing dif­fer­ent in­stru­ments.

I go through pe­ri­ods of time where I spend a few months look­ing for ma­te­rial.

It’s very sim­i­lar to writ­ing – you get into a flow where you can’t stop for a few months, it can get to a point where you’re just con­stantly think­ing of new words and melodies for things you’ve found.

“For ex­am­ple that ver­sion of The Low­lands Of Hol­land that we sing I found the lyrics for that song in a book that was writ­ten in the 1860’s .

“I based the melody around songs that were sung around Done­gal and Ul­ster in the same era, and an older ver­sion of the song. “The ar­range­ment is my own”. After mov­ing to Dublin in 2012, Ye Vagabonds quickly be­came a main­stay on the Ir­ish live mu­sic cir­cuit – in­tro­duc­ing their blend of orig­i­nal and tra­di­tional folk mu­sic to venues around the city.

In 2014 the brothers at­tracted the at­ten­tion of Ar­bi­tus Yarns mu­sic film­maker Myles O’reilly, (right) whose videos gar­nered in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion for the duo for the first time.

How­ever it was a chance meet­ing with Glen Hansard at Elec­tric

Pic­nic that proved the cat­a­lyst for their first big op­por­tu­nity.

“I was just wan­der­ing around the Salty Dog stage at Elec­tric Pic­nic – I think I was pick­ing up my fid­dle – and I just bumped into him (Hansard). said Brian.

“He said he had seen videos that Myles O Reilly had made of us, and in­vited me to play with him on stage an hour later.

“A few days later we got an email through our book­ing agent ask­ing us would we like to go on tour – which was in­cred­i­ble.

“It was such an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence - that whole trip took us by sur­prise and was a mas­sive morale booster.

“It was one of the most ex­cit­ing things that has ever hap­pened”.

The brothers re­cently launched their de­but, self-ti­tled al­bum to great ac­claim. “Ye Vagabonds” com­prises of har­mony rich folk mu­sic, in­flu­enced by Ir­ish tra­di­tional mu­sic, Ap­palachian singing, and the 1960’s folk re­vival.

It in­cludes 10 mel­low tracks weaved with thought­ful lyrics, thickly lay­ered with strings and dron­ing har­mo­nium.

They are cur­rently work­ing on their se­cond re­lease which will likely see day­light in early 2018.

“The stuff that we’re work­ing on is a col­lec­tion of tra­di­tional songs recorded in both Ir­ish and English,” says Brían.

“It’s a col­lec­tion of songs that we’ve found and re-worked from around Ul­ster and Done­gal.

“There are a few from Aran Mor where our mother is from aswell.

“The first al­bum would be more for peo­ple who are into orig­i­nal songs whereas the al­bum we’re work­ing on now fo­cuses on more tra­di­tional work.”

Fol­low­ing sold out al­bum launch shows in Dublin and

Car­low, they’re set to con­tinue their al­bum launch tour to: Live at


Cork, Fri­day,

Novem­ber 24,

The Black



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