Beoga brings Irish flavour to Gaelic culture festival

Irish Celtic and folk band Beoga will perform at the Richmond Olympic Oval Dec. 1. -
Irish Celtic and folk band Beoga will perform at the Richmond Olympic Oval Dec. 1.
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Music fans are forgiven if reading Beoga’s own description prompts question marks: “4 Nordy lads and a Limerick lass beating out the new wave trad dub-step.”

Beoga—Gaelic for lively—is a Celtic quintet making music with the power to summon four-leaf clovers, Irish dancers and pints of Guinness out of accordion air.

On Dec. 1, the pride of Northern Ireland’s County Antrim will perform at the Richmond Olympic Oval as part of the De Danaan Christmas Feis celebration. The three-day event celebrates Gaelic culture through dance, music, theatre and song. That’s where Beoga comes in.

The band came together in 2002 with a sound solidly rooted in Irish tradition. With four albums to its credit, Beoga—in their words—has “expanded the vocabulary of Irish music with a unique accent of its own.”

The band features the duelling accordions of Damian McKee and Seán Óg Graham, pianist Liam Bradley, bodhrán percussionist Eamon Murray and vocalist and fiddler Niamh Dunne.

Prominent in their short biography is a glowing compliment from The Wall Street Journal, which once called them, “The most exciting new traditional band to emerge from Ireland this century.”

They’ve played many major Celtic and folk festivals around the world, and just completed a 10-shows-in-11-days tour of Germany. The band has plans for a Canadian tour next summer, to show off their music and sense of humour.

And the band’s description? “Nordy” refers to someone from the border counties of Ireland and “Limerick” refers to the home county of vocalist Niamh Dunne. As for “new wave trad dub-step,” chalk it up as a creative description for the band’s traditional music

De Danaan Christmas Feis

•A three-day Gaelic culture festival Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at Richmond Olympic Oval with workshops and crafts taking place throughout the weekend, along with a number of special events.

•Friday, Nov. 30: Maire Clerkin presents her one-woman play The Bad Arm: Confessions of a Dodgy Irish Dancer. This comedy explores what it means to be Irish through re-telling tales from the past. Tickets, $20, at brownpapertickets.com. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

•Saturday, Dec. 1: Irish quintet Beoga performs concert (doors open at 6:30 p.m.). Tickets, $20, at brownpapertickets.com.

•Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2: The De Danaan Society will host its Irish Dancing competition. Championships are on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. while the grade competitions are on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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