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Review: Andy Irvine & Donal Lunny's Mozaik, Tyneside Irish Centre

Mozaik, with Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, bring the sounds of the world to an appreciative audience

****
The Tyneside Irish Centre in Newcastle
The Tyneside Irish Centre in Newcastle

Over 40 years ago Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny were half of influential traditional Irish folk band Planxty.

This was a hugely popular band that appealed to folk purists but also reached a mass audience.

Mozaik is an international gathering of string musicians, fusing Irish traditions with eastern European and north American roots.

The evening started with a traditional piece but this was followed by a fired-up, triple bouzouki up-beat Macedonian tune in a strange time signature.

Unusual time signatures featured in many of the pieces performed over the two sets.

Their performance, highly disciplined and polished, clearly had been structured with care to ensure variety.

Bruce Molsky’s American railroad songs fitted seamlessly between wonderful tunes played by the versatile Nikola Parov on his weird stringed instruments.

The most vocal response from the audience was for Woody Guthrie’s 1940s song, All You Fascists Are Bound To Lose.

Billy Bragg’s version is raw and well known; Mozaik’s is melodic but equally passionate.

I really enjoyed the concert. The sound was as clear as a bell but most impressive was Mozaik’s unique World Music fusion.

by Martin Ellis

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