8. July 2014 By Walter Price 0

TOUR: Sliotar

(Photo: Petr Kupka)

The dynamic Irish folk rock heroes Sliotar have announced a summer tour starting on 19 July making stops in Italy, Czech Republic, Austria and Belgium; so far. (See dates below.)
Sliotar are a band drenched but careful not to drown in music history. Producing albums, putting on shows you wish you could. Luara McGlynn wrote of their fourth album Cirque de Sliotar, “‘WOW!’ was my first impression when I put on this CD, people still making and pushing Irish music in this day and age amazes me! I really thought Ireland had caught up in the world wind of global modernization and Irish Trad was out dated. How wrong I was?? The fact that this band Sliotar are still playing the nations music with such originality is incredible as well as bringing in old traditional songs with modern compositions, is pure genius. The band consists of, Des Gorevan on the percussion and drums, J.P Kallio does vocals, guitar, bouzouki and kantele, while Ray MacCormac whistles, sings and plays the Uilean Pipes. They perform in the Porterhouse in Dublin regularly and tour around Europe. It is worth seeing them live. Their album ‘Cirque de Sliotar’ should be blasting from the stereos in Irish pubs up and down the country, or playing in your car whilst you drive through Ireland’s breath taking landscape, well what’s left of it. Well-done lads!” 
Ray MacCormac (whistle/pipes/vocals), J.P. (Vocal/guitar) and Des Gorevan (drum/percussion) have nearly 20 years, 5 albums and lay claim to over 2000 live shows with no end in sight. The band, which have held steady in turbulent seas are set continue this history by getting in front of you and hammering out their pride in sounds.
As we do, The GTC caught up with Sliotar’s guitarist (and GTC contributor) J.P. Kallio and asked him for 5 Things we should know about this tour.
  1. We don’ t really have a name for the tour… Just Sliotar’s 2014 summer tour… Usually we come up with some sort of pet name for the tour along the way. In the past we had “I Predict A Diet” tour, “Snore Fest Tour” was one back in the day we had a tour bus… “Bummed Up In Burgenland” was another…”
  2. We have some new material that we have been working on for a quite long time, but it only made its way out of the rehearsals to live set in the past few weeks. We are super exited to get to tour them. But also we have reworked some older sets we haven’t played in years. It’s going to be a good one.
  3. It’s always quite intense adrenaline fuelled experience. So lot of fast sets of tunes to dance to and songs to drink your beer to. But also the usual banter between the band and the audience. We have been very busy in Dublin this year, so we haven’t been on the road as much. So I’m pretty sure it will be case of open the cages and Sliotar is off. We are pretty hungry for the road.
  4. We had a bass player with us few years back, but Sliotar has been a three piece for 17 years, so it’s hard to change that. Even though it was fun for a change, now we are back to the original setup.”
  5. There has been a bit of talk about some extra surprise shows, so if they happen, we’ll be posting them on our Facebook as we go along. But all the main shows are up on our website. Also all the festivals we play this summer, we wanted to stay for the whole festival, not just the night of our show. So I would expect some late night sessions with the local musician. Once you get Ray in to a session, he will be the last man playing, and usually I’m not far behind. I think last year in the Keltska Noc it was 8am when i got to bed.
So check your coin pouches, prep your liver and charge up your foot tappin’, Sliotar are coming. They’re hungry and on fire!
19 July – Bundan Celtic Festival, Italy
22 July – Zach’s pub, Plzen, Czech Republic
23 July – Vagon Club, Prague, Czech Republic
24 July – Celtic Evening, Kurim, Czech Republic
26 July – Keltska Noc, Plumlov, Czech Republic
30 July – O’Hara’s pub, Mikulov, Czech Republic
2 August – Steirisch Irisch Keltisch, Tieschen, Austria
5 & 6 September – Celtic Night Geluwe, Geluwe, Belgum
Sliotar: Facebook. Website. Twitter.

And may your flagon runneth over…