The Gallery Sessions Present:

LEO O’KELLY

The Gallery Cafe, Gort

Sunday Feb 25th, Doors 8:30pm

Adm: €15

bookings : 086-8599957 or from The Gallery Cafe at 091-630630

Leo O’Kelly has built up a fanatical following in recent years through his groundbreaking use of drum machines, Echoplex, and Electronica, along the way pushing the boundaries of what the acoustic guitar is capable of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leo O’Kelly started his career in the 60s, first coming to public attention as a member of The Emmet Spiceland, a chart topping Irish folk trio, also featuring the illustrious Donal Lunny. In the 70s he founded the psych-folk duo, Tir na nOg, with Sonny Condell.

Leo was born in Carlow,Ireland, and started playing with The Tropical Showband in 1964, at the peak time of the Showband Era, while he was still just a schoolboy. He joined The Word, a local psychedelic band in 1967 and started playing The Doors, Love and Byrds, and one or two of his own songs.

All this time Leo was also investigating the folkier element of music; Dylan, Donovan, Bert Jansch, Jackson C.Frank were, and still are, heroes. Leo hitchhiked the 52 miles to Dublin early 1969 and started playing the folk clubs…The Coffee Kitchen and The Universal were hotbeds of influence and melting pots of creativity. On any night you might see any combination of artistes from Sonny Condell to Donal Lunny to Phil Lynott to Terry and Gay Woods…from Gary Moore to Christy Moore!

Tir na nOg came together in 1970 and made three classic albums for Chrysalis Records. They were strongly championed by John Peel, and recorded many Peel Sessions for BBC. As well as headlining their own shows, they, famously, toured the world with Jethro Tull, Cat Stevens, and Procol Harum, among many others.

Tir na nOg have been described as Alt Folk, Psych Folk, and even Space Folk! What is not disputed is that Sonny Condell and Leo O’Kelly are two of the most influential writers and musicians ever to have come from Ireland.

After breaking up in the mid-70s Tír na nÓg are now recording and have released new material and touring extensively mainly in the UK, playing ageless tracks old and new.
Their new album, The Dark Dance, is their first studio album in 42 years, and it has already been cited as Classic Rock Magazine’s No.3 Prog Album of 2015! Record Collector Magazine did a 5 page feature on Tir na nOg in their last issue.

The duo recently headlined a one day 5 band festival at the renowned London venue, The Half Moon, Putney, and their performance wqs released on vinyl and CD.
Tir na nOg recently sold out Dublin City Hall, and are renowned for their vibrant and magical live performances, which continue to captivate wherever they go.

Leo worked for a while as house producer for EMI Ireland and Polydor Records, a pursuit which had fascinated him with since working with illustrious producers like Bill leader and Matthew Fisher and he spent much of the late 70s and 80s living and working abroad, with his bases in Amsterdam and London.

O’Kelly has built up a fanatical following in recent years through his groundbreaking use of drum machines, Echoplex, and Electronica, along the way pushing the boundaries of what the acoustic guitar is capable of. When Dylan went electric, this might just be the sound he was dreaming of.