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BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners in 2018, Irish/Manx quintet Ímar are amongst Glasgow’s hottest folk property.
Unleashed to the world during Celtic Connections 2016, their debut video, L’Air Mignonne, was a viral smash, viewed in excess of 300,000 times – whilst their first year tour credits included the opening set at that year’s Cambridge Folk Festival (technically, the band’s first billed gig – a plaudit surely amongst as rare as they come) and headlining a stage at Belgium’s Dranouter Festival just a week later.
Their debut album, Afterlight was then launched at Celtic Connections 2017 in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, kicking off tours throughout Scotland, England and the Isle of Man, as well as festival visits to Ireland, Denmark – where they were one of the first six names announced for the 2017 outing of the legendary Tønder Festival – and Cape Breton’s Celtic Colours. Other main stage slots included HebCelt, Underneath the Stars, Wickham and the Sidmouth FolkWeek.
With a line-up featuring members of Mànran, RURA, Talisk and Barrule, and a heavyweight collective haul of top prizes – including the 2016 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, a BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, nine All-Ireland and eight All-Britain titles – the group’s formation embodies a personal reconnection with its members’ formative years, dating back long before their recent camaraderie around Glasgow’s justly celebrated session scene.
Adam Brown (bodhrán), Adam Rhodes (bouzouki), Mohsen Amini (concertina), Ryan Murphy (uilleann pipes) and Tomás Callister (fiddle) share a strong background in Irish music – although only Murphy actually hails from Ireland; Rhodes and Callister are from the Isle of Man, whilst Amini is a Glasgow native, and Brown originally from Suffolk – and it is these foundations which underpin many of Ímar’s distinctive qualities, in both instrumentation and material. Ímar’s unmistakable synergy, however, centres on the overlapping cultural heritage between Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. All three places once shared the same Gaelic language, and a similar, clearly potent, kinship endures between their musical traditions.
Internationally recognised and at the heart of Norwich’s cultural community, Norwich Arts Centre is a contemporary arts venue that delivers a daily programme of live music, theatre, dance, live art, visual art, literature and comedy. It is a small, independently run venue with charitable status with a mission to support the development of artists and nurture emerging talent across a range of art forms; Norwich Arts Centre really is the best small venue in Britain. Auditorium doors open 15 minutes prior to the advertised start time, however you are welcome to enjoy a pre-show drink from 7pm/7.30pm in the Bar.
In 2014 the venue received the prestigious NME Britain’s Best Small Venue award, having previously been shortlisted for the award in 2011, 2012, 2013. In 2014 it was also honoured with both a EDP People’s Choice Award for best small to mid-scale venue, festival or organisation and the Dr Frank Bates Musical Theatre and Dance Award. In 2015 and 2016 NAC received the LIVE UK Music Business Awards for Best Venue Teamwork.
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