Galway native Frankie Gavin has been on the traditional music scene now for 40 years and has established himself as one of the finest fiddle players that this country has ever seen. His skill hasn’t gone unnoticed on the global stage either, and he is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest fiddle player in the world.
He sees now though that he has a bit of competition from up and coming musicians, and says that the amount of youngsters playing traditional music nowadays is “extraordinary”.
“Compared to when we started off as kids going to the fleadhs, [when] there was a fair few at it. The standards of playing traditional Irish music nowadays from any age group, but certainly to see the young people playing, they seem to be brilliant, absolutely brilliant,” says Frankie adding that the traditional music scene has come on in “leaps and bounds”.
But Frankie fears that Irish people take trad music for granted, often treating free trad sessions as “background noise” in the corner of the pub. “People come to Ireland to hear the music and meet the people. When Irish people live abroad they certainly go to every Irish music event they can and take it in because they miss it when they’re not at home,” he says.
“It’s so well loved and respected the world over, we should equally have the same amount of respect here and get out there and support the music and every possible traditional music event that we can.”
Trad fans can do just that when Frankie and De Dannan – a band that have been touring the world and holding sessions for over 35 years – stage a special show at Monroe’s Live next week.
“There’s a different atmosphere, there’s a different element and there’s a different excitement about an actual performance, a live performance of a band, it’s a huge difference. It takes it to another level altogether and I’d like to think we can achieve that,” says Frankie of next week’s show.
A fundraiser for The Alan Kerins Projects and Gorta Self-Help Africa, the ‘Concert for Zambia’ next Friday, 7 August, will be one of Frankie and De Dannan’s very few Galway gigs this year so they’re aiming to make it a “very special event”.
The band don’t play together in Galway that often anymore so they’re really looking forward to this one and think it will be something special, especially as it’s for such a great cause.
Frankie Gavin and De Dannan will be joined on the night by The Supernovas, led by Frankie’s nephew Sean Gavin, who Frankie describes as a powerful singer and a great performer.
The audience will enjoy a “fairly high powered and very exciting night with two quite different bands”, according to Frankie. “We’re certainly looking forward to it. It will be high energy, high octane and we’ll raise the roof in Monroe’s.”
Frankie Gavin and De Dannan perform at the ‘Concert for Zambia’ fundraiser at Monroe’s Live on Friday 7 August. Doors are at 9pm and entry is €25 with the proceeds going towards The Alan Kerins Projects and Gorta Self Help Africa. For more information visit www.monroes.ie.