The London Lasses are:
Elaine Conwell (fiddle)
Karen Ryan (fiddle, whistle, mandola, banjo)
Maureen Linane (accordion)
Dee Havlin (flute, whistle)
Kathleen O'Sullivan (vocal)
Pete Quinn (piano, keyboard, bodhran)
Recorded at The Cowshed Recording Studio, London, 2006 Produced by John McCormack, The London Lasses and Pete Quinn Engineered by John McCormack and Tim Burns Mastered at Sound Recording Technology, Cambridge, by Gareth Williams
The Coming of Spring:
The Mickey Dam:
The Enchanted Lady:
- The Barr Road / John Naughton's / Sean Walsh's. Reels
- My Ballingarry Lady. Waltz
- Cailín Rua. Song
- The Coming of Spring / Headwood Crossing / Sport. Jigs
- Green Grow The Rushes / Kevin Coyne's. Reels
- The Green Fields of Canada. Song
- Lad O'Beirne's HP / Joe Madden's / Mick O'Connor's Choice. HP/Reels
- The Mickey Dam. Song
- Rocking The Cradle. Slow Air
- Humours of Castlefin/ Eileen O'Brien's/ The Enchanted Lady. Reels
- The Maid from Maraclune. Song
- A Smile From Síle / The Walls of Liscarrol l/ Langstrom's Pony. Jigs
"The London Lasses are back in bouncing form with even more excitement, enthusiasm and energy than ever before-if that is possible. Their latest offering presents well chosen material which juxtaposes old with new, slow with racy, song with dance tunes from dreamy to overdrive.
The blend of instruments (and there are many) is a delight to the ear creating an authentic traditional sound with a freshness that attracts and holds the attention of the listener. A tasty use of backing as a strong support to musician and singer completes the sumptuous meal.
For those who follow the group this latest CD will be a welcome addition to their collection. To the newcomer
I simply say buy it now, taste it and discover just how good it is". Charlie Lennon
The pride of London return with their finest to date. Another rousing set of tunes finely played and a careful selection of songs all delivered with the usual panash and polish. Music to rouse the dullest of hearts!
Copperplate is very proud to have this title on our roster
Also available from Copperplate Mail Order:
LoLa001 London Lasses & Pete Quinn
LoLa 002 London Lasses & Pete Quinn: LoLa002 Track Across The Deep
LoLa003 Kathleen Sullivan: LoLa003: Born On St Patrick's Day
Further details on their own web site http://www.londonlasses.net/index.html
Press Reviewsprovides a well-balanced helping of first-class Irish music' Alex Monaghan, Irish Music Magazine
'The sort of album to make anyone fall in love with Irish music' David Thorpe, The Irish Post
'They play with much finesse without missing the trick of generating the informality and excitement of pub sessions' Colin Randall, Daily Telegraph
'There's a grace and subtlety in their playing that few bands could match' Sarah McQuaid, Hotpress (Ireland)
'guaranteed to keep you riveted for the entire 55mins' www.irelandxposed.com
'Kathleen O'Sullivan provides the lovely, warm vocals on all four songs...whilst the beautiful instrumental backings support the vocals well' Dave Beeby, The Living Tradition
'Third album from the Irish six-piece who play traditional music beautifully, unadulterated by global influence or genre crossover'
BBC Radio 2, Folk & Acoustic website
'They bring fresh life and assured musicianship to the immortal Irish tradition' New Classics website
'Enchanted ladies and gentlemen you will be, once this album reaches your weary little ears' Shelley Marsden, The Irish World
The Living Tradition
You have to be careful if you do a Google search for London Lasses, so I was glad for both the promotional material provided (always helpful to a reviewer) and the search has a filter on it. London Lasses and Pete Quinn are back with their third album (I think) of basically good quality Irish Traditional music mixing the old with newer material most arranged by the band themselves. It is these almost spontaneous-but carefully worked out- arrangements, which brings the Enchanted Lady to life, and gives a freshness to the sound.
Let's deal with the songs first. Kathleen O'Sullivan provides the lovely, warm vocals on all four songs, telling the story clearly, allowing the meaning to come out, whilst the beautiful instrumental backings support the vocals well. Excellent sleeve notes provide the listener with that extra bit of information as well as the words. Incidentally this is an issue, which will have to be addressed before downloading becomes popular with this reviewer as I like to know the sort of info provided in this good quality CD booklet. But back to the Enchanted Lady.
I think Maid from Maraclune shows the group's talents off at their best, and you can tell Kathleen enjoys singing this, which is, interestingly, in waltz time. My Ballingarry Lady is also a waltz written by John Whelan for his mother and is again handled well by the band but my favourite tune is the slow air Rocking the Cradle - it really does work as I felt myself drifting away before being brought back to earth by the set of reels which follow. Fiddles mix with accordion, banjo takes over from flute and behind it all is the keyboards-never obtrusive though- of Pete Quinn.
Good clear production, engineering and recording also help to make this an enjoyable album. They will be launching the CD at this year's Ceiliuradh an Earraigh in Gurteen, Co Sligo in May. There seems to be no immediate tour- it's not on the website - so if you want to hear The London Lasses and Pete Quinn then this CD might be your only chance at the moment, unless they are on Eastenders again. I recommend you take your chance.
The Irish World
You might already be big fans of The London Lasses. You may even have seen Karen Ryan and company letting their hair down at The Return to Camden festival, or witnessed their rip-roaring set at Glastonbury.
If so, you won't need any convincing about the musical prowess of their third album, 'Enchanted Lady'. If you've been living in Outer Mongolia for the past six years and don't know of them, then you'll have to trust me on this one.
One of the most talented, vital traditional groups to come out of the London-Irish music revival, The London Lasses are what they say they are, five women from London, all with Irish roots. Pete Quinn is the sole male in the lineup, providing sturdy and versatile piano backing. As their latest offering confirms, The London Lasses still offer their straight-down-the-line traditional music, no messing around.
But they stand out from the crowd because they play it with a modern touch.
Their vibrancy of arrangement and the pure sonic energy of twin fiddles, flute and accordion bring old tunes back to life, set off beautifully by the graceful, restrained vocals of Kathleen O'Sullivan (hear Cailin Rua). Enchanted ladies and gentlemen you will be, once this album reaches your weary little ears. Shelley Marsden
When need or ambition inspired the Irish to find new worlds, they took their music with them. As a consequence, wherever folk music is played and sung in the English-speaking world, recent emigrants or descendants of old ones are to be found holding the fiddles, singing the maudlin ballads and belting out the choruses.
The five-strong London Lasses, all but one of Irish background but not birth, belong to this tradition. Like the best of the transatlantic variety, exemplified by the exceptional Cherish the Ladies, they have built a reputation for standards of musicianship that sit nobly alongside those of the homespun bands.
With a token male, Pete Quinn, of Liverpool Irish stock, on piano, keyboards and the ubiquitous goatskin drum or bodhrán, they play with much finesse without missing the trick of generating the informality and excitement of pub sessions.
Dotted among the reels, hornpipes and jigs are songs by Kathleen O'Sullivan with a texture that occasionally recalls the Bothy Band's Triona Ni Dhomhnaill. Irish music in London has moved on some way from the impassioned but raw, scratchy days of Paddy in the Smoke. Colin Randall
Irish Music Magazine, July 07
Officially, this album is the third album by The London Lasses And Pete Quinn: maybe they needed a token man, or they couldn't find a female keyboards player, but either way this group of five Irish emigrées is backed by a boy who's among the best in the business. Now we've sorted that out, I'll just call them the London Lasses. In four songs and eight instrumentals, Enchanted Lady provides a well-balanced helping of first-class Irish music. Lyrical reels like The Barr Road and Green Grow the Rushes (from the Burns song), cracking jigs like The Coming of Spring and Peadar Ó Ríada's Spóirt, together with a sprinkling of slower tunes: all are delivered with depth and feeling. The gutsy flute of Dee Havlin lashes into The Humours of Castlefin, Maureen Linane's button box bleeds and sighs for My Ballingarry Lady and Rocking the Cradle, and twin fiddling strikes sparks from The Walls of Liscarroll as Karen Ryan and Elaine Conwell ply their bows. A touch of banjo, a touch of whistle, and that man on the ivories supplies the foundation for a fabulous sound.
Kathleen O'Sullivan kicks her heels for eight tracks, but gives us a good mix of songs in her four solo spots. Cailín Rua is an old chestnut tastily roasted here. The Green Fields of Canada is also well known, and gets a mammoth six-minute arrangement from The London Lasses. The Mickey Dam and The Maid from Maraclune are less familiar, but Kathleen's renditions make them memorable. Her voice is full of fighting passion on The Mickey Dam, and there's a full showband arrangement to back it up. The air from The Rocks of Bawn visits Maraclune for the usual sad story of untrue love, from which Kathleen wrings every ounce of pathos. The title track is not a song, nor another reference to Pete Quinn as I first thought, but a striking brash and bubbly reel which nicely sums up this album. Alex Monaghan
Since the release of their debut album in 2000, this acclaimed Irish six-piece have appeared at some of the world's most prestigious festivals and concert halls (Cambridge Folk Festival, Glastonbury, Philadelphia Irish Festival). Widely regarded as one of the finest acts on the traditional Irish/folk scene, the group plays a mostly traditional repertoire that is reflected in this new album. Enchanted Lady features a host of lively reels, bursting with life, along with intricately arranged jigs and captivating songs. Highlights include Cailín Rua (beautifully sung by Kathleen O'Sullivan), the plaintive Green Fields Of Canada, the irresistible Hornpipe And Reels (Lad O'beirne's Hornpipe; Joe Madden's; Mick O'connor's Choice), and the wistful Slow Air: Rocking The Cradle (featuring Maureen Linane). The London Lasses are five London-based women of Irish heritage: Karen Ryan (fiddle, whistle, mandola, banjo), Elaine Conwell (fiddle), Dee Havlin (flute, whistle), Maureen Linane (accordion), Kathleen O'Sullivan (vocal). Together with pianist Pete Quinn they bring fresh life and assured musicianship to the immortal Irish tradition. Look out too for the group's previous albums: LONDON LASSES & PETE QUINN (LL001) and TRACK ACROSS THE DEEP (LL002).
The Folk Diary
Here is another very fine collection from this very fine bunch of second generation London Irish. They offer great variety amongst their seven sets
of tunes and four songs. The tunes are played in a fine ensemble manner with the fiddle of Elaine Conwell and the punchy box playing of Maureen Linane to the fore and a nice sense of pace in whatever rhythm they chose - and the firm adventurous piano accompaniments from Pete are a great asset here. There is a waltz, there are hornpipes, jigs and reels and a polka to round off one of the songs which brings us to the inspiring voice of Kathleen O'Sullivan. Her four songs also show versatility as she switches from the light and humorous "Mickey Dam" to one of the most demanding of Irish songs in English, "The Green Fields of Canada". Her singing is fine and balanced with excellent diction and the emotional range to do justice to these very different pieces. Vic Smith
The London Lasses are presisely as their name suggests, five women of Irish heritage living in London. The group, Karen Ryan (fiddle, whistle), Elaine Conwell (fiddle), Dee Havlin (flute, whistle), Maureen Linane (accordion), Kathleen OíSullivan (vocal) and Pete Quinn (piano) have compiled this traditional album. Thankfullythough it does not consist of the same tunes you so often hear on the majority of trad albums.
Their sound will not appeal to everyone but nomatter who you are you will appreciate the extraordinary energy and vitality of the album. There is an incrediblearray of sounds from the reel, to a slow air and on to a gig. Its variety is guaranteed to keep you rivetted for the entire 55mins.
Each member of the group gets a chance to shine and shine they do. This will leave you indeed enchanted! It is thoroughly entertaining and a fresh approachto an old fashioned style of music.