The London Lasses & Chris O'Malley
The One I Loved So Well
The London Lasses and Chris O'Malley are
Karen Ryan (fiddle, mandola, banjo, whistle)
Elma McElligott (flute, saxophone, whistle, backing vocal)
Elaine Conwell (fiddle)
Brogan McAuliffe (concertina)
Brona McVittie (vocal/ harp)
Chris O'Malley (keys, guitar)
Special Guest Artists:
Maureen Linane (accordion on tracks 1, 3, 8 and 13)
Aileen Geoghegan (accordion, flute on tracks 5, 6, 9, 10, 12 14)
Colm McGonigle (harp on tracks 1, 2, 4, 11, 15)
Copperplate is delighted to launch the 5th CD, by The London Lasses & Chris O'Malley. Described by Irish Music Magazine as “ one of the best bands on the scene today ”, the traditional Irish group The London Lasses have released four critically acclaimed albums with pianist, Pete Quinn. The band is about to release their 5th album with pianist/guitarist Chris O'Malley. Also newly into the fold is concertina player Brogan McAuliffe. The new CD – featuring guests musicians Colm McGonigle (harp), Maureen Linane (accordion) and Aibhilín Nic Eochagáin (accordion, flute, backing vocals)
By Night & By Day (2010) :: “Get this spectacular piece of musical, trad business. Marvelous” Irish American News
Enchanted Lady (2007) :: “a well-balanced helping of first-class Irish music” Irish Music Magazine
Track Across the Deep (2003) :: “The London Lasses and Pete Quinn's emergence is vitally important, acknowledging a forgotten voice in Irish music and rebirthing it magnificently” fRoots
The London Lasses and Pete Quinn (2000) :: “One of the most remarkable releases of 2000…a fabulously vibrant debut”
The Rough Guide to Irish Music
The London Lasses have toured Germany with the St Patrick's Day Celebration Festival, performed the first ever ceilidh in the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms, and played at Ireland's longest running folk festival, Ballyshannon. They have brought their unique sound to some of the world's most prestigious festivals and concert halls including Cambridge Folk Festival, the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Glastonbury, Philadelphia Irish Festival and Sidmouth International Festival.
Recent highlights include headlining at Dublin City Hall as part of Temple Bar Trad Festival's celebration of The Gathering , closing the night after Camille O'Sullivan's performance at the St Patrick's Day Festival in Camden's iconic Roundhouse, appearing on BBC Radio 3's In Tune , supporting The Chieftains on their 50th Anniversary Tour appearance at the Royal Albert Hall, plus opening and closing TG4's Christmas edition of the TV programme Féilte . In addition to featuring on ARC Music's double CD ‘ The Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk ' (2014) and the 3-CD box set Beginner's Guide to Ireland (Nascente, 2005), the band has appeared on UK and Irish TV including Backstage (BBC Choice), Ardán and Geantraí (TG4), plus a memorable turn on EastEnders (BBC1).' To find out more about the band, hear their music or buy their CDs.
"This album captures the London Lasses at their brilliant best. The music is fresh and exciting with a lot of heart and rhythm that makes you want to dance' Mary MacNamara (Macalla)
‘The One I Loved the Best, is music played by great musicians at the peak of their art, with passion, verve and integrity. Molaim go deo sibh, Karen agus na London Lasses le Chris O'Malley' Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (Altan)
‘The London Lasses' repertoire and style on this recording references many of the most essential touchstone elements in the tradition and presents a comprehensive picture of Irish music that is masterfully delivered with polish, and without compromise.' Martin Hayes (The Gloaming)
‘Congratulations to the London Lasses! A formidable and talented group of musicians. This is their fifth album of traditional Irish music, expressed in their own inimitable style! A well researched selection of music and song, some old and some new exciting material. This album will please existing fans and attract many new followers.' Matt Molloy (The Chieftains)
Track 1: The Flower of Sweet Strabane
Track 2: Scatter The Mud/Courtown Harbour/The Holly Bush
Track 3: The Mother an Child/The Shoemaker's Daughter
Track1 Fairwell to Cailroe/The Berehaven/Paddy Fahy's
Criocha na nAlban/The Red Haire Girl/Humours of Ballymanus
The Flying Wheelchair/Inis Bearachain/M and M
Gan Ainm/Where Is The Cat?/Pa Keane's
The Victory/Humours of Tulla
The Flower of Sweet Strabane
Tom McElvogue's/Port a Bhand/Mick Cooney's Fancy/Paidin O'Raifeartaigh.
Phyllis' Birthday/The Ashplant/The Silver Strand
Slieve Gallion Braes
Waltz for Aly/Belle Mere's Waltz/Anniversary Waltz
Scatter The Mu/Courtown Harbour/The Holly Bush
Caoineah na Tri Mhuire
Larry Mick McGarry/Ned Coleman's
Mother an Chil/The Shoemaker's Daughter/The Millener's Daughter.
The Irish Music Magazine Aug 16
A fifth album from those London Irish favourites brings some line-up changes but no great shift in their sound or approach. Box-player and founder Maureen Linane bows out in favour of young concertina star Brogan McAuliffe, introducing a new generation to the band but keeping the crisp traditional tunes pumping out. Unsung-and unsinging —pianist Pete Quinn also steps aside, to be replaced by Chris O'Malley on keys and guitar, which does slightly change the feel of the music, moving the more modern touches from West Coast jazz to East Coast blues perhaps. Be that as it may, the London Lasses still focus on “pure drop" tunes, many with a London connection, sprinkled with songs in English and Irish.
Starting oil with two reels by the late Finbarr Dwyer, a superb box-player and composer who spent a lot of time in London, the instrumental tracks include compositions by Brian Rooney, Tom McElvogue, Ed Reavy, Charlie Lennon, and Johnny Og Connolly. Cn‘ocha na hAlban, Pa Keanes, Scatter the Mud. TheAshplant and The Milliners Daughter are from the old heart of the Irish tradition, familiar and finely played.
One of the strengths of The London Lasses is their ability to vary the instrumental line-up, and this is aided here by guests on button box, ﬂute and harp. Switching between fiddles, ﬂutes and free reeds, and adding banjo and saxophone on a couple of tracks, allows them to embrace several different styles of Irish music.
Brona McVittie’s vocals also range across a broad gamut of material, from the well-known Slieve Gallion Braes to the more local Flower of Sweet Strabane. McVIttie has shown a taste for earthy lyrics in the past, but her choice on this CD really takes the biscuit: she delivers Dainty Davie, one of Robert Burns’ bawdiest ballads, in seductive Ulster tones, leaving the audience in no doubt as to the meaning of these salacious 18th century Scots words. The final song here is a traditional keening, Caoineadh na dTrIMhuire, with backing from the Lasses.
One of my favourite tracks, and one of the ones inﬂuenced by Mr O'Malley, is a setof three relatively new waltzes: Waltz for AIy and Belle Mere's Waltz by Scottish piano box wizard Phil Cunningham, and the more recognisably Irish Tom’s Anniversary Waltz by Clare button box babe Josephine Marsh. I also particularly enjoyed the saxophone and banjo recreations of the early 20th century Irish dance band sound, similar to music by At the Racket: there are two tracks where Elma McElligott and Karen Ryan switch to sax and banjo here, and I loved them both - but l'm not sure which was The One l Loved the Best. Get this album and make your own choice. Alex Monaghan
The Living Tradition Magazine June/July 16
THE LONDON LASSES with CHRIS O’MALLEY: The One l Loved The Best LolaRecords LLOO6
The London Lasses have been producing good quality music from the London Irish scene for 15 now, and in many ways are synonymous with that scene. This is their fifth album and, yet again, they have produced just over an hour’s worth of lrish music and song to be proud of.
Since their last album, 2010's By Night and By Day, there have been a couple of line-up changes: young Brogan McAuliffe’s concertina replaces Maureen Linane's accordion (though Maureen drops in for a guest slot), and Pete Quinn is replaced on the piano by Chris O'Malley who also plays guitar (which adds a different dimension to the band sound at times, though it is still very recognisably The London Lasses.
There's a nice selection of tunes on this recording: many traditional and many from the great and the good of lrish music including Finbarr Dwyer, Charlie Lennon, Joe Liddy, Nollaig Casey and Ed Reavy. As one would expect, the playing is impeccable throughout, though sometimes the choral accompaniment is a bit too heavy for my liking, and can distract from the tune, and I am not altogether sure about the inclusion of the saxophone on some of the tracks.
There are four songs, including one in Irish, all sung in Brona McVittie’s distinctive, slightly ethereal, County Down accent (which makes for interesting listening when she sings Robbie Burns' Dainty Davie). Her version of Flower of Sweet Strabane is lovely.
So, another quality instalment from these Lasses of London-fine musicianship all round, though for some reason it doesn't excite me quite as much as some of their previous releases. Michael White
www.fatea.co.uk web site
Over a ten-year period up to 2010, those doyens of the international circuit (and of course the Return To Camden festival) The London Lasses have given us four scintillating albums of traditional Irish music, all in collaboration with pianist Pete Quinn. Things have moved on a bit over the past five years, and the Lasses' latest album release sees them joined instead by Leeds pianist/guitarist Chris O'Malley. What hasn't changed, though, is the essential character of their music-making, which remains as exciting and full of companionable joie-de-vivre as ever.
The collective band sound is commendably full-toned and detailed, with both ensemble richness and responsive interplay between the instrumental colours being strong features of their music. The lineup sports a slightly unusual complement, with the Lasses between them playing fiddles (Karen Ryan and Elaine Conwell), flute/whistle (Elma McElligott), concertina (Brogan McAuliffe) and harp (Brona McVittie), with Karen and Elma doubling on mandola/banjo and saxophone respectively. It's an invigorating blend, to be sure, and their already superbly infectious and spirited musicianship scores even higher on the excitement scale when augmented at various points by guest musicians (accordionists Maureen Linane Hankins and Aileen Geoghegan, and harpist Colm McGonigle) they really do raise the roof (and lower the floor!).
The multifarious tune-sets are interspersed with just four songs, on which the lead vocal duties are more than competently handled by Brona (with Elma on backup); Slieve Gallion Braes is refreshingly done to a brisk jig rhythm, the lament Caoineadh na dTri Mhuire is delicately voiced and the Burns lyric to Dainty Davie is charmingly handled (although this latter song maybe doesn't quite fit in with the band's core Irish repertoire). Pleasingly though the songs are managed, though, they remain as but interludes in the scheme of things, simply because so much of the disc's tune repertoire is enterprisingly unusual and relatively little known. Particularly enjoyable are the fun slide, hop jig and polka set (track 5), the slip-jig set at track 2, the track 12 set with its joyous twin-fiddle excursion on the central jig (Courtown Harbour), and the finely pointed closing set of reels. And there's plenty of variety in texture and instrumentation within the enviably fulsome ensemble sound of the Lasses, with departures into diverse territories like the sax-driven Percy French barndance-and-jig set and the Victory reel (both recalling the cheeky adventures of At The Racket). There are a couple of occasions when Chris's full-bodied piano underpinning comes across a touch unrelieved and almost threatens to dominate proceedings, but the sheer force of combined musical intervention and careful blending from the Lasses themselves invariably wins out. And when Chris turns to the guitar, the group chemistry proves just as persuasive.
All of which goes to show that this isn't just another album of Irish tunes, but so much more - a joyful celebration of a group of musicians thoroughly at home with their talent and eager to give their listeners an equally good time. David Kidman
Chicago Irish News.
Next up is The One I Loved the Best by The London Lasses and Chris O'Malley. We have often told you that The London Lasses, by themselves, are the best female trad group in the music. In fact, Lasses' fiddler, Karen Ryan, is a former Female Musician of the Year in this paper's Top TIR Awards. As usual, The Lasses are presenting real depth and texture in the 15 selections featured in this album. The One I Love the Best will vault these musicians into the spotlight once again with a renewed focus and vigor. As usual, The London Lasses have brought a winner. Billl Margeson