PLAYERS GONNA PLAY

How Ireland’s new session supergroup were born out of a drag night on the town…

The mighty Moving Hearts formed when Donal Lunny and Christy Moore wondered how their old band, Planxty, would sound mixed up with a little contemporary jazz.

With The Gloaming, it was largely the restless Martin Hayes getting into leaba with Afro Celt Sound System’s Iarla Ó Lionáird, whilst The Incredible E.G. O’Reilly saw The Dubliners team up with Terrence Trent D’Arby whilst the latter spent a few very, very stoned months hiding away from sudden fame in shadowy Ireland.

For the county’s latest supergroup, the meeting of The Café Orchestra guitarist Drazen Derek, acclaimed baritone Simon Morgan, world-renowned saxophonist Richie Buckley, much-loved keyboardist Myles Drennan and the globe-trotting piano accordianist Nigel Linden was a little, let’s say, off-menu.

The various musicians were at the Creative Connections festival in Sitges, Barcelona, as some of Ireland’s finest jammed with some of Spain’s. In the mix was The Dubliners’ John Sheahan, and he would soon become a champion of the new Irish group that would emerge out of one very drunken night. The man had been here before.

Turns out there was a neighbouring gay festival also kicking off that very same Barcelona night, and, being musicians, Derek, Morgan, Buckley and the rest of the gang decided dressing up in drag might just take this already giddy gathering of top musicians that little bit higher.

Which, of course, it did. And a beautiful band of gypsies was born, the five high-flying Irish session musicians settling on the name Stolen Chicken.

With their debut album just about completed – an album that features the very last performances of Café Orchestra co-founder, Patrick Collins – Stolen Chicken are also about to make their official live debut at The Whale on Saturday 1st February.

Let’s just saying it’s going to be one hell of a coming out party…

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