Irish rockers coming to Bahrain for St. Patrick's Day 2014
Time Out Bahrain staff
Who are the Woodbines? In true Cilla fashion, what are you names, ages, where are from, what do you all play, inside leg measurements? OK just joking on that last one. The Woodbines are a five-piece Celtic rock band based in Offaly in Ireland. We are Joe Flynn (40) on vocals/guitar, from Ballycumber, Offaly, John Brady (44) on flute/whistles/accordion, from Killeigh, Offaly, Ger Gallagher (49) on fiddle/electric guitar, from Loughrea, Galway, John Jackson (43) on drums, from Mullingar, Westmeath, and me, from Tullamore, Offaly, on bass guitar. Both myself and John have birthdays on St Patrick’s Day, I’ll be 44.
How long have you been together and how did you get together? The band has been touring together since 2007. We’ve all known each other for years with each of us playing music together in various bands and genres. The band was born out of a desire to try something different. To try and marry and merge different genres together with a common theme...trad music. We have taken classics from Guns N Roses, Violent Femmes, ACDC and modern era like Beyoncé, Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk while remaining true to the Irish bands like Stockton’s Wing, Moving Hearts, The Chieftans and the Dubliners as well as reviving ancient trad tunes and fusing them with a modern feel. We have cultured the craft and have been able to wow audiences everywhere.
Where did the name come from? The name, well everyone associates it with the famous brand of cigarettes of the same name but after much deliberation, arguing and mugs of tea we decided on a name that would reflect the rustic element of what the band were about and where we are based. Woodbines are a wild flower which is mentioned in ‘The Offaly Rover’ where the band is from.
What sort of music do you play and what are your favourites? The Woodbines combine Irish traditional music with rock and pop music to give their own unique sound. Blending music like Madness, The White Stripes, Violent Femmes, The J Geils Band, AC/DC etc with traditional Irish music and instruments, makes the band a very exciting live outfit.
The five band members have played and toured with some of Ireland’s top acts. Blending some top rock musicians with some of Ireland’s premier trad musicians is what makes The Woodbines stand out from the crowd.
When did you first visit Bahrain and how did that come about? The band has toured in the Middle East for the last two years, playing sold-out shows in Bahrain each year, this will be The Woodbines’ third visit to the island. Each year the crowds get bigger and better. The band also regularly plays the festival circuit in Ireland and is much in demand all over the country.
We were first invited to play in Bahrain after being spotted by an agent at a gig in Ireland. We jumped at the chance to come and play in Bahrain, we find it to be a very welcoming place and enjoy visiting every year.
We have some wonderful memories from our last few visits. We got to see more of the island last year and enjoyed immersing ourselves in the local culture. We tell everyone back home how much we enjoy the island and have become unofficial tourist ambassadors for Bahrain.
What can your audience expect this time around, will there be any surprises? We have a whole new set lined up for this year’s tour, putting our own unique twist on some old classics and rocking up some old Irish traditional music. This is a show not to be missed, we look forward to renewing acquaintances with all our friends on the island. See you at JJ’s on the 17th.