The story of Irish music in London, as researched and retold by social historian Dr. Reg Hall, starts as far back as the 1800s, with Irish emigrants who left home at the time of the Famine bringing their music and dance to this city, holding a strong presence during the music hall era. Post war emigration from the 1940s onwards saw tens of thousands of Irish emigrants settle in London, helping to rebuild the city, bringing their rural Irish cultural traditions of the time. This community started the first traditional Irish pub sessions in London – a phenomenon which has since spread globally. Regional musical styles from all over Ireland, met for the first time here. Reg has meticulously documented the activities of fellow musicians on this internationally renowned Irish music scene in London, completing his PhD in 1994, collating and releasing numerous archive music recordings on Topic Records label, including the seminal collection Paddy in the Smoke and two triple CD collections released in 2016.
In this London Unwrapped event, Reg will share his wonderful insight with you during an illustrated talk – his passion for the subject matter is infectious.
The second half of this evening’s event will feature musicians who are the legacy of this legendary scene, second generation Irish players who are now key members of the Irish session scene in London, and teachers of succeeding generations. Collectively known as The Auld Triangle Céilí Band (named after a Finsbury Park pub which hosted music sessions for almost 30 years).
This event is collaboratively hosted with ‘Irish Music and Dance in London’ (IMDL).