FolkWorld Live Review by Walkin' T:-)M, August 2005:

Every Branch of the Celtic tribe
Tønder Festival, 25.-28. August 2005

A soft rain, the Celts say. Heavy rainfall for the rest of us. But the Danish people, being the descendants of sturdy Viking seafarers, came prepared with wellingtons and rain coats. So the Tønder circle is unbroken in its 31st edition. Great music and entertainment anyway. Here's some impressions.

Ceilidh Castors

Tønder means Celtic music above all. But from every branch of the Celtic tribe. There are traditional bands and those putting contemporary elements into the music. The festival ceilidh at Sunday afternoon brings it all together. All together on stage, young and old. Up and coming such as Teada (-> FW#29) and Grada (-> FW#30), led by Ron Kavana (-> FW#13), the bravest of them all.

Right: La Volee d'Castors play reel after reel and the accordion player is stepdancing at the same time. That makes it hard to remain seated. The band from Quebec has a Tønder career that led from the smaller stages into the big festival tent.

Circle Saw Doctors

Clashing worlds: the songwriters circle displays a timeless art, armed only with voice and acoustic guitar. Great artists they are. On the picture you can see - or guess - singer-songwriter David Francey (-> FW#30) at work, the next big thing from Canada. However, there was more, e.g. Dougie MacLean and Tim O'Brien (-> FW#11).

Some are rocking the tradition. Take Capercaillie (-> FW#24, FW#29) and Mike McGoldrick (-> FW#13) as an example. Have you ever been treated to jigs and reels played on a trumpet? Here we are eventually. Others stick to their own peculiar brand of rock'n' roll, The Saw Doctors (-> FW#29). Always been at their best on stage in front of their audience, the boys from Tuam are one of the few needles in the hay wrap. Their blade haven't got rusty yet.

Andy Irvine Mozaik

Old time music is better than it sounds, bluegrass music sounds better than it is, says New York fiddler Bruce Molsky. Under the watchful eyes of Andy Irvine (-> FW#23), he plays side by side with Donal Lunny, Rens van der Zalm and Nikola Parov (-> FW#21). Mozaik (-> FW#30) is a powerhouse of a band that mixes Irish and American folk music, songs and tunes from Andy's solo career and Planxty standards (-> FW#30), Andy's flirtation with eastern European, plus throwing in American fiddle tunes for good measure. And it works perfectly well.

So what? You've never been to Tønder? See you next year!

Festival Homepage:

Tønder Festivals at FolkWorld: 2004a, 2004b, 2003a, 2003b, 2003c, 2002a, 2002b, 2002c, 2001a, 2001b, 2000, 1999a, 1999b, 1998

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