Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Spectacular end to a wonderful week

IT was much-hyped – but the All Ireland Fleadh's five-hour finale lived up to the highest of expectations and reached a climatic finish in spectacular style.

Thousands of music fans flocked to Ebrington Square keen to cling on to the carnival atmosphere that has enveloped Derry for the week-long celebrations.

The open-air festivities transformed the old army barracks into a seaside town in summer with stalls aplenty, painstaking portaloo queues and children dancing. The evening began with a range of music onstage, bands putting their personal spin on traditional tunes.

Credited for their large part in the Celtic musical revival, the Battlefield Band quickly grabbed the crowd's attention, with their unique and unmistakably experimental Scottish sound.

Playing a range of age-old traditional tunes with a blend of their own self-penned contemporary tracks, the ever changing quartet line-up had an onstage energy that was infectious. Despite the intermittent drizzle, the party atmosphere and buzzing ambience of the crowd lingered long the darkness descended.

Seeing the fleadh off in style, the astounding antics of Fidget Feet-Free Birds put on an out of this world performance.

The skyline took centre stage as the circus-style spectacle put on a soaring traditional music and dance extravaganza.

The only downside was that it was a ticket-only event, and while they were free, unfortunately some fans were left disappointed.

But all in all, this was an absolutely fleadh-bulous finish to the week.

FIONNUALA O'KANE

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