Belfast Telegraph

NI band who scored hit with Ed Sheeran promise fans night to remember at biggest Belfast concert yet

Trad band Beoga
Trad band Beoga
Ed Sheeran

By David O'Dornan

Northern Irish band Beoga have big ambitions to build on their collaborative success with megastar Ed Sheeran on his hit songs Galway Girl and Nancy Mulligan - with Bruce Springsteen next in their sights.

The traditional music group play their biggest Belfast gig tonight in the Ulster Hall and have promised to surprise fans with some special guests.

As well as Ed, they have collaborated with local talents such as Foy Vance, Ryan McMullan and Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid, so there's every chance one of them will be joining them on stage - but it is The Boss who is top of their wishlist of people they want to work with.

Bodhran player Eamon Murray (33), from Toomebridge, said: "If Bruce Springsteen wants to make a record, we're all ears.

"I'd love just 10 minutes to bend Springsteen's ear.

"We'll see - we live in hope. If we get him with the right amount of drink in him, he might commit to something.

"The last couple of years we've access to people that we mightn't have had, so it was nice to have that opportunity.

"Foy and Johnny McDaid really brought us into the fold. We've been writing with people constantly. It's nice to have the endorsement of those people.

"Ed Sheeran came through Foy. They write a lot together and Foy vouched for us. Foy's a good man to know."

Since forming 17 years ago, the band - comprising Damian McKee on accordion, multi-instrumentalist Sean Og Graham, pianist Liam Bradley and singer and fiddle player Niamh Dunne - have recorded five studio albums and one live album.

They regularly tour across Europe and America and performed at Glastonbury in 2017. They see tonight's show as a platform to continue their success in the new year.

"The Ulster Hall's a big moment for us. We want to build on that, keep touring and writing and bring out another record in late 2020," said Eamon. "Glastonbury was a big one. Your brain can't really figure out what 200,000 people looks like. Even when you're looking at it, it's pretty surreal.

"It was great and a great opportunity, for sure. We loved it. We milked it for what it was worth!"

Their latest release is the single Make A Mark, which they wrote with Portaferry's Ryan McMullan, who performed at Glastonbury this year.

Eamon said the local music scene had never been healthier.

"I think we're living in a more open-minded North now than there's ever been," he added.

"There's a lot of that going on in the North and we feel there's a good energy and a good positivity for everybody to keep staying on course.

"Everybody's got a focus and it doesn't do any harm for the likes of Snow Patrol to get a bit of success because it's all boats on a rising tide."

Beoga and guests play the Ulster Hall in Belfast tonight from 7pm. Tickets available from Ticketmaster outlets, waterfront.co.uk and from the Ulster Hall box office.

Belfast Telegraph

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