Belfast Telegraph

Q&A: The Rapparees prepare for their headline Lough Lively Session

Belfast-based folk band The Rapparees are the latest local act to headline a Lough Lively Session in Portaferry this weekend.

The five-piece will take to the stage at Portico in the town on Friday, October 20.

Ahead of the live show, fiddle and whistles player Kevin Mawdsley indulged the Belfast Telegraph in a quick Q&A:

What can audiences expect from your Lough Lively Sessions gig?

A full blooded performance from a band which has missed playing to audiences at home here in Northern Ireland. 

We have mainly been plying our trade across Europe for the last few years and with the return of our charismatic front man Gerard McNeill to Belfast, we are ready to make a statement with all new album material, and hopefully kick start a series of gigs across Ireland, starting in Portico.

How would you describe your particular style of music?

The Raps are quintessentially an old style ballad group, in the mould of the Dubliners or the Clancy's. 

You'll get rousing ballads and foot stumping choruses, served up with lashings of fiddle, banjo and intricate vocal harmonies.

Who is your favourite NI musician/artist?

That's a toughy, can't pick just one. We love Beoga they are at the absolute cutting edge of Irish music. Barry Kerr and Paul Brady for immense song writing. And you can't beat Van the Man.

Which band or musician do you think everyone should see live?

Lau are a folk trio made up of three virtuosos that combine to make one unstoppable force of inspiring tune arrangements and great songs, their live performances are always edgy and brave.

What is the best and the worst thing about touring?

Best is the new audiences that are excited by your music.

Worst is the hangovers.

If you had to listen to one song on repeat for 24 hours what would it be?

Angel Of The Night by The Steeldrivers

Which of your gigs have been most memorable and why?

On the big stage at the Paleo Festival in Switzerland. The festival had a special emphasis on Irish music last year and we got the call. We were sandwiched between the Lumineers and Muse.

Would you ever admit to having a favourite member of One Direction?

Harry Styles, sure isn't he the one that's the best craic.

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