Musicians keep spirit of The Dubliners alive

Dublin Legends
Dublin Legends

The Dublin Legends bring to Burgess Hill’s Martlets Hall the spirit and the music of The Dubliners, of which they were once members (Saturday, March 8).

They line up with Sean Cannon, Eamonn Campbell, Patsy Watchorn and Gerry O’Connor.

Sean and Eamonn were members of The Dubliners for close to 30 years while Patsy joined The Dubs ten years ago.

The current band is the next step.

In 2012 The Dubliners celebrated 50 years in the music business by receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and rapidly followed it up with a sell-out UK concert tour, the highlight of which was a magical night at The Royal Albert Hall in London.

Sadly, however, they suffered a body blow with the sudden and tragic death of founding member “Banjo” Barney McKenna.

As Sean Cannon explains: “The rest of us decided to honour our commitments to the tour. We had gigs outstanding.”

But then it was a question of deciding where to take the band. John Sheahan, after 48 years on the road, decided it was time to step off the tour bus.

“It was agreed that The Dubliners, as a touring band, would come to an end. The Dublin Legends were born.

“We had a little conference, and John wanted to call it a day, but we wanted to keep going. It’s a way of life.

“We are still able to do it, and we are still in reasonable health.

“We thought we would have a go, and we have done it for a year. It’s different.

“I was 30 years in the band, and to all intents and purposes we were all Dubliners members, and that’s the reason we are carrying on without the Dubliners name.

“We are the Dublin Legends. The repertoire and approach are similar, but not quite the same. We are doing more different types of music, as well as keeping to the Irish music.”