Thursday, 16 July 2009


…de Isle of Man Today:

Five-piece contemporary Celtic band Skeeal will be launching their new CD with a gig at the Masonic Hall in Peel next Friday (July 24).

Slipway is their second release – their debut, Long Story, came out in 2005.The group consists of Sophia Dale (lead vocals), Phil Gawne MHK (lead vocals), Breesha Maddrell (flutes), Simone Rogers (flutes/whistles/vocals) and Paul Rogers (guitar, mandolin)….

… Lead vocalist Sophia is originally from Australia. She grew up listening to an eclectic range of music, singing classical, folk, jazz, punk and just about everything in between.

In her 20s she realised that traditional music really was the heart of her inspiration. She worked with various music groups, performing her own songs as well as traditional material, and was co-founder of An t-Eilean Mòr, a Scottish Gaelic singing ensemble. In 1997 she moved to Scotland to pursue her passion for Gaelic song. …

….Norman Chalmers, writing in Scotland on Sunday, said about the band: 'This contemporary folk group is unusual on two counts: they sing in the Manx language (also Gaelic and English) and the instrumental melodic lead is taken by woodwind, with nary a fiddle in sight.
…Phil has been a member of Tynwald for six years and has served as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry for the past four years.Prior to this he worked as Manx language development officer and is the driving force behind Mooinjer Veggey, the Manx Gaelic education organisation…
..Paul is a Welsh speaker and on moving to the Isle of Man became a fluent speaker of Manx Gaelic.His day job sees him teaching at Bunscoill Ghaelgagh, the Manx language school. Paul and Simone formed various groups which evolved into the current Skeeal line-up.

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