The Antigel Festival really took us by surprise by bringing the Ye Vagabonds!
When Eric Linder pronounced the name of the band Ye Vagabonds during the press conference of the Antigel Festival, my head started spinning but I could only recall a blurred sound of the band. I wasn’t able quite yet to recall their music. The names of other artists followed, taking me some place else for the time being.
It was only once I left the conference, on my way back home that I had an epiphany: Ye Vagabonds, Ireland, Dublin, Pubs, Glen Hansard. They started playing in the streets of their hometown Carlow before reaching the Irish capital where they became popular during some pub’s concerts. And then, they had the honour to perform the opening act Glen Hansard’s concerts, a star that keeps shining in the sky of my music influences.
The two brothers, Brian and Diarmaid Mac Gloin, were raised with the traditional music of their country and they both master the vocal harmony and their instruments. Their compositions bring a contemporary touch to haunting folk ballads from the past century… haunted but never forgotten. They will allow you to travel across the centuries with a cover song of Willie O Windsbury, a ballad from the 18th century about the return of a king who was imprisoned in a Spanish jail. Upon his return, he found his daughter carrying a child of a stranger and summoned his troops to find him and to hang him to death. Once the stranger was caught, he introduced himself to the king and the king felt under his spell.
As for the song “Barbara Ellen”, it is much older and is the story of a man named William who lies on his death bed. He asks for the women he loves to be found in order to share his last moment on earth. Barbara shows up and doesn’t really seem to care. But when William dies, she repents and lets herself die the day after so that she can be buried next to him.
A rose flower grew on William’s grave.
A briair grew on Barbara’s grave.
PS: which is why the first title of the two brother’s first EP was called “Rose & Briar”
Photography © Arbutus Yarns
Sunday, January 31st at 5pm (doors open at 4.30pm)
Webster University, Route de Collex 15, 1293 Bellevue
Book your tickets online