STOCKTONS WING CELEBRATE 40 YEARS TOGETHER WITH SUMMER CONCERTS ACROSS IRELAND
1977 to 2017 – featuring long-term members Mike Hanrahan, Steve Cooney, Paul Roche, Tommy Hayes with Tara Breen & Karol Lynch
“eclectic, electric, passionate, personal, innovative and powerful” New York Times
Shared the stage with Michael Jackson & Sammy Davis Jnr
‘Beautiful Affair’ – named top 75 songs in the history of RTE radio & voted by Today FM listeners No. 7 in top 20 all-time best Irish songs
Released 12 albums over 40-year career including several top ten singles
After a very successful run of gigs at The Temple Bar TradFest 2016 and a headline show at the Fleadh in Ennis, STOCKTONS WING, one of Ireland’s most prolific and enduring bands, will celebrate their extraordinary 40-year career as they know best – onstage at a series of summer shows! Featuring regular members – Mike Hanrahan (vocals & guitar), Paul Roche (flute & tin whistle), Steve Cooney (guitar, bass & didgeridoo) and Tommy Hayes (percussion, bodhran, spoons) – the band will be completed by two young Clare musicians Tara Breen (fiddle) and Karol Lynch (banjo/mandolin). Fans will be treated to a back catalogue of hits including much loved classic ‘Beautiful Affair’ – voted one of the Top 75 songs in the history of RTE radio and chosen by Today FM listeners as number 7 in their Top 20 poll of Irish songs. Watch Stocktons Wing perform ‘Beautiful Affair’ live on RTE’s Late Late Show last year https://youtu.be/JabLIhdNNck
Mike Hanrahan has been at the helm of the band at various stages over the last 40 years “I am so delighted to be back with Stocktons Wing playing the music that shaped my earlier life and career. We were adventurers in every sense – with no boundaries and no pressures. We created a new innovative sound and our gigs were always happy and energetic occasions”. Of the current line up, he says “It’s so good to be back on stage with Steve, Tommy and Paul again. We are missing two of the originals but I’m thrilled to have new blood – Tara Breen on fiddle and Karol Lynch on banjo. Two young Clare musicians steeped in the music of Stocktons Wing. A Wing gig is a special event and this time we are not trying to take over the world, just simply enjoying a moment, shining a light on the back catalogue of a music we believe is still worthy, compelling and spirited. It will be great to meet the fans again and hopefully collect a few new ones along the way.”
Fri 16th June Jim Dowling Festival, Eccles Hotel, Glengarriff, Co. Cork
Doors 8pm onstage 8.30pm Tickets €20 jimdowlingfestival.eu/bookings
Sat 8th July Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Co Wicklow
Thur 20th July Monroe’s as part of Galway Arts Festival
Doors 8pm onstage 9pm Tickets €30 Bookings: giaf.ie/stocktonswing
Sun 6th Aug Ballyshannon Folk Festival, Co Donegal
Doors 7pm Tickets €35 incl booking fee ballyshannonfolkfestival.com/stocktonswing
Fri 18th Aug Ennis Fleadh at the West County Hotel
Doors 8.30pm onstage 9pm Tickets €25 Booking details TBA
Sat 26th Aug Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre, Co. Kilkenny
Gates 7pm onstage 8.15pm Tickets €20 ballykeeffeamphitheatre.com/stocktons-wing
Sat 2nd Sept Doolin Bikers Festival, Doolin, Co. Clare
Open all day from 12noon – onstage 8pm to 10pm Booking details TBA
Sat 16th Sep Clifden Arts Week, Galway
Booking details TBA clifdenartsfestival.ie
STOCKTONS WING – A BRIEF 40 YEAR HISTORY!
The name Stockton’s Wing is from a Bruce Springsteen song, ‘Backstreets’ from the Born to Run album – “Slow dancing on a moonlit street at Stockton’s Wing, where desperate lovers park to meet the last of the Duke Street Kings”. Back in 1977, in Ennis, Co. Clare, the fledgling five-member group, including all-Ireland champions Paul Roche, Maurice Lennon, Kieran Hanrahan and Tommy Hayes with Tony Callinan, won the traditional section of a Guinness sponsored talent competition in Limerick (the rock section was won by a little-known group from Mount Temple School, called U2). Their sound evolved over the years into a thrilling blend of traditional and contemporary Irish music and song, performed with power and precision by some of the finest musicians in Ireland. Along the way, Stocktons Wing released 12 albums, played concert halls and festivals from America, Canada, Europe and Australia and penned some of this country’s most enduring classic anthems including ‘Beautiful Affair’, ‘Walk Away’ and ‘New Clare Revival’.
Winning that serendipitous competition 40 years ago secured the young Co Clare outfit a recording contract with Tara Records. Their self-titled debut album produced by fellow Co Clare man PJ Curtis, released in 1978 received rave reviews from national and international press. Line-up changes led Mike Hanrahan to replace Tony Callinan in 1979. Singer/songwriter Mike had spent the previous years with singer Maura O’Connell in a duo called Tumbleweed. In early 1980 Stocktons Wing released their second album on Tara ‘Take a Chance’. It featured some original compositions and marked the bands arrival as a progressive force in music from Ireland. The success of the album allowed them to tour extensively bringing their sound to an international audience, where they created a storm of enthusiasm at major Folk Festivals across Europe.
At their regular Meeting Place gig in Dublin they encountered Steve Cooney in late 1981 joined on didgeridoo and bass guitar. 1982 saw the band unveil their third album ‘Light in the Western Sky’ with producer PJ Curtis once again in the control room. The album featured two hit singles ‘Beautiful Affair’ and ‘Walk Away’ and is widely regarded as a seminal, innovative recording in the history of Irish music. A highly-polished work, it represented a significant shift in musical direction, focusing more on the groups creative original material.
With the departure of percussionist Tommy Hayes in 1983, Fran Breen stepped in on drums and Peter Keenan joined on keyboards. Stocktons Wing signed thereafter to an American agency and toured extensively throughout the States playing theatres and major music festivals. A New York Times critic described their sound as “eclectic, electric, passionate, personal, innovative and powerful.”
In 1985, a live album ‘Stockton’s Wing Live – Take One’ was recorded in Galway and Dublin. Produced by Bill Whelan it captured their ‘eclectic, electric’ sound. Successful tours of America, Canada, Europe and Australia kept the band away from recording studios until the autumn of 1986 when they recorded their fifth long-player ‘Full Flight’. The album contained no less than four hit singles ‘Why Wait Until Tomorrow’, ‘Avondale’, ‘New Clare Revival’ and ‘So many Miles’. Their sixth album, ‘Celtic Roots Revival’ soon followed, produced by Steve Cooney. It received critical acclaim in America where the group continued to headline major music festivals.
In the summer of 1988 they shared the stage for two memorable nights with Michael Jackson in Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh to a huge stadium audience. The following year they made a guest appearance with Sammy Davis Jnr. in Dublin as part of his world tour with Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli. In 1990 Stockton’s Wing went on location to take part in the Noel Pearson/Jim Sheridan film production of the John B. Keane play ‘The Field’ which featured Oscar nominee Richard Harris and John Hurt.
In November 2003 Stockton’s Wing held their first reunion concert in their hometown of Ennis, Co. Clare, which was a huge success with over 1200 people packed into the West County Hotel. In the words of the band’s producer PJ Curtis “what an extraordinary, amazing, mind-blowing concert the Wing delivered last night. I’m still spinning from it. It was TRIUMPHANT! No other word for it. Such an incredible turn out… and the music and the vibe, Ronnie Drew too who was pure magic as usual, made it a NIGHT TO REMEMBER!!! It rates as one of the top gigs of the decade for me…”.
In 2014, Stocktons Wing played a sell-out concert at The National Concert Hall followed by another at Temple Bar Tradfest at St. Patricks Cathedral Dublin. Further invitations to appear at Temple Bar Tradfest, Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Fleadh Cheoil in Sligo and in Ennis convinced the band to consider marking the fortieth year of Stocktons Wing which officially begins in October. It should be an exciting year ahead for Stocktons Wing and their legions of fans, old and new.