“The Snakes Farewell to The Emerald Isle” is an iconic Horslips track and one that Johnny Fean, Jim Lockhart, Barry Devlin and Ray Fean – the touring Horslips line up – certainly plan to play when they take to the stage in The Olympia Theatre Dublin for St Patrick’s Night.
It’s a chance for Dublin audiences to rock out in the company of a band who have been described as ‘defining a generation’
‘It’s been a while since we played a gig in Dublin’ says drummer Ray Fean ‘so when St Patrick’s Night in the Olympia was suggested, we thought “that might be fun” and signed up for the gig. And yeah… the oul snakes are well associated with St Patrick, all right…’ Ray – guitarist Johnny Fean’s brother – has been playing in the hit show Come From Away in London’s West End (and has an Olivier Award for his pains). He flies in for Horslips gigs, which in 2019 have included the Fleadh in Drogheda and Feile in Thurles.
‘The last time we played the Olympia’, recalls flautist and keyboard player Jim Lockhart ‘was another big public holiday, the Christmas shows back in…would you believe over eight years ago, 2012? Gosh, time flies when you’re having fun.”
Since their triumphant return to playing in the O2 – back in 2009 – the band has played in America, the UK and Europe: ‘and we hope to do a few more English and European appearances over the next while as well as our Irish gigs’, says bass player Barry Devlin. He points out that the band has been on the road longer this time around than first time out. ‘St Patricks Day will make it almost eleven years of gigs. First time out it was just under ten: we still get a kick out of live gigging, and we play material from most of the albums.’
The band have released 10 studio albums and 2 live albums as well as many singles in the years between 1971 and 1980 – all are still available as CDs and downloads. They recently rereleased vinyl copies of two of their best known albums ‘The Tain” and ‘The Book Of Invasions”.
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