Once again the annual Mollag Ghennal bridged the gap between Christmas and the New Year with a fine selection of music, song and dance at the Masonic Hall in Douglas. Organised by the mighty Mollag Band (new CD out soon) it was, as usual, a sell-out as revellers enjoyed a range of Manx traditional music from the contemporary scene.
Lately there’s been a surge of young musicians coming to the fore with their own unique approach to Manx folk music, many of whom entertained an enthusiastic audience with some of their latest arrangements.
Compered by Bob Carswell, the evening kicked off with some lively unaccompanied singing by Manx Gaelic choir Caarjyn Cooidjagh and was swiftly followed by Manx vocalist Ruth Keggin accompanied by David Kilgallon. Musicians ebbed and flowed throughout the night with appearances by the Barefoot Quartet (with special guest Cairistiona Dougherty), and some spirited entertainment by four young and energetic Manx dancers.
There was a surprise performance by Davy Knowles, filmed as part of an on-going documentary for Island of Culture 2014, and later a rare opportunity to listen to the evergreen Mollag Band with some of their most memorable songs. As the evening drew to a close there was a chance to hear local trio Scammylt followed by all-male line-up Barrule who raised the roof with their spirited interpretation of Manx music and obliged an ecstatic audience with a much requested encore.