Ten-piece band to perform at Bert Church Theatre
Thursday, Oct 05, 2017 10:58 am
Fans of folk, contemporary and country music will gather at Bert Church Live Theatre Oct. 7 to hear a 10-piece band performed by eight musicians.
Gerry Madigan, a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Dublin, Ireland, is leading the band and will kick off the performance playing a ukulele before transitioning to a banjo and guitar.
It’s the first time Madigan will be performing live in nearly 30 years. The show will mark the official launch of his newest album Wild Bird, Fly Free, composed of all original songs. He said he decided to gather the musicians he collaborated with on the album and perform a live show in Airdrie.
“I decided I’d do a full 10-piece band, so we’ve got a full brass section, bass, drums, keyboards, lead guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and acoustic guitar,” he said. “It will be an interesting concert because we’re mixing the contemporary, the original material with some of the older stuff and then a few country numbers that are off the album, too.”
Madigan was in the music industry for 15 years in the ‘70s and ‘80s. He played in a bluegrass band in Ireland called The Cotton Mill Boys that produced 15 albums and 25 singles. He said he used to play for crowds of at least 2,000 people.
“You can imagine what the scene was like at that time – it was just fabulous, it was just amazing. Lots of venues and huge crowds,” he said.
But the business took a downturn when disco became popular in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, he said. He sold all his instruments, left the music business and worked in finance and management training.
“These last couple of years I just decided to get back into music and now I’ve got the time to dedicate to music,” he said. “It was only a few years ago my son said, ‘you should be playing,’ and he bought me a banjo and I picked it up again and I was amazed how rusty I was. But with a bit of practice it all comes back. It’s like riding a bike.”
He currently lives in Calgary and said he is looking forward to performing in Airdrie.
“It’s great to get back and play live. It’s OK to record but there’s nothing like playing live,” he said. “If anybody enjoys folk music – any aspect of folk music – whether it’s contemporary or the old traditional folk music, they get a show that covers all aspects of folk music.
“The variety in the band, too, is wonderful. That’s a huge lineup and a huge lineup of instruments. It makes it a very entertaining show.”
The show will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $29 and can be purchased online at bertchurchlivetheatre.ticketpro.ca