Home > Culture > Newport’s Irish music: it’s ‘craicing’

Newport’s Irish music: it’s ‘craicing’

Newport’s gone through some changes lately, including what to do on the weekend. So what could you have done last Friday? Well obviously – go to an Irish folk session!

Having a wee session

Amairgin the Gael is a Welsh based Irish musical community, where people bring their talents to make beautiful music. If you can’t play but  fancy having a pint whilst soaking up the atmosphere, you’re welcome too.

Peter Soper, aged 45, helps to organise Amairgin the Gael, Wales’s only branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the largest group involved in preserving and promoting traditional Irish music. He says, “It gives people exposure to a different culture. It’s keeping the Irish music tradition alive, and it’s probably the only place in Newport where you can hear this kind of music. It’s different to anything else you can find around town, isn’t it!”.

Newport’s recent retail upgrade, Friar’s Walk, does offer more choices in entertainment, but nothing new culturally. There’s not a lot of musical choice, creating a gap for something new to appear. It’s movements like Amairgin the Gael that can help fill these gaps.

Irish folk, culture

The drink of champions!

Every first and third Friday of the month you can find Peter and other musicians keeping the Irish tradition alive at the Picton Arms or the Red Lion pub. Northern Irish lass Lisa-Jane Meates, aged 27, a fashion photographer living in Newport came to the Picton Arms to enjoy the atmosphere for herself. She said the music was infectious, and that it’s so nice being amongst people who are passionate about their music, but want to share it with everyone else.

If you’re not happy to sit on the sidelines but don’t know how to play an instrument, not a problem! They even offer to teach beginner, intermediate and individual music classes every Tuesday evening at St. Julians’ Methodists Church Hall, Newport.

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