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Welcome to the website of COSCÁN, Ireland’s foremost traditional musicians and balladeers, who have been gigging and following the Irish Traditional music circuit for over 23 years. Whether you are just here out of curiosity or wish to make a booking Click here for the band or order our CD FIREDANCE
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COSCÁN AT TWENTY Three
COSCÁN are celebrating 23 years together this year, and it all began by accident! Gerry Doggett, David Nevin and John Shankey had been playing together for some time. In November of 1999, Harry Long was involved in a road accident with david’s cousin Joe Bagnall. When Harry came out of hospital, Joe went to see him at home. Music was mentioned and Joe told Harry about his cousin who was in a band. The subsequent contact let to the current line-up of COSCÁN, which has had an eventful 23 years.
As well as playing all over Ireland, the band has performed three times at the Lorient Festival and at other festivals in France. Last year their third album Firedance came out, themed around ancient sites and historical tales from Counties Meath & Louth. All the material on the album is composed by the band members, and it includes instrumentals and songs. From celebrations of sun worship at ancient sites like Knowth and Loughcrew to an intriguing tale about a young man living through eighteenth-century Ireland’s mini Ice Age, the music draws deep inspiration from the history of the Royal and Wee Counties. Celebrating 23 years together with a whirlwind musical trip across 5,000 years of Ireland’s rich history and culture, COSCÁN are looking forward to the next twenty three years…and might even travel back a few more thousand years in their musical adventures!
Dinnseanchas is a wonderful album that will keep your toes tapping and your mind working with its combination of jaunty tunes and thoughtful lyrics.” – Nicky Rossiter – Irish Music Magazine
“When the Celtic musicians of Western Europe gather in Brittany the August for one the biggest annual festivals in the world, Meath-based band Coscán will be amongst them” – Drogheda Independent
“Band in Demand – The traditional group played a great show in The Cobblestone, Smithfield, Dublin” – The Weekender
“COSCÁN’s eagerly-awaited third album should strike a chord with the people of Meath, as many of the songs concern place names and the history of the county” – Meath Chronicle
COSCÁN are no strangers to IMM, we have been following the progress of this county Meath quartet for a number of years now and at every turn their musical imaginations have expanded. This EP is a taster of a much larger work in progress, a work, which will celebrate the heritage and mythology of their native county. Firedance the EP is made up of 4 tracks, three of which would be handy in any radio station, coming at three and a half minutes or less they are ideal for the modern time limited radio show. Cnogba The Cradle is a mesmeric jig with the fiddle and whistle to the fore, Reel Around the Sun/Dowth Reel is chance for the fiddle to take centre stage, as it plays over a synth drone, the Dowth Reel kicks in with the guitar and whistle changing the pace and angle of attack. The Apostles Stone, is a bright piece with the fiddle and the synth running in strings mode, it brings a full orchestral sound to the closing number on the album. Now the three shorter pieces if they have a down side it is there is little time for development of musical ideas or melodic motifs. On the other hand the third track on the disc, The Flame of Slane is a programmatic piece, assembled from four elements, Draiocht’s Dia, Bealtaine Fires, March of the King of Tara and the title composition Firedance.The first selection Draiocht’s Dia is held by a lonely whistle which is joined by an equally plaintive synth and then the fun begins, with a steady bodhrán and whistle interlude on March of the King of Tara, which seagues effortlessly into Firedance, a composition burning full of energy, the guitar, prominent in the mix, kicking the work along. As a sampler for things to come, this is an upbeat collection of original work, grounded in a landscape and lore that COSCÁN truly loves. – Seán Laffey
|If Lord Henry Mountcharles is ever looking for a group to get the toes tapping at the castle for one of those festivals he need look no further than ‘down the road’ for COSCÁN. The local foursome can conjure up a storm based on this CD with the sub-title ‘Lore of Places’.In a wonderful mixture of instrumental and vocal offerings they give a full-bodied introduction to Irish music at its best. From their local Tara Jig, the opening track, their expertise and love of the music is apparent and lives right on through to the thirteenth track.The harmonious opening of Siúil a Rúin will have the hairs on your neck standing on end. They continue with a beautiful rendition of this song that is so often ‘murdered.Their version allows us hear the lyrics in all their glory but retain the wonderful tune.Nicky Rossiter – Irish Music Magazine||xXx||Dinnseanchas (Lore of Places) Claddagh Records ***Who says that the spirit of adventure in traditional music is dampened by convention? Not by Coscán, an all-male foursome whose original tunes run the gamut of Irish, Asturian and Galician traditions, with a cap doffed in the direction of eastern Europe. Harry Long’s whistles are a signature of this sprightly collection, as is David Nevin’s cosmopolitan percussion, and the pair’s subtle yet driving Caballo could just as easily have been brewed in the plains of Asturia as in the rolling hills of Meath. Their choice of title, Dinnsheanchas (Lore of Places) , reflects the foursome’s appetite for foraging deep beneath the surface for the character of a tune. – Siobhán Long – Irish Times|