The Olllam

Music |
2nd August 2023

Doors 7.30pm | Tickets £20.50 | Plus Support SÍOMHA | Malt Room Standing

Tyler Duncan tracked down his hero, uillean piper and whistle player, John McSherry, and became his student, friend, and eventually his melodic partner in the olllam, a Transatlantic musical partnership enabled and maintained through early adoption of online collaboration and composition, resulting in the 2012 release of an eponymous album that has become a cult classic. The name derives from the old Irish word ollam, meaning a master of the highest rank in a particular skill.

Alongside mastering piping and whistle-playing, Tyler Duncan had established himself as a multi-instrumentalist and Grammy-nominated producer (with Carly Rae Jepsen, Vulfpeck, Theo Katzman and others), and recruited drummer Michael Shimmin (May Erlewine, Millish) and renowned Vulfpeck bassist Joe Dart, respected as one of the finest, funkiest players of these times, to form the olllam. With this core line up the band unleashed a new Transatlantic post-rock groove, lush with intricate trance-like melodies, stunning instrumental virtuosity and a magical marriage of tradition and technology, finding the listener somewhere between Radiohead and Planxty, or Tortoise and the ambient emotionalism of the Gloaming.

SÍOMHA (pronounced She-vah) will support the olllam at Brewery Arts. Her special relationship with the band began in 2018 on tour, when she instantly formed a bond with founding member Tyler Duncan, who went on to produce her debut album Infinite Space, also featuring Joe Dart on bass; a single from the album, CRAOBHACHA, featured the olllam.

“… the result is described by them as Neo-Acoustic Celtic Post-Rock. I’d describe it a little differently – it’s f***in’ deadly!” – The Irish Times

“If Lúnasa set the gold standard for traditional acoustic music, these guys are bucking for platinum. The word ollam is old Irish for a master musician, and there are three master musicians here.” – Irish Music Magazine

“…there just seems to be so much soul in playing, that every track finds a way to spike the emotions and tingle the spine.” – Folk Radio UK

“It’s a groovy, mystic rock sound that is your go-to Celtic music for people who think they don’t like Celtic music.” – The Irish Examiner

Co-curated with Band on the Wall

See all music events here.


2nd August 2023

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