The five-piece folk band The Druids are set to perform a livestream virtual concert in the Moat Theatre in Kildare next Tuesday, 16th ahead of St Patrick’s Day.
The Druids first burst on to the music scene early in 2008, and their songs carry the story of Ireland, which are delivered with passion and conviction.
2020 signalled a new era for The Druids with the addition of Gary O’Brien and Denis Moran, along with the old guard of Zak Moran, Gary Lawlor and Mick O’Brien, the band has developed a new look and a new sound.
The Druids have completed tours of Ireland, Scotland, UK, Denmark, Belgium, Spain and up to three tours a year in the USA.
However in March 2020 when The Druids were on tour in the U.S. they found themselves scrambling to get a flight home to Ireland as it prepared to go into its first lockdown due to Covid-19.
Speaking to the Dublin Gazette this week, The Druids’ frontman Mick O’Brien explained that the band are still adjusting to the ‘new normal’ during the pandemic.
“Given the conditions that we’re in at the moment with the pandemic and so on, we did our last gig in the United States this time last year. I think it was a 28-day tour and we had been in New York and Buffalo and Detroit, across to Canada and back down to Cleveland and we had a gig in New Jersey on the 14th of March and word came through that Trump was locking down and basically we had to leg-it out of there that day.
“We had to cancel the show and get out of there, so really to be honest with you that was our last real gig in front of an audience,” said Mick.
Speaking about the upcoming St Patrick’s Day virtual live gig at the Moat, Mick said that the band is excited to get back to doing what they do best by wowing audiences with their music.
“To say we’re excited to play at the Moat would be an understatement, we see it as our home town gig. No matter where we tour across the world we try to play a gig at the Moat at least twice sometimes three times a year. The audiences are brilliant and while there won’t be an audience this year in the theatre we’re hoping that people will tune in online and that there’ll be some interaction, I hope. We’re up for it and we’re ready to rock.”
The Druids have also developed a keen followship on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter with regular ‘live’ music sessions throughout lockdown.
“Zak Moran and Gary Lawlor and Gary O’Brien have done brilliant music sessions on Facebook live, they’ve been doing their thing and they’ve been absolutely brilliant, people love them. It keeps that interaction with the audience,” explained Mick.
Lockdown has been a difficult time financially for many in the live music sector, despite the Government’s introduction of the €1.7 million Music Industry Stimulus Package (MISP) to assist musicians whose livelihood have been decimated as a result of the pandemic.
The Druids have said that they applied for the stimulus package and were ‘very disappointed’ not to have not received any government assistance.
However following a recent announcement of a possible live music stimulus package, The Druids are hopeful that bands such as themselves might finally get some financial help.
Speaking about their mental health during the lockdown, Mick said that each of the band members found it difficult at times. Over the last year, they have also started to speak openly about their past struggles with addiction and mental health.
“You have to adjust and get used to a different way of living and it’s been tough, but I think we’ve gotten ourselves to a place now where we’re kind of conditioned to it a little bit and we’re in good shape ourselves at the moment,” said Mick.
In terms of creating new music, The Druids started recording a new studio album at the beginning of 2020. The new album is titled ‘Just Grateful To Be Here’ and according to Mick it will be more upbeat in style.
The new studio album is also being produced by the band’s very own Zak Moran and The Druids are hopeful that they can get back into studio soon.
The band is also hoping that they will be able to resume tours and live gigs later in 2021 and into 2022 if the Covid-19 situation improves, with a tour booked in the United States for March 2022 and a gig to play on a cruise booked for January 2022.
“My hope is that we’ll be able to get back to doing an Irish tour by the end of this year, I really hope that happens especially with the vaccinations picking up, that kind of push to normalise things a bit more. At the start of and through the pandemic the saying that musicians and live music would be the last to get back in operation, but we have to remain hopeful.”
The Druids will perform their virtual gig at the Moat Theatre on Tuesday 16th March at 8pm from €12 per ticket.
For more information visit Ticketsolve – moattheatre