Issue 3 02/97

FolkWorld Live Review

Dervish at 'De Sevewaeg', Sevenum


Traditional Irish music with fire

By Christian Moll

On a rainy December Sunday I made my way to Sevenum a village in the Netherlands, just beneath the (nowadays not visible) border to Germany, where in the afternoon (4 p.m.) Dervish would play their last gig of their second Netherlands-tour.

Already half an hour before the show starts the queue for the concert in the pub/café/restaurant 'De Sevewaeg' (directly on the market place of Sevenum) is getting longer and longer. Finally there are nearly 500 people in the audience to watch this great Irish band; as the organiser says, there have never been so many listeners to a folk concert in Sevenum (normally there are about 200).

Cathy Jordan; photo by The Mollis Dervish start their first set with 'The ploughman' beautifully sung by Cathy Jordan. The boys are in good shape, too, playing through jigs and reels, and accompanying Cathy's songs. The audience obviously enjoy what they hear; most of them are Dutch, just very few Irish and some German guys. All ages - from small children to old people - can be found in the audience, some of them in their Sunday clothes, some are there together with their whole family. During the break the Guinness is flowing, though it is not to easy to get through the overcrowded backroom to the bar...

The second half starts again with a song: 'I courted a wee girl', followed by a Swedish tune, which Dervish had learned from the superb acoustic experimental Swedish folk groop Väsen. Then Dervish showcased the skills of the instrumentalists with a set of four reels: Shane McAleer started off with a solo on his fiddle afterwards played Shane Mitchell a reel on the accordion, followed by a reel based on Liam Kelly's flute, where more and more of the rest of the band joined; the last reel 'Drag her round the road' was once again Dervish in full flight. Another three songs and two sets of tunes are played until the crowed is stomping their feet, clapping their hands and crying for an encore.

For the first encore the audience is getting quiet again: Cathy is singing hauntingly a a-capella Version of 'The emigrants farewell'. Dervish gives another sets of tunes to the audience for their way home. And because it is now 7 p.m. - time for Sunday dinner - the audience is leaving quite soon.

Photo of Cathy Jordan by The Mollis

The folk club in Sevenum is organised by 'Stichting de Fookhook' and is held (about once a month) in the backroom of the pub/restaurant 'De Sevewaeg', Markt 3, 5975 AM Sevenum, Tel. 077-4671345, Fax 077-4674104 and e-mail:

In the first half of 1998 there will be the following concerts, each time on a Sunday at 4 pm:

Dervish can be contacted at

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© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 2/98

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