FolkWorld #67 11/2018
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Kíla: Pot of Gold

Kíla: Pota Óir

Pota Óir (Pot of Gold) is a concert film, documentary and road movie, directed by Anthony White in impressive black-and-white, about one of Ireland's iconic bands renowned for fusing Irish music and ethnic traditions from all over the place into an exciting live show. White captured Kíla on stage in Wicklow, Dublin and the Cambridge Folk Festival; he followed them backstage and recorded moments of intimacy and introspection. There are haunting airs and ecstatic and trance-like dances, with Polish singer Kayah eventually joining in. So the concert footage becomes a visual companion to Kíla's recent live album.

Get a ticket and celebrate with Kíla at their 30th anniversary show in Dublin's National Stadium Dublin on 22 December 2018!

Artist Video
"Pota Óir", DVD, Whitewashed Films/Kila Records, 2017

Irish fusion group Kíla is celebrating their 30 year anniversary with a big gig in Dublin's National Stadium and a DVD portrait capturing the energy of their performances.

Kíla are an Irish folk music/world music group, originally formed in 1987 in the Irish language secondary school Coláiste Eoin in County Dublin.

Band history

The band's first performance was upstairs in the Baggott Inn, Dublin, and was attended by three people. The original lineup for the band was Eoin Dillon (uilleann pipes), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (fiddle), Rossa Ó Snodaigh (whistle, bones), Rónán Ó Snodaigh (bodhrán), Karl Odlum (bass), and David Odlum (guitar). Colm Ó Snodaigh, the brother of Rónán and Rossa, joined the band before the first recordings were made. Rónán, Rossa, and Colm Ó Snodaigh are sons of publisher Pádraig Ó Snodaigh and artist Cliodna Cussen and are brothers of Irish TD, Aengus Ó Snodaigh.

In 1991, Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Dave Odlum left Kíla to join The Frames, an Irish rock band. In the same year, Dee Armstrong and Eoin O'Brien joined the band as replacements. Dave Reidy also joined as a lead guitarist, though he emigrated to San Francisco a year later. Karl was then replaced by Ed Kelly on bass who emigrated to Scotland a little over a year after the recording Mind the Gap in 1994. Eoin O'Brien was replaced by Lance Hogan. Laurence O Keefe filled in temporarily on bass until Brian Hogan assumed that position prior to recording Tóg É Go Bog É.

In 2003, in a review of their album Luna Park, Kíla's blend of Irish traditional music and world music with a modern rock sensibility was credited with breathing new life into contemporary Irish folk music.


Artist Video Kíla @ FROG

In 2009, Donegal guitarist Seanan Brennan joined the band to replace Lance who was on a sabbatical. He has remained with the band since then bringing an electric guitar to the line up for the first time since Eoin O'Brien was a member. He made his first appearance with Kíla in early January of that year on a televised version of Leath ina Dhiaidh a hOcht.

In 2008 Kíla recorded "The Ballad of Ronnie Drew" with U2, Shane MacGowan, Glen Hansard, Damien Dempsey, The Dubliners and a host of other artists. With proceeds going to The Irish Cancer Society. The song was later included on a album of collaborations that U2 recorded with other artists - Duals (2012).

Kíla have played at many festivals around the world, including Dún Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures, Electric Picnic, Womadelaide, Glastonbury, Féile an Dóilín, St. Chartier, Reading and Cambridge Folk Festival, Montreaux Jazz Festival and the Stockholm Water Festival. All members of the group participate in composing and arranging Kíla's songs. they have also performed at student events such as the NUIG Arts Ball in 2010, the biggest event of its kind in Ireland.

The band collaborated with French composer Bruno Coulais on the soundtrack of The Secret of Kells, an animated film by the Irish studio Cartoon Saloon. The film was nominated for best animated film at the 82nd Academy Awards in 2010. That same year their music was heavily featured in two other feature films - Maeve Murphy's controversial Beyond the Fire and Ciarán O'Connor's Trafficked. Kíla's music also features in the award-winning documentary film Fight or Flight.

In late 2011, Kíla published their long-awaited Book of Tunes. Comprising over 100 of their compositions and lavishly decorated with photos, poems & prose, the book was a huge success, being described as 'a masterpiece' by Seán Laffey from Irish Music Magazine. The publication of the book ended a fine year for Kíla in style. Through this year they played three sell-out shows in Harare, Zimbabwe at the HIAFA festival, played at the Possibilities conference that welcomed the Dalai Lama to Ireland and played the inaugural concert in Temple Bar Meeting House Square, under the elegant retractable canopies, two days before Christmas.

2015 could be termed the 'year of the awards and nominations' for Kíla. They collaborated on the music for the Oscar nominated animated feature, Song of the Sea with Bruno Coulais. They received an Annie Awards nomination for 'Outstanding Achievement in Music in an Animated Feature Production'. They also received an Emmy nomination for their work on a Crossing The Line production called The Secret Life of the Shannon. In June Eoin Dillon left and James Mahon from Shankill took his place.

Current members

Rónán Ó Snodaigh

Emeritus members

Eoin Dillon

Kíla News

Pota Óir

Our film Pota Óir (direct by Anthony White) has just been released on dvd and is now available in our shop and should be in shops in Ireland, England and the Benelux. The film is going to shown on Irish national tv - RTÉ - sometime in the next few months and we have begun working with a distributor who is going to let the world know how amazing the film is!!!


Artist Video This is the next animated feature from Cartoon Saloon being directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart. It's in the early stages with the animatic having just been finished. A couple of us met up with both Ross and Tomm and Bruno Coulais (with whom we composed the music for the last two of Tomm's films Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea) down in Kilkenny. We watched the animatic, discussed our initial ideas and set ourselves a rough timeline whereby we'll get cracking.

Féile Kíla

So we are 30 years old this year and to celebrate we are doing a big gig and celebration in the National Stadium in Dublin on the 22nd December.

We have two great support acts. The first is MACA, Ireland’s latest sensation being groomed for success in Nashville and being talked about glowingly by those in the know in the music industry. They won TG4’s Réalta is Gaolta competition. Three sisters bursting with talent.

Also on the support side is Belfast’s brash brotherhood KNEECAP. Loud and punky and full of youthful energy and enthusiasm.


30.11.18 - Irish Nights, Kammgarn, Schaffhausen, Switzerland

22.12.18 - Féile Kíla, The National Stadium, Dublin

Bits & Bobs Sin, sin anois! That's all for now. Colm Ó Snodaigh

Kíla: Handel's Fantasy Kíla: Mind the Gap Kíla: Tóg É Go Bog É Kíla: Luna Park Kíla & Oki Kíla: The Secret of Kells Kíla: Song of the Sea Kíla: Alive/Beo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia []. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

Date: October 2018.

Photo Credits: (1ff) Kíla, (14) Maca (unknown/website).

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