The Barley Shakes are the best new trad band I've seen since Kíla's early incarnations. Their European tour should see their sound tighten even more and when they return to Ireland they should progress quickly up the trad hierarchy.
Their guitarist looks and acts like a cross between Jon Bon Jovi (circa 'Bad Medicine') and Liam O'Maonlaoi, and displays an infectious energy onstage. The group's ease with multiple instruments is also worth watching. It's a pity Whelan's was only half-full for this gig. By rights, next time it should be packed.
by Neil Callanan