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Mighty Mollag Ghennal

Mollag Ghennal hits the right note!

The mighty Mollag Ghennal, organised by members of the popular Mollag Band, is guaranteed to be one of the highlights of the festive calendar and this year proved no exception.

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It's a great opportunity to sample some of the best the Island has to offer on the Manx music scene, and to be at the forefront of some of the revolutionary changes within the folk genre.

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With tickets rarer than hens' teeth, those lucky enough to be at the party were greeted by the St German Handbell Ringers before being led gently into the main event which was opened by a select number of singers from the Manx Gaelic choir Caarjyn Cooidjagh, who sang a selection of songs in French, English and Manx.

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This was swiftly followed by Island based Scottish guitarist Malcolm Stitt and local soloist Ruth Keggin (accompanied by multi-instrumentalist David Kilgallon), who presented their own style and individuality to an appreciative audience.

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With a substantial supper on the horizon, it was time to raise the volume and up the beat with well-known Manx bands Skeeal and Strengyn who were both joined on stage by several other local musicians.

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But the music just kept on rolling as Manx trad power trio Barrule altered the tempo to reflect their own melodic brand, before the Mollag Band themselves took to the stage to present some of their best known songs and introduce a new one based on the poem Betsy Lee; in tribute to the Manx poet T. E. Brown. Finally new group Mec Lir soon got dancers to their feet in response to a unique fusion of Manx folk and pop music, which brought another successful evening to a storming conclusion.

Valerie Caine
© December 2014