Gaodhal’s Vision 40th Anniversary: From Egypt to Éire

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‘Gaodhal’s Vision’ live, with extras

Gaodhal’s Vision will be performed in total, for the first time since 2006.

  • Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla will be enlarged by guest musicians Aiden O’Brien (Uilleann Pipes) and Ben Haines (percussion)
  • Sabrina and Alysha, Fusion Dancers, and the McHugh Irish Dancers will add movement and cross-cultural interpretation to the music
  • Orchestral arrangements from the original recording have been re-mixed as part of the performance
  • Rory Gallagher’s original guitar solos will feature in new settings played by the current band
  • Narration and slide projection will add insights and visual imagery about the themes of the album

It will be a unique multi-media experience! Running time: 1hr, 20mins    Get your tickets here

Gaodhal’s Vision was one of the earliest ‘concept’ albums. It expresses Joe O’Donnell’s long-pursued interest in the esoteric, including how the Celts may have originated and their eventual arrival in Ireland. It tells the story of the Milesian people leaving Egypt and journeying through North Africa and Southern Europe. Their destination was the island, foretold to them by Moses, called Éire (which is the Gaelic name for Ireland). This is the idea behind the strap line ‘From Egypt To Éire’.

The album also celebrates many distinctive aspects of the culture which eventually became identified as Celtic. For example there was a great tradition of Hospitality especially in the great houses of the tribal leaders. Travelling poets and storytellers received free entry anywhere in recognition of their gift, hence the tracks on the album Poets and Storytellers. Another custom was the exchange of sons between households to guarantee good relationships between the families, commemorated in the tune Hostages (which is very different from today’s understanding of that word).

Joe O’Donnell is a fiery and innovative Irish violinist and composer living in Coventry. He has worked with many bands including East of EdenThin LizzieThe Woods Band and Headstone. In 1977 Joe released his first album Gaodhal’s Vision (on Polydor) to critical acclaim and commercial success. It featured top musicians of the day including guitar superstar Rory Gallagher, guitarist Steve Bolton (Atomic Rooster), keyboard star David Lennox (Ginger Baker, Blodwyn Pig), Theodore Thunder on drums (Alan Price), and Bill Smith on bass (Long John Baldry, Leo Sayer).