Reviews and Quotes for Stockton's Wing

Stockton’s Wing
West County, Ennis
Saturday January 31st 2009
Four stars ****
"The enormous drawing power of 70’s/80’s traditional group Stockton’s Wing was confirmed on Saturday night last, with 1,500 devotees showing up in the band’s home-town for a once-off, rollicking romp through their eclectic back catalogue. Minus the talents of the Wing’s regular banjo/mandolin player Kieran Hanrahan for the night, his absence was more than made up for by a sterling display from stand-in Enda Scahill. The Galway man’s ornate mandolin began the show with ‘Drops of Brandy’, as Maurice Lennon’s compelling fiddle soared over and gradually cajoled the other group members into the icebreaker - laying down a definite marker for a rambunctious and utterly compelling performance. ‘Miss McLeod’s Reel’ affords the basic footing for Mike Hanrahan’s ‘Beneath The Shade’, with Paul Roche’s lilting whistle lifting the song to lofty and lark-like heights. The introduction of guests, Tony Molloy (bass), Steve Flaherty (electric guitar) and Danny Byrt (drums), generated an upsurge in intensity, particularly on ‘Walk Away’, with Flaherty’s searing solo adding an extra dimension to the popular song. Guest singer, Eleanor Shanley rendered a rousing version of Stephen Foster’s ‘Hard Times’, while an innovative bodhrán solo by the peerless Tommy Hayes added to the diverse and entertaining nature of the overall presentation.

The low-key, banjo/jaw’s harp introduction from Scahill/Hayes to ‘The Maid Behind The Bar’, signalled a calm-before-the-storm approach, culminating in a manic and uninhibited version of the old reel. With a fiddle/flute/banjo axis, underpinned by Byrt’s Ceili band style drumming, an explosive Chicago Reel extracted gasps and howls of approval from the large and frivolous audience. Though hindered somewhat by an obdurate room, sound-wise and pockets of boisterous revellers in the throng, Stockton’s Wing magnificently soared above perceived adversity to produce a memorable and satisfying recital that hopefully will re-emerge again, in the not too distant future."
Gerry Quinn - The Irish Examiner

"Stockton's Wing rendered he hoariest of western folk traditions with an urgency and vitality every bit as strong as another Irish band, U2."
Joe Sasfy, Washington Post

"Versatility is the watchword of Stockton's Wing. They are equally adept at crafting stirring traditional tunes as they are with more sensitive vocal melodies. They transform regional roots into a vehicle for universal communication."
Mike Van Niekerk, The West Australian

"Stockton's Wing hit the target, melody lines darted this way and that, imparting a lilting, carefree sweep, before kicking into overdrive."
Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe

"They're always great value for money and provide an infectiously lively night out. Don't miss 'em - you don't get the chance to see them too often."
Philip Nolan, Evening Press

"Stockton's Wing had the crowds crying and smiling to syncopated solos of flute, banjo and fiddle."
Andrew Brock, The Age

"As folk musicians, the band has virtuosity to spare - particularly fiddler Maurice Lennon and flautist Paul Roche."
Jon Pareles, New York Times.

"The accomplished five-man group, Stockton's Wing, provided compelling music old and new. Its instrumentals were as lyricism itself, while its songs were as lusty and likable as the performers themselves."
Samala Harris, The Adelaide Herald

"The great thing about Stockton's Wing is that they are never the same; one year there will be a rock edge, another jazz yet again some acoustic divergence."
Laurie Devine. Dirty Linen

"Then came Stockton's Wing, concentrating on what they do best, blistering sets of tunes and stunning musicianship. Their songs and arrangements had very effective dynamic and tonal variety so that when they really let go they took the roof off."
Ken Ferguson, The West Australian

"Stockton's Wing displayed all the fire, drive and technical virtuosity that are fast winning them new friends."
Sue Wilson, The Scotsman

"They were eclectic, electric, passionate, personal, innovative and powerful."
Ronnie Lundy, The Louisville Times "Letting Go opens a vivid new chapter in the long running sucess story of Stockton's Wing, an outfit widely regarded as the academy Of Excellence of Irish music. Many of Ireland's finest musicians have graced the rank's of Stockton's Wing contributing to an impressive body of work which has consistently pushed back the boundaries of traditional Irish Music"