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Hit Folk Club is quickly becoming a best ‘cellar’

May 23rd, 2024 12:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Hit Folk Club is quickly becoming a best ‘cellar’ Image
Ivan McCutcheon and his daughter Asha had the idea to set up a folk club in the town.

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THE sounds coming from the cellar underneath Bandon Town Hall have in recent months transformed it into a musical haven since Bandon Folk Club took up residency there earlier this year.

Already establishing itself as part of the social scene in Bandon, the club is bringing some of the best Cork singers to the town, while ensuring local singers get support slots too.

Ivan McCutcheon and his daughter Asha Egan McCutcheon had the idea to set up a folk club in the town for a while but finding a suitable venue was key to making it a success.

Encouraged by Marguerite McQuaid from Creative Bandon, they began the process of setting up the club, eventually finding the perfect venue in the cellar underneath Bandon Town Hall. Three gigs later and word is already spreading about the music and intimacy of Bandon Folk Club.

Singers like Polly Barrett, Ger Wolfe, Daithi Collis and Eoin Ó Halpín have already graced the stage along with Asha herself, who is also a singer/songwriter.

Speaking to The Southern Star, Ivan, who is also a member of Ballymodan Bellringers Society, said he had always wanted to set up a folk club in Bandon and give people an outlet to enjoy gigs with people singing original material.

‘My daughter, Asha is a singer and has been involved in gigs and events in Cork so she has some experience that way and takes charge of the social media side,’ said Ivan.

Luckily both he and Asha have similar music tastes and that helps when it comes to booking singers for the club.

‘It’s a lovely connection for us to be talking about music and exchanging ideas with each other and suggesting acts. We want to hear from other artists too who would like to play here.

‘Finding a suitable venue was the next step after buying a PA system. We had seen the basement room in Bandon Town Hall before and thought it might be suitable if we dressed it up a bit and so far it has worked.’

The club takes place once a month and Ivan’s first experience of running a gig was at Culture Night last year when he received funding from Cork County Council to host a gig by Two Time Polka in a bar in the town. ‘While the Cellar might have a run-down feel, it adds to the vibe of the club. Also people aren’t pressured to buy drinks and with most gigs over by 10.30pm it gives people a chance to go for a drink in any of bars in town.’

Ivan said it is also about helping to get people back socialising in Bandon too as he feels the town has lost a lot of its nightlife and that people may tend to go to other towns.

‘This is something different. We have talented musicians singing original material and it’s a monthly event that people can plan to go to in advance.’

Polly Barrett played their inaugural show in February just in time for St Bridget’s weekend.

‘The turnout was good but one is always worried if enough tickets will be sold on the night. At last month’s gig we had over 80 people attending and it was a great night.’

The duo are looking forward to hosting some specials events this summer and details of those will be announced in due course.

• Molly O’Mahony with support from Michael Collins plays Bandon Folk Club on Friday May 24th at 8pm. See ‘Bandon Folk Club’ on Facebook for ticket details.

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