The Chieftains score half-a-century with 50-year anniversary shows - UK and Ireland 2012 tour announced

The Chieftains
The Chieftains

A lot can happen in 50 years - wars, droughts, moon-landings, earthquakes, Cher Lloyd - but keeping a band together probably ranks as something even more stressful and tortuous as the above. Traditional folk-music seems to bring longevity out of its musicians - The Dubliners have been going for nearly fifty years, Christy Moore has seen out forty years at least and Scottish trad ensemble, Battlefield Band, won a 'Best Live Act' award at the tender age of 34 years in music. It must be something in the water - or the whisky that contains it.

Another band celebrating half-a-century next year will be The Chieftains, founded in 1962 and still going strong, albeit with a heck of a line-up change since those early days. During those five decades, its various members and the group as a whole have collaborated with world-renowned artists such as Van Morrison, Rolling Stones, Pavarotti, Tom Jones and recently, Ry Cooder, garnered six Grammys, and Emmy and lifetime achievements and performed for The Pope. Maybe this is the year that they pick up a BRIT Award - and then I wake up.

The remaining four members have announced a string of long-awaited UK shows for next summer, in celebration of the history of the band and its 30 or so albums issued since the early '60s. First stop on the tour is Dublin (where else?) on 29th May, followed by Brighton (1st June), Bristol, Cardiff and more until Newcastle on the 15th. There is a Royal Albert Hall show in London for the 8th. We will have tickets from £37.50 on sale from 9am, Friday 2nd September. Tickets for the Dublin show have been on sale since June and they costs €42.

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