Live Irish music in Bristol and Bath

Live Irish music in Bristol from Shanvaghera

We’re lucky at the moment to have loads of live Irish music in Bristol and Bath going on every week. There are more Irish sessions right now than I can remember since I came to Bristol 6 years ago. And it isn’t just the amount of live Irish music right now – the consensus is that the quality is improving too.

Playing fiddle in a traditional Irish folk session
Photo: @hensonvisuals

As well as the session scene – the grassroots, if you like – there are lots of venues putting on live Irish music gigs too.

I’ve listed below some of the many sessions where you can see live Irish music in Bristol (for free!). And I’ve included some Irish sessions in Bath that I know about too.

I’ve also listed some upcoming Irish music gigs at local venues. These range from small unknown groups to the big names and big venues in Bristol.

Venues and gigs for live Irish music

There are loads of good venues in Bristol. But for folk music the ones to keep an eye on are The Folk House, St George’s Hall, and (for big name acts) the Bristol Beacon. Upcoming Irish gigs of note:

Piskey Led, The Folk House, 24 April, 7pm

Talisk (not strictly Irish, but…), Bristol Beacon, 10 May 8pm.

Shanvaghera, a traditional Irish folk band

Bristol Ceilidh presents: Shanvaghera, The Folk House, 25th May, 7pm.

The Haar, The Folk House, 2 November, 7pm

Some of the (many) Irish sessions in Bristol

The Star, Fishponds, 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, 8.30pm. This is a very long-standing session, which I run with some of the other members of our band Shanvaghera. The standard is generally very good, but it is a welcoming session.

The Red Monkey, Chandos Road, Bristol. First Sunday of the month, 2pm. This is a new session which I am running with Marick Baxter (flute) and Dominic Henderson (pipes).

Dominic Henderson and Bradon Smith, playing traditional Irish music as Straight from the Jug

The Red Lion, St George, 2nd and last Wednesdays of the month, 8pm. A new Irish session (partly taking over from a long-standing Old Time session) which I am running with Catherine O’Leary (banjo) and others.

The Star, Fishponds, Tuesdays, 8pm. Another regular session at the Star which can get quite big!

The Orchard Inn, 1st Wednesday of the month, 8pm. A newish session, very welcoming for less experienced players.

The Shebeen, last Sunday of the month, 8pm.

Irish session in Bath

The Grapes, Thursdays, 8pm.

The Royal Oak, Wednesdays, 8.30pm

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