Shanvaghera – traditional Irish folk band

We are Shanvaghera, a traditional Irish folk band in Bristol. We play pure-drop foot-tapping Irish music. We met playing on the Bristol Irish session scene, and found a common love of the less-commonly played Irish tunes, played with lift and lilt.

If you’re looking for a traditional Irish folk band in Bristol or the South West of England, click below to send us an enquiry, or email [email protected] or phone 07807049896.

Shanvaghera – pure Irish folk music

Shanvaghera are available for bookings, for your wedding, birthday party, garden party – whatever you are celebrating! We can play as our full 4-piece or as a duo (fiddle and banjo/bouzouki or flute) or as a trio (various combinations). We can also play for a full-blown ceilidh, with a caller to teach you and walk you through the dances.


25th May 2024, Bristol Ceilidh presents Shanvaghera, public ceilidh at The Folk House, Bristol, 7pm

29th June 2024, Pride London Gaylí, public ceilidh at the The London Irish Centre, Camden, London, 7pm

Shanvaghera – more Irish folk gigs in 2024

31st January 2024, Shanvaghera in session, The Shakespeare, Bristol 8.30pm-10.30pm

SOLD OUT 15th March 2024, St Patrick’s Day Céilí, The Folk House, Bristol, 7pm

17th March 2024, West of England Irish St Patrick’s Day celebrations, Revolution, Bristol, 2pm

26th August 2024, private function, Bristol

7th September 2024, private function, Boiling Wells Amphitheatre, Bristol

Recent gigs

25th January 2024, Burn’s Night Ceilidh, The Shakespeare, Bristol

29th November, Shanvaghera in session, The Shakespeare, Bristol 8.30pm-10.30pm

SOLD OUT 19th October 2023, The Folk House, Bristol, 8pm-9.30pm

24th September 2023, Big Community Get Together!, Dame Emily Park, Bedminster — 12-1pm

9th September 2023, The Shakespeare Street Party, Totterdown — 2-3pm

3rd September 2023, ACTA Theatre, Bedminster — 4.15-5.15pm

19th August 2023, The Shakespeare, Totterdown — 8-10.30pm

Listen to Shanvaghera on Soundcloud.

Shanvaghera is…

Fiddle player for Shanvaghera, Bristol's Irish folk band
Bradon Smith

...Bradon Smith on fiddle. Bradon has been playing fiddle for 30 years, and is a well-known player on the Irish sessions scenes of Bristol, Bath and London. He likes exploring the less paddled backwaters of the Irish tunes tradition, and has a fondness for hornpipes.

…Paul Kerins on tenor banjo. Hailing from Monaghan’s stony grey soil, Paul’s veins pump pure bogwater. His primary weapon is the Irish tenor banjo, but he will, on occasion, unholster his bouzouki for the craic. Listening to him play has a synaesthetic effect, to the point where you can almost smell turf smoke and silage.

Paul Kerins, banjo player for Shanvaghera, Bristol's Irish folk band
Paul Kerins
Sheena Vallely, flute player for Shanvaghera, Irish folk band in Bristol
Sheena Vallely

…Sheena Vallely on flute. From Armagh, Sheena cut her teeth playing at fleadhs and festivals all over Ireland. Since moving to England, she hasn’t stopped. While essentially traditional in style, her playing is characterised by its strong rhythm and drive.

…and Benjamin Trott on guitar. Ben’s chequered musical upbringing began with an unusual collage of listening to his dad play for Morris dance music on the flute, and Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds on vinyl. He ended up touring in Europe, Australia and America with the Tim Edey Trio, The Albion Band, Frogbelly and Symphony and Blackbeard’s Tea Party. Ben has lived in Bristol for over 10 years now and has been an active part of the local traditional folk music scene in Bristol and Bath. He brings his sensitive guitar arrangements to Shanvaghera’s sound.

Benjamin Trott on guitar, playing with Bristol based Irish folk group Shanvaghera
Benjamin Trott