Interviews from Roddy Cleere's Irish Music Show

Celtic Legacy

July 23, 1998

Celtic Legacy were formed in January of this year by Dave Morrissey and Dave Boylan which evolved from a band called Mischief. Other members of the band include Phil McEvoy, Tom Branagan and Ciara Roe.

They decided to give this business called music a serious attempt and so they took a great risk and bypassed the traditional demo stage and went straight for the full CD release complete with artwork. The band are highly influenced by Thin Lizzy and the twin guitar rock sound of the seventies. As such Celtic Legacy run the risk of being labeled as old time rock and roll. The interest from the media in general in Ireland has been very disappointing. Is this because the band is not playing trendy music or it is just total apathy?

I first became aware of this CD via the Internet and the Network Of Wild Ones which is a newsgroup of Thin Lizzy supporters from all over the globe. Celtic Legacy have done reasonably ok as a result of their involvement in this newsgroup, selling a number of copies of the CD. The CD is now on release and has been since May of this year. Both Dave Morrissey and Dave Boylan spoke to me on the radio show.

Dave Morrissey: "It took four months from start to finish. We had a few delays with the artwork mainly due to the fact that we could not think of a name for the band."

It was at this stage that it occurred to me that Dave was once a member of The Elite, a band that had a great reputation (or should that be bad reputation?) for doing Thin Lizzy covers.

Dave M: "Yes indeed I was. I was with them about six years ago now. It was purely temporary. When they started doing their Lizzy tributes they wanted to have it separate from The Elite completely so it sort of became two bands. The Elite were going to do their own stuff and then a separate line up to do the Thin Lizzy material. I believe they became 'Headschool' (Hedgeschool) for a while but I have not heard much about them over the last year. As far as I know they have disbanded."

How did Celtic Legacy come about?

Dave M: "Myself and Dave Boylan have been greatly influenced by Thin Lizzy and we wanted to try and pick up where Philip Lynott left off but with a bit of an original touch to our sound."

That's a hard act to follow, Dave.

Dave Boylan: "Oh a very hard act to follow."

Is it the bands intention to be Thin Lizzy mark two?

Dave B: "Oh no. The direction we are trying to go in is more the heavy celtic rock area. That's why we have a violin player in the line up. We don't want to sound directly like Thin Lizzy but we do want to continue the good work he started but we also want to have our own unique sound. On the CD you can hear the Celtic Legacy sound."

The band have been very disappointed that the media in general have not picked up on the CD at all.

Dave M: "Yes it is very disheartening. I think that perhaps America is our best bet. Certainly if things don't start to pick up in this country we will have to think about upping and leaving."

Ireland at the moment is going through a pop trend these days. The success of Boyzone, B*witched and the Corrs has opened the floodgates for pop acts in this country and as such rock bands are having an even harder time getting their sounds heard.

Dave M: "Yes that's true. Also rock music has kind of stagnated a bit in recent times. One thing that has been said to us many times at gigs in Dublin is that it is great to hear an old time rock band rather than having to hear grunge or trash metal. People find that hearing some of the old time riffs is quite refreshing and that's very nice to hear."

Is there a place for Celtic Legacy in Ireland?

Dave B: "Yes, I think so. We have had a lot of good feedback. There is a lot of the older crowd who appreciate what we are doing but there is also a lot of the younger people out there who like what we do also but it is so frustrating when people in the industry we send the CD to don't even reply. Even a bad review would be something but we didn't even get that!"

When did the interest in Thin Lizzy surface?

Dave M: "Back to childhood really. Lizzy were the first band I went to see live. I went to see them in 1983 during the Thunder and Lightening tour and that was my first experience of a live show and I have never forgotten it."

Both Philomena Lynott and Smiley Bolger have been given copies of the CD. What was their reaction?

Dave M: "Smiley saw us play in Slattery's about three months ago and we have a generous sprinkling of Thin Lizzy songs in our set. On this particular occasion we played Massacre and at the end of the night he said that we were a bit late to get into this years Vibe but he would definitely have us down for next year. Philomena was really happy with the song on the CD called Glen Corr, The Spirit of the Vagabond."

What's the future for the band now?

Dave B: "Hopefully we can find someone that is interested in us. We want to do another album. We need to get management as getting the gigs in Dublin is not easy. The next album will include the entire band. This current CD was written my myself and Dave Boylan and we want to include the entire band on the next one. I don't think there will be a radical change in the sound."

Dave M: "There will probably be a little more violin in the next CD. Ciara only joined after most of the songs were written for the current CD. She only came in as we started recording so she didn't have time to give her input to the sound in a way that she and we would have wanted."

Will the band be on the road at any stage?

Dave B: "As soon as the rest of the band come back from holiday! We hope to get around the country. Believe me Celtic Legacy is a live band."

Celtic Legacy, the CD, is a very enjoyable album especially for people who like their music hard. Whether or not the band have a future in Ireland remains to be seen. However I can see the band doing well in Canada or in Northern Europe. There has always been a big following for rock music in these areas. Celtic Legacy play a kind of rock music that many people in their 30's would really enjoy, bringing back the sound of Gallagher and Lizzy. There is a place for them but at the moment they will have to bide their time. Their album is a must for anyone who likes Thin Lizzy.

Celtic Legacy at the Open Directory Project

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Last updated 29 April 2002

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Interviews from Roddy Cleere's Irish Music Show