Press Release -- Vertical, Glasgow


Outstanding Irish fiddle player Mairead Nesbitt has left Michael Flatley's 'Lord of the Dance' production to pursue a solo career-

Her first full gig was at the Gosport & Fareham Easter vertical Festival on March 28. On this occasion, she was accompanied by a superstar band including members of Capercaillie and Shooglenifty - many of whom played on her debut album 'Raining Up'.

Joining Mairead on stage at Gosport [Fareham] were Capercaillie's Mánus Lunny (bouzouki); Donald Shaw (keyboards); Ewen Vernal (bass) and Shooglenifty's James Macintosh on drums. Mairead's brother Karl also featured on digeridoo.

A similar line-up will feature when Mairead performs at the Hebridean Celtic Festival, on the Isle of Lewis on 19th July. The line-up may well change to include more Irish musicians for future gigs.

Negotiations are taking place for Mairead to appear at several European festivals and on TV shows in Ireland and Europe. Another confirmed gig is in Cork on 9th March at The Half Moon Club, with the techno/funk/trad band 'Yup!'. She features on a German network television special with the Celtic Tenors in March, also due to be shown in the USA.

It is all a big change from the jet set life Mairead became used to as lead fiddle player with 'Lord of the Dance' and 'Feet of Flames'.

Mairead developed a taste for more conventional gigging when she performed with top Irish artists such as Donal Lunny's Coolfin, Van Morrison, Clannad, Emmylou Harris, Sharon Shannon, Paul Brady and Frances Black.

"There is something really exciting about having my own band," said Mairead. "Pursuing a solo career has been a dream. It's a gamble, but one I am really looking forward to."