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NEWS   Spotlight on Celtic Music: Poitin
Posted on July 9, 2012 by Marc Gunn in Celtic Music Magazine

Band Name: Poitin
Hometown: Plzen, Czech Republic

If youre online and havent heard of Poitin, I dont know where youve been. Poitin is one of the hottest indie Celtic bands I found online. And theyre from the Czech Republic. The group was formed with a love of The Chieftains. They developed into the astounding musical commodity that blows away the Celtic Radio music awards each year, dominating over bigger named groups.

The band consists of Otik on fiddle, Honza on bouzouki, banjo and whistles, Kuba on guitar, Jeremy on guitar and vocals, Sasha on whistles and flute, and Tom on concertina and whistles.

Its one big band with one giant sound, a great love of Celtic music and a passion that sets their audiences on fire with energy. Right now, you can only hear them in Europe. But something this hot can only glow!

How long have you been together?

Weve been playing regularly since about 1997, although Otik the fiddler started the band on a very informal basis a year earlier in 1996-hes the only surviving member from that original line-up.

How did you get started?

Looking back, it seems like pubs had a lot to do with it. Most of the band seems to have met via chance meetings in various pubs around Pilsen at various times and got chatting over a few pints and then were invited to rehearsals..
What drew you to Celtic music?

The apparently (stress on apparently) simple elegance, expressivity of the music and the joy which it brings to the musician and the listener which, however, gets more and more complex the more you go into it.

Is there a big Celtic scene in the Czech Republic?

Its surprisingly big. There are large (and small) Celtic music festivals and every year we find new bands have sprung up since we last played them. And not only music. There are a lot of Irish dance companies too. This year Prague hosted the international dance competition, the Prague Feis, for the fourth time.

Do you prefer Guinness or a local Czech brew?

When in Rome (or Pilsen), do as the Romans Nothing wrong with Guinness at all, but I have a feeling that the stuff we get here is brewed in Poland, not Dublin, and its about twice the price of Pilsen beer. The local beer is actually really good.
Any big events planned for the rest of the summer, music or otherwise?

Really looking forward to Keltska Noc (Celtic Night) again this year. Its the biggest Celtic festival in the Czech Republic and were regular guests there. Well get to meet some old friends like Sliotar (coming soon to the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast) from Ireland and make some new friends too.

What Celtic bands are you fans of?

We already mentioned the Chieftains, but we could also mention people like Kila, Flook, Solas, Steeleye Span and Lunasa who have all influenced as us in various ways and been a great inspiration.

Cats. Kilts. Science Fiction. Irish drinking songs. Nowhere else but from the bizarre imagination of Marc Gunn would those four elements be so neatly integrated. Marc Gunn riotously combines Renaissance festival fanaticism with Irish drinking and Sci Fi fandom into a satirical jam session between Jonathan Coulton and The Clancy Brothers. Gunn is an award-winning Celtic folk musician. Armed with an autoharp, he mesmerizes audiences with an enthusiasm that crosses Elvis Presley with Shane MacGowan. He is the Chief Editor of the Celtic Music Magazine and host of the award-winning Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. Gunn is currently raising money for his latest album Celtic Music Is Freedom through his own personal Kickstarter-like crowdfunding project.

Interview first published here
Midsomer Set
uploaded on
09/06/10 @ 05:55 AM     2 comments
42,658 times
Poitin at Hot Days CD launch, Zach's Pub 2006.
» go to the music page for more
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play hi-fi  Springtime Frolics DSPI remix
play hi-fi  A Bucket Full of Mountain Dew
play hi-fi  Mountain Dew DSPI remix
play hi-fi  Midsomer Set
play hi-fi  Hot Days
Poiti­n are an award-winning band which play Celtic music in all its shapes and forms from haunting Breton melodies to raunchy traditional Irish songs.
Their new CD Bofiguifluki is out now available to download through Amazon or iTunes or CDBaby

Why this name?
We were given our name by the landlord of our local Irish pub- we didn't have a name at the time (and it sounds a bit rude in Czech)so we thought,"Why not?!"
Do you play live?
We've played from Warsaw to Bordeaux- sounds very grand, but it's true! Based in the Czech Republic, we have easy access to the whole of Europe. We have weekly sessions in a pub near the main square in Plzen where we can try out new things and meet like-minded musicians. We love playing live- it's a buzz!!
Upcoming gigs...

The Tuesday Session, U Sv. Rocha, Roudna, Plzen/Pilsen, Czech Republic- 20.30h-free!

How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
I suppose, like everybody else says, that it lets our music hopefully be heard by loads of people who couldn't or wouldn't otherwise hear us and we can hear what other people are up to.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
I (Jeremy)think I would, depending on the terms and conditions, but I'm not sure about the others- I'm the egomaniac in the band and I've always wanted to be a frontman- the others are much more shy and retiring, despite being much much better musicians!
Band History:
We started in Pilsen, Czech Republic in the mid 90s and have undergone many line-up changes, but we seem to have found a certain degree of stability at last. The only founder member still with us is Otik O'Machacek (fiddle), then there is Kuba (guitar) and me, Jeremy (bodhran and vocals), Honza(bouzouki,banjo,whistles)who joined a little later, Sasha on tin whistles, low whistles and flute and our newest member Tom on concertina-and don't forget our very special guest, Dick Savage , urban folk-punk singer-song writer legend who plays a mean didge and rattles those spoons like nobody's business and often plays a support slot for us too!
Your influences?
The Chieftains and the Bothy Band are of course the greatest, and then there are the new wave people like Flook, Kila, Solas and Altan and then there are the pioneers from the 70s who experimented with electric folk but retained their authentic sound like Steeleye Span. There are also the guys who I grew up with, the Levellers- who are unbeatable for energy and raw power!
Favorite spot?
The Seven Sisters near Eastbourne, UK is quite pleasant...
Equipment used:
fiddle (very old German-made), bodhran(a Brendan White and another, smaller one by an unknown maker), banjo, bouzouki(Czech handmade),low whistle and tin whistles (Irish), flutes (Irish and orchestral), guitar, spoons (dessert), didgeridoo (not a real one, it's made of bamboo), concertina.
Anything else...?
where's me drum?
Main Square Pilsen, Czech Republic
Poitin Swordfighters Ball
Poitin in Treviso, Italy
Halloween special
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