Gaelic Club Céilí Band All-Stars

Rebecca Varidel
4th Mar 2024

Irish traditional music as you’ve never seen it as the Gaelic Club Céilí Band All-Stars take to the stage at the Gasoline Pony.

Far from their usual stomping ground at Sydney’s Gaelic Club, this mongrel band of global troubadours puts a new spin on Irish traditional music. Hailing from Portugal, Sweden, Marrickville, Mount Druitt and even a token Irishman, the All-Stars bring their mutant take on Irish trad to the famed Gasoline Pony for the first time on a warm up for the Paddy’s Day madness that is soon to follow. Join the All-Stars for a rompin’ stompin’ Continental Céilí at the Gasoline Pony!

This gig is being filmed as part of a documentary project about Irish culture in Australia produced by the Irish Film Festival. Documentary director Enda Murray said “I'm really looking forward to bringing the best Irish music to Marrickville – and the Gasoline Pony is the home of music in the Inner Wild West!”

The Gaelic Club Céilí Band All-Stars are:
João Almeida: flute, Portuguese pipes
Pelle Söderström: Uilleann pipes
Cameron Samy: Bodhran, guitar, vocals
Carissa Lee: Guitar
Ross O’Donovan: Fiddle
Support by Aljamía.

A collective inspired by medieval Europe, Aljamía invites you to embark on a captivating journey into a forgotten and erased past of mysticism, wisdom, and beauty.

Details: Friday, 8th March, 7 to 10pm
Gasoline Pony, 115 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
Tickets $20

Cam Samy enjoys playing Irish tunes and singing Irish songs. He enjoys having the audience
sing along and his favourite instrument is the bodhran. He is Australian born and of Sri Lankan background.

Carissa Lee spent 10 years learning classical piano but picked up a set of uilleann pipes at the age of 15 which she ended up using for her HSC viva voce assessment. She switched to guitar, learnt DADGAD from a Breton musician and backed sessions for two years across Ireland and Europe. Since then, she has developed a rhythmic and percussive accompaniment style through playing with European trad band The Last Aurochs and Irish tunes trio Port agus Ríl. Today, she occasionally plays tenor banjo and guitar at sessions around Sydney, including those at the Gaelic Club and Slow Lane Brewery. Carissa lives in Marrickville.

Pelle Söderström is a speech scientist based in Sydney. Classically trained on the oboe from the age of 8, he sang as a boy soprano in church choirs in his native Sweden and played the tin whistle, inspired by bands such as Planxty and the Dubliners. Pelle plays a range of instruments, including guitar, bass and the Irish bouzouki. Welcomed into the Sydney Irish music scene when he moved to Australia in 2018, he took up the uilleann pipes in time for lockdown in 2020. He regularly plays in sessions at the Gaelic Club and the Doss House in Sydney. Pelle lives in Marrickville.

João “Jaye” Almeida is a traditional piper and flute player from Lisbon, Portugal. Born in 1984, Jaye started his musical training in 2000 learning classical guitar, electric guitar and bass guitar. Between 2007 and 2009 Jaye co-founded and ran an experimental arts and music collective in Lisbon, organising music festivals and events. In 2009 joined the Portuguese Bagpipe Society studying traditional Portuguese piping. In 2011 migrated to Sydney, Australia, and there joined the Sydney Slow Session and various other Irish sessions. Between 2016 and 2017 hosted the Gaelic Club trad session. Jaye is a founding member of Sydney bands Celtic Tones, The Last Aurochs, as well as Aljamía. Currently Jaye co-hosts a traditional Irish music session every Sunday at the Doss House.

Ross O’Donovan, fiddler extraordinaire, is from Ruan, County Clare on the wild Atlantic coast of Ireland just a stone’s throw from the majestic Cliffs of Moher. Ross grew up in a musical family and is the nephew of Irish trad legend Sharon Shannon. Ross was a regular at sessions in Ennis in his misspent youth and has made several pilgrimages to Fleadh na hÉireann where he joined with thousands of musical fleadh cowboys to worship at the altar of trad. Ross's energy, enthusiasm and joy for the music is infectious. (Ross is the token Irishman in the Gaelic Club Céilí Band All-Stars!)