The Bothy Band

The Bothy Band

The Bothy Band

par Guide Irlande

The Bothy Band is THE major band that breathed new life into traditional Irish music in the 1970s. Regarded as a band to be reckoned with in this field, they had a success as dazzling as brief, with hardly 4 years of existence…

Bothy Band Career

Gifted musicians meet unexpected success

It all began in 1974, when the group was formed on the occasion of a radio programme directed by Tony MacMahon. Seven musicians were invited to perform an improvised live show, including :

  • Matt Molloy
  • Tommy Peoples
  • Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill,
  • Mícheál Ó Domhnaill,
  • Paddy Keenan,
  • Paddy Glackin
  • and Dónal Lunny

The alchemy is immediately established: very soon the seven musicians agree to meet once a week to play together (although some of them live several hundred kilometres away from each other!).

Very quickly, the group develops, finds its sound… But a few months before recording their first album in 1975, Paddy Glackin decided to leave the band, and was finally replaced by Tommy People.

The release of their first album was an unexpected and unexpected success that immediately propelled them to the forefront of the Irish scene. The group then multiplied concerts and television appearances… Their mastery of traditional instruments such as the fiddle, uilleann pipe, and bodhràn aroused the admiration of the critics.

In 1976, they released their second album, Old Hag You Have Killed Me, which was a resounding success. But the band had a hard time living in such a success. Always astonished by the public’s reception, they had not prepared themselves for having to pursue a career as professional musicians. Their success seemed to be beyond their control…

After the departure of Tommy People, finally replaced by Kevin Burke in May 1976, they finally decide to separate after only 4 years of existence, in the most total incomprehension of the public.

Everyone then tries to try his luck in other musical projects, like Matt Molloy with the Chieftains

The group will only reform in 2007, exceptionally, on the occasion of a concert in memory of Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, who died a year before…

Despite their short career, the Bothy Band has profoundly revolutionised traditional Irish music. They are still considered to be one of the greatest bands of the genre today.


  • 1975: The Bothy Band
  • 1976: Old Hag You Have Killed Me
  • 1977: Out of the Wind into the Sun
  • 1979: After Hours (Live in Paris)
  • 1983 : Best Of the Bothy Band (compilation)
  • 1995 : The Bothy Band – Live in Concert : (Concerts recorded in 1976 and 1978)


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