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Glengarry Bhoys Play Ned Devines

Irish music band comes to Fairfax

Graham Wright, the lead singer of The Glengarry Bhoys, has nothing but positive things to say about Ned Divine's in Fairfax.

“The atmosphere is beautiful, and the staff is just the best,” said Wright, the frontman for Glengarry, Ontario-based Celtic band. The Bhoys are coming back to play at Ned Divine’s in Fairfax on Sunday, Oct. 3.

“It’s infectious music,” said Greg Whelan, the manager of Ned Divine’s. Glengarry is an area strongly influenced by French, Scottish and Irish cultures. That blend of those cultures is evident in the music played by the band.

The Bhoys played at Ned Divine’s in February, and the crowd loved it. “I’ve seen them twice now,” said Jason Hornick, “They are great, and it’s always a fun party.”

The proceeds from the band's February concert went to the Breast Cancer Society. This time around the proceeds are going to the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote traditional games of hurling and Gaelic football. There’s another change since the band’s last performance, the setting. Ned Divine’s opened a nightclub in May, Ned’s Down Under, below the bar, and that is where this performance will take place.

One of the main attractions of a Glengarry Bhoys show is the step-dancing of one of its members. Shelley Downing has won step-dancing competitions in Canada, and at the shows she plays the fiddle while she dances for the audience. “It is the highlight of the show,” said Whelan.

WRIGHT IS excited to be coming back to Ned Divine’s. “Our last show was great. There was a good crowd, and people were up dancing and enjoying the concert," he said. Most of the band’s performances are at festivals and other special occasions. The band has grown from a bar band to an internationally famous one.

While its shows are for the most part in the Eastern half of the United States and Canada, the band is preparing for a trip overseas. Late March and early April will take the Bhoys for a tour of Ireland. The next time the Glengarry Bhoys will be in the area is July 23 and 24, when they play at the Virginia Scottish Games in Alexandria.

The Bhoys incorporate the traditional music, using bagpipes and fiddle, with the contemporary music, using the guitar. “The bagpipes and fiddle are the bread and butter of Celtic music,” said Whelan, who sees many Celtic bands who come to play at Ned Divine’s. The songs are sung in English and in French.

“Come out and have some fun,” said Whelan. “Experience some high-energy Celtic music.” He said that the band’s music appeals to all age groups and that it is common to see young and old dancing to the same song.

“We have been receiving tons of e-mails from people telling us that they are looking forward to seeing us in the area again and that they are coming to the show,” said Wright, “so we hope there will be as good a crowd as last time.” He added that the Glengarry Bhoys have a strong fan base in Northern Virginia.