Acoustic music group NoCrows has been making great waves in the European folk and world music circuit in the past three years. The group, which formed out of humble origins in 2005, has gone on to make acclaimed appearances at major European festivals including Glastonbury (UK), Dranouter and Labadoux (Belgium), San Sebastiá (Mallorca) and an extensive tour calendar in Europe each year.
The band, which plays a unique blend of Irish traditional, Gypsy, Classical and World music, is a quartet of Sligo musicians from very different backgrounds: Steve Wickham (of Waterboys fame) on violin and vocals, moved to Sligo from his native Dublin in the early nineties and has been an integral part of Sligo’s music scene ever since. Mallorcan maestro Felip Carbonell, on Spanish guitar and vocals, has resided in Strandhill for over 15 years, as has Swiss multi-instrumentalist Anna Houston, who is as comfortable on first cello in Sligo Baroque Orchestra as she is on banjo and mandolin in local trad sessions. Versatile double bassist Eddie Lee, the band’s only Sligo native, who has, since the heady days of Those Nervous Animals in the eighties, played a big part in Sligo’s thriving rock, soul, jazz, folk, and world music scene, completes the quartet. The group also regularly features, as special guest, a regular collaborator since 2007, Dublin based Russian violin virtuoso, Oleg Ponomarev, remembered by many as a member of the legendary Gypsy group Lloyko, and currently a member of Yurodny and Koshka.
NoCrows repertoire is truly global as their music ranges from Portugal to Moldova, from Brittany to Russia, from Venezuela to Greece and beyond. Always on the lookout for a good tune, the band borrows from the classical oeuvre as it does from jazz, trad, folk and world music.
The group has two previous CDs on its own label Crows Records and Dervish’s Whirling Discs. The live debut CD, Live at the Strand was recorded in late 2006 and released in 2007 to critical acclaim. (“Swing rarely felt this good”- Siobhan Long of The Irish Times). The second, Magpie (2008), described by The Irish Times as “A beautifully wrought selection of instrumental music”, caught the public imagination once more. “Magpie was NoCrows just beginning to discover our own voice”, says Eddie Lee, “it was an album we are very proud of and contains original material written by each member. We have been mixing genres for a few years now, and NoCrows on the Moon is a logical progression, involving more original material and some of the many musicians that have influenced us in our lifelong musical journey”.