The Celtic Social Club
Faithful to its roots but open to new adventures, Celtic Social Club’s music is a celebratory mash-up without borders.
In just two years — with a first concert in front of 50,000 spectators at the Vieilles Charrues music festival (France), two CDs, and a European tour — the Celtic Social Club has made its grand entrance onto the world music scene.
Striking a perfect and energetic balance between tradition, rock, music, reggae, dubstep, and hip-hop, their repertoire is a fresh take on ancient Celtic melodies from Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, and Asturias.
Based on the same concept as the Buena Vista Social Club and the New Orleans Social Club, the group was created by drummer and producer Manu Masko, who had planned for Celtic Social Club to just be a “one shot” production for its inaugural concert. Comprised of Irish singer, Dan Donnelly, traditional Breton music virtuosos, Ronan Le Bars (Uilleann Pipe) and Pierre Stephan (Violin), Richard Puaud on the base, Mathieu Péquériau on the harmonica, Goulven Hamel on the banjo, mandoline, and guests Winston McAnuff, I.C. Will, Colline Hill, and Louise Ebrel, the group came out with an unprecedented album that is as modern as it is roots.
Like the Pogues in their prime, this was a true undertaking that brought Celtic music to the 21st century, trying to avoid clichées and steryotypes in the process. In front of an enthusiastic crowd of spectators and a warm welcome from music professionals, the Celtic Social Club went on a 30 date tour in 2015 across France, Germany, Switzerland… and even New York, before getting to work on its second album.
The best ideas often come by accident….
It all started in february 2012 when Manu Masko and Jean Pierre Riou of Red Cardell (one of the top bands in the celtic rock scene since 1992) found themseves in New York to mix an album with Ariel Borujow a well known producer and mixing engineer.
In a quiet moment between tracks they showed him a live dvd of Festrock (Red Cardell playing with the Bagad- Kemper) Ariel loved it and right away sent it to Frequency who work with Eminem and Snoop Dog.
Manu and Jean- Pierre realised that their music, a mix of traditional breton tunes, rock, chanson, the french touch mixed with celtic spirit could have an impact on the non initiated on the other side of the atlantic.
A few months later Manu found a video of the New Orleans Social Club and then checked out the original, the classic Buena Vista Social Club…..an idea was born…..The Celtic Social Club.
With this in mind Manu talked to The Vieilles Charrues the biggest summer festival in Britanny who were immediately seduced by the idea and accepted the project without hesitation for july 2014.
Then Manu as leader and artistic director of the concept convinced a powerful team to also get involved and partner the project – Luc Garichon ( Caramba Spectacles ) Alain Le Meur ( Keltia Musique ) and David Fourrier ( La Sirène ).
The group just like the story of the magnificent seven also began to click into shape. The three members of Red Cardell added Glasgow born singer/songwriter Jimme O’Neill from the Silencers as well as Ronan le Bars (a virtuoso of the Uilleann pipes and the flute) and Pierre Stephan (violin). Richard Puaud an old friend of Manu completed the groupe on bass.
In rehearsals at the Sirène La Rochelles the group created and recorded 10 songs each one having a traditional celtic melody at its source.
At the same time Manu searched other artists from different countries with celtic roots to collaborate in the project. The jamaican Winston McAnuff, the new york rapper I C Will and the Belgian based bretonne singer/ songwriter Colline Hill.