Friends of the Irish night returns for August 2022 with guest hosts The Black Corner Band

Fans of Irish music are in for a treat when a six-piece group hosts one of South Tyneside’s longest-running events.

The next Friends of the Irish Night – which celebrates the borough’s links with the Emerald Isle – is taking place on Thursday, August 25, at its traditional home of the Alberta Club in Jarrow.

The event is usually hosted by Celtic Shamrock Street, but guest hosts have been taking the hot seat over the summer, with The Tony Corcoran Band taking centre stage in July.

For August, it is the turn of South Tyneside’s own The Black Corner Band, who formed in Cleadon and Boldon in 2017 and are known for their performances at a variety of venues in the borough and beyond.

The Black Corner Band.

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    Oranganiser Eddie Macintyre said: “The line-up is Trish Fitzsimons on accordion, Chas Buchanan on and vocals, Simon Brew on guitar, mandolin and vocals, Alan Burns on guitar and vocals, Robert Ward on base guitar and John Craig on percussion.”

    The event at the Alberta Club, in Railway Street, next to Jarrow Metro station, begins at 8.15pm on Thursday.

    There is no entry charge, admission is free.

    The Friends of Irish Night is one of South Tyneside’s longest-running events, dating back to 1962.

    The Black Corner Band.

    And organisers, musicians and punters have been making the most of its 60th anniversary year after many months of missing out during the covid pandemic.

    The long-running event originally took place at the Bede’s Club, but moved to its ‘new’ home at the Alberta Club more than 25 years ago, with the new hosts promising organisers at the time ‘we will look after you’.”

    The Friends of the Irish Night may have been running for some six decades, but South Tyneside, and Jarrow and Hebburn, have been alive with the sounds of music from Ireland for more than a century, thanks to the settlers who came over to work in the heavy industries on the River Tyne.

    The Irish workers’ influence on the area is well documented, with the area having been dubbed ‘Little Ireland’ due to the large population of people from Hibernia who came to know Tyneside as home.

    The event takes place at the Alberta Club in Jarrow.