Friends of the Irish Night returns to Jarrow for May 2023

One of South Tyneside’s longest-running events is returning with a special treat for music fans.
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The next installment of the ever-popular Friends of the Irish Night is taking place on Thursday, May 25.

And this month will see the Black Corner Band make a guest appearance to delight attendees at the Alberta Club in Jarrow.

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The band features Trish Fitzsimons on accordion, Chas Buchanan and Alan Burns on guitar and vocals, John Craig on percussion and Simon Brew on guitar, mandolin and vocals.

The Black Corner Band.The Black Corner Band.
The Black Corner Band.

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.

Organiser Eddie Mcintyre said: “The five-piece folkestra excel in all kinds of entertaining music and song, ranging from Irish, country and a penchant for ‘Lindisfarne’ and following on from crowd favourites ‘The Happy Cats’.”

A selection of floor singers is also expected to perform at the evening, which gets under way at 8.15pm.

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There is no cover charge for the event at the venue, in Railway Street, admission is free.

The event takes place at the Alberta Club in Jarrow.The event takes place at the Alberta Club in Jarrow.
The event takes place at the Alberta Club in Jarrow.

The Friends of Irish Night, which takes place on the last Thursday of every month, is one of South Tyneside’s longest-running regular events, dating back to 1962.

Last year, 2022, marked its diamond anniversary, and organisers hope it has many more years left as a firm fixture of South Tyneside’s cultural calendar.

The 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’.

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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.

Traces of the Irish accent can be found in parts of South Tyneside, as can many Irish names.

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