MOXIE on performing for Michael D. Higgins and promoting Irish music

Cillian Doheny, Ted Kelly, Josh Sampson, Darren Roche, Jos Kelly are the five young men of MOXIE.

Cillian Doheny, Ted Kelly, Josh Sampson, Darren Roche, Jos Kelly are the five young men of MOXIE.

Hailing from Ireland’s untamed west coast, the innovative band MOXIE will perform at Dolans in Limerick tonight as part of their winter tour.

Limerick Voice spoke to band member Cillian Doheny who explained the band’s peculiar name which means “pursuing something with courage and boldness without fear”.

Cillian Doheny (tenor banjo/guitar), Jos Kelly (button accordion/keyboard), Darren Roche (button accordion), Ted Kelly (tenor banjo/electric guitar) and Josh Sampson (percussion) are the five young men of MOXIE at the forefront of new acoustic music in Ireland.

Doheny who hails from Ballysimon, Limerick is looking forward to the Limerick gig with immense anticipation.

“It’s always a great opportunity to show the whole of limerick what we’re doing.”

The band have been described by critics as the Irish traditional music of a new era with their distinctive edge and revolutionary energy who aim to promote Irish traditional music.

Their music is inspired by the surroundings of the west of Ireland and the progressive, world and jazz influences which results in a highly charged, irresistible sound that you will leave you with goosebumps.

In August 2014, they released their debut album ‘Planted’ to critical acclaim. Two years later MOXIE provided the musical landscape for the dance show ‘Prodijig, The Revolution.’

After three weeks of performance in Ireland’s famous Cork Opera House, extra dates were added due to demand. The show has received gold standard reviews and will no doubt be back for a run in 2017.

Cillian said the band’s eyes have been opened to the possibility of creating their own show.

“We were lucky enough to compose music for prodijig the revolution, it was our first experience as a band going into theatre.”

MOXIE performing at Cyprus Avenue Cork 2017 as part of their winter tour.

MOXIE performing at Cyprus Avenue Cork 2017 as part of their winter tour.

With their unique approach, MOXIE has become a festival favourite in Europe, America, Australia and beyond with a reputation for their exhilarating performances.

Despite their young age and immensely successful music career, they are very humble regarding their incredible success to date.

“I would hope we could be role models for any musician that really wants to be part of the music industry.”

Doheny mentioned that the band always offer aspiring musicians some “hard truths” about the music industry.

“It’s a hard graft but if you work hard at it and be smart about it and carve your way through the industry it’s worth it.”

He highlighted one of the hardest aspects of the job as working with all band members on a constant basis.

“We have to work hard at our personal relationships with each other, it’s like a marriage really,” he laughed.

Doheny gave the Limerick Voice an insight into some of the reactions they have received abroad from people who have never heard Irish music before.

He described one performance in Austria where the crowd were anything between 40-80 years old.

“They loved it and hadn’t heard anything like it before. People were saying they felt young again.”

Cillian explained how although his whole family was very involved in music, he had no interest. He fell into music when his Grandfather had left a banjo in his room.

“I was giving out to my mother saying, ‘I don’t want it’, not really knowing what it was or how it sounded.”

In 2016, MOXIE had the incredible opportunity to play from President Michael D. Higgins. Cillian described it as a “brilliant experience it was really amazing to meet him and his wife Sabina and their two Bernese mountain dogs”.

One of his favourite moments to date was when the band was taken on a cultural visit by the President to the Vietnam Opera House.

“It couldn’t have gone better so it was so special to have been brought along like that.”

MOXIE’s immense passion for creating music means they find it difficult to stop working.

“The minute we go on holidays we’re kind of motivated to write again.”

He describes how they resort to singing into their phones when they are feeling inspired.

“We don’t mind it doesn’t feel like work.”

Doheny concluded by saying that: “Moxie is our priority for the foreseeable future there’s no signs of us stopping”.

Their spectacular new single ‘Eyes on Pluto’ is out now.

Cover of new single ‘Eyes on Pluto’.

Cover of new single ‘Eyes on Pluto’.

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Have a listen to their new single ‘Eyes on Pluto’.


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