Today’s stamp issue coincides with thousands of stamp collectors and enthusiasts from Ireland and around the world gathering at Dublin’s RDS for STAMPA (October 10th - 12th), to view over €5 million worth of stamps at the three-day national philatelic exhibition.
The series of four stamps celebrates the phenomenon and the legacy of Irish traditional music. The bands are captured at the height of the trad boom during the purple patch of the seventies. Each of the stamps is painted by Irish artist Finbarr O’Connor, with typography by Steve Simpson.
Planxty (55c stamp) began playing in the early 70’s and became an immediate success at home, in the UK and Europe. Planxty revitalised the Irish music scene with a set of folk and traditional songs and tunes performed with an unusual line-up of instruments that included bouzouki, mandolin and guitars with uileann pipes, bodhrán and tin whistle.
The group reformed during 2004 proving that now as in the 70’s Irish acoustic music can be an exhilarating experience. At the GPO today, Andy Irvine said “Stamp collecting was my childhood hobby. Little did I think that, one day, I might become a collectible myself!”
De Dannan (55c stamp) formed in 1974 and took their name from the Tuatha De Dannan, a mythical Irish Tribe. De Dannan trademarks include their rhythmic sound and a great willingness to experiment, demonstrated in recordings of the Beatles, Handel and Queen. The band is one of the most influential bands in Irish traditional music and while the vocalists with De Dannan have frequently changed they read like a Who’s Who of Irish music.
Attending today’s stamp issue, De Dannan musician Charlie Piggott said "Having contributed to the promotion of Traditional Irish Music and as a keen philatelist, I consider it both an honour and a privilege to be celebrated on an Irish stamp."
The Bothy Band (82c stamp), or the Bothies, also first got together in 1974 debuting at Trinity College Dublin in 1975. The band was noted for the musicians’ highly energetic live performances including fiddle, pipes and flute. Their fire and talent has long outlasted the group’s brief and brilliant history. Some performances were captured by the BBC and have been released as an album.
The Tulla Céilí Band (82c stamp) was formed in 1946 from a group in east Clare taking part in that year’s Limerick Fleadh. Still going strong today, the band is now together for over 60 years and has undergone many changes of personnel in this time. Their superb music and individual style features traditional céilí rhythms played with a lively swing and continues to win fans in Ireland and abroad.
In 2006 An Post issued the first in the series of Irish Music stamps featuring ‘snapshot in time’ photographs of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem; The Dubliners; The Chieftains and Altan.
The Irish Music Part 2 stamp is sure to be extremely popular with collectors and Irish music lovers. The stamps are available in the philatelic shop at the GPO (01-705 7400), selected post offices nationwide or online at www.irishstamps.ie
Notes to Editor:
This is the 39th annual STAMPA exhibition, featuring exhibits, dealers and competitions, organised in association with An Post. There are roughly 20,000 stamp collectors in Ireland of all ages and An Post, as the main sponsor of the event, will have a sizeable display of its many valuable collections, all of which are an important reflection of Irish history. An Post’s 2008 catalogue of stamps and philatelic products to date, will be on sale at STAMPA. STAMPA has a membership of over 1,000 worldwide with members ranging in age from 15 to 92.
The Thirty-Seventh Irish National Stamp Exhibition
Friday, 10th October to Sunday 12th October 2008
The RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4