The Changing Room scored a hat trick for Cornwall at the 2015 International Pan Celtic Festival this week. Held in Derry, Ireland the festival celebrates the cultural links between the Celtic nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man.
The Changing Room, led by Tanya Brittain and Sam Kelly, won all three prizes at the glittering international event: best traditional band, best new song in traditional style, and the International Pan Celtic Song Contest (think Eurovision for Celtic nations).
The Changing Room won the opportunity to represent Cornwall at the event in January when they competed in the national finals in Redruth, hosted by MAGA – the Cornish Language Partnership and the Cornwall branch of the Pan Celtic Committee.
The winning song ‘Hal-an-Tow’ was written by Tanya and Sam, and was performed in Cornish. The award for the best traditional song went to Tanya’s self-penned shanty-style composition ‘Row Boys Row’, again sung in Cornish. The band performed at the Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin and the newly opened live music venue, the Glassworks.
Sam said, “We’d like to thank everyone involved in the organization of the Pan Celtic Festival for delivering such a fantastic event. We’ve been made to feel so welcome, been inspired by many fellow musicians and made a lot of friends. Special thanks to our lyric translator Ken George for doing such a splann job.”
Tanya added, “It’s been quite a week. We came off stage on Wednesday night, having won the traditional awards with ‘Row Boys Row’ to hear that the same song had just been broadcast on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show. We’ve had a proper Cornish celebration involving dancing, drinking and feasting.”
The prizes which included engraved Derry crystal plaques and almost €2,000 in cash were presented by the Pan Celtic festival chairman Gearóid Ó hEára.
The band released their Cornish language EP ‘Splann’ ahead of their trip to Ireland and their debut album ‘Behind the Lace’ is due for release on 4th May. You can catch the band performing live at Lorient Festival, Brittany in August, Looe Music Festival in September and at Lowender Peran on 18th October in Newquay ahead of their winter tour.