Thanks to a certain popular but historically inaccurate film, Celts will probably always be indelibly inked in the collective consciousness as blue-faced crazies with a propensity to violence and yelling. Look beyond Hollywood, however, and you’ll discover that the Celts were actually a fairly worldly bunch who liked to sing and tell stories (and yes, on occasion, the odd barney and a fair amount of naked scaremongering, too). However, it’s their more cultured traditions that are honoured at the El Feile Festival, an annual celebration that aims to introduce acts from Celtic countries to Catalunya. This year, its scope is scaled down but there are still some gems in the programme.
Kevin Bridges, a comic from Glasgow, is booked to make us laugh and judging by the reviews from his sell-out show at Edinburgh he’s pretty good at it. At only 23, he’s drawn comparisons to another Scottish funny man, Billy Connolly, but Bridges is making a name for himself with his dry, observational wit. He gets his laughs from reciting autobiographical tales of small-town life and the joys of being Scottish.
The El Feile festival has always championed Celtic music, whatever the genre, and although not one for the purists, this year they’re hosting RíRá, an Irish rap star. The rapper, whose name means chaos in Irish, will be doing his thing on St. Patrick’s Day alongside Method Man of Wu-Tang Clan fame. A case of David and Goliath perhaps, but RíRá has been at the forefront of Irish hip-hop for two decades.
El Feile: Kevin Bridges: March 12th, 11.30pm and 13th, 10pm; Teatre Llantiol; RíRá, March 17th; Apolo; www.comedyinspain.com
ST. PATRICK'S DAY STREET PARTY: Another option for Celtic celebrating is the annual St. Patrick’s street party hosted by Kitty O’Shea’s pub. On the Saturday after St Patrick’s Day, partygoers can expect seven hours of fun including music, book readings and a pub quiz. For the youngsters, there will be story-telling, face painting and balloon animals. In the evening, enjoy traditional dancing and live music, plus a screening of the Six Nations rugby match between Ireland and Scotland.
Pedestrianised area of Carrer Numancia (above Avgda Diagonal) and Kitty O'Shea's pub; March 20th, from 11am