Eagles tribute by Sheerins and friends airs this week

Eagles tribute by Sheerins and friends airs this week

Photo - The Sheerin family and other musicians star in ‘Take It To The Limit’ on TG4 tonight, Tuesday, and on Saturday next.

When it comes to legends of rock, there are few who can come near The Eagles: with record sales of almost 150 million, they have been one of the most successful bands ever – and audiences can see why tonight, Tuesday, March 24, as TG4 screens ‘Take It To The Limit’, an hour-long tribute to The Eagles.

The tribute show is one that draws strongly on the musical talent of the midlands: it features some of this area’s greatest talents – The Sheerin Family, who are largely based in Tang and Mullingar; Offaly’s Simon Casey; along with the hugely talented Johnny Brady and Nigel Connell.

Going out at 9.30pm, the programme is to be repeated at 9.15pm on Saturday next.

“We are huge fans of The Eagles,” declares Tom Sheerin, explaining how the show came about.

“We don’t try to imitate them, but we do try to do their music justice.”

‘Take It To The Limit’ has proven enormously popular with audiences, and in fact, completely sold out on its debut tour in November 2018. Since then, word about the show has spread throughout the country and has created a lot of excitement. The spring 2019 tour also sold out.

There is great excitement among the performers that the show is now to go before a wider audience.

The Sheerin Family Band are the guys who bind all this together. Comprising six brothers, Paul (Mullingar), Des (Tang), Danny (Ballymore), Kieran (Ballymahon), Tom (Tang) and Simon (Tang), along with Kieran’s son Ciarán (Ballymore), they are known for their tight, crisp harmonies and attention to detail. Also part of the Sheerin Family Band is Carmel (Tang).

“There are 10 of us on stage, which includes seven Sheerins,” says Tom.

The Sheerins are one of the quiet success stories of the midlands – although quiet might not be the most appropriate word to use when talking about musicians. From Carnegie Hall to The London Palladium to the 3 Arena, the Sheerins have performed with some of the biggest names in the music world, including Billy Ocean, Mel C, Curtis Stigers, Charlie Pride, Daniel O’Donnell and Nathan Carter – the list goes on.

The other performers in ‘Take It To The Limit’ are all big names.

Johnny Brady, one of the most distinctive voices on the Irish music scene, is known for his powerful vocals, energetic performances and charismatic personality. Johnny has a unique sound and is continually pushing the boundaries in a new generation of Irish music Artists.

Simon Casey hit the headlines in 2003 when he became a superstar after appearing on one of the most popular TV shows ever in Ireland, You’re A Star. Simon performed live on the show every Sunday evening and subsequently his first single ‘A Better Plan’ spent three weeks at number one in the Irish top 30 and is now certified triple platinum. Simon was also enlisted to record the famous Irish Rugby World Cup Anthem penned by Phil Coulter, ‘Ireland’s Call’, which has also been certified platinum.

Nigel Connell started singing before he could talk, and at the age of only 13 performed his first gig with his family band. Fast forward 25 years, and already he has achieved what most musicians could only dream of. Once the drummer with the Daniel O’Donnell group, he toured the world before setting his sights on the Irish music scene. In 2016 he entered The Voice Of Ireland, where he became a household name, delighting audiences with his powerful vocals and energetic drumming ability.

Musical family

Music was a huge part of life for the young Sheerins growing up in Tang, near Ballymahon. Their parents, now retired, were professional musicians and all 11 children – six boys and five girls – learned to play music. Six of the boys and two of the girls are full-time working musicians.

“Or at least we did play full-time until last week. Now, none of us have a job!” said Tom wryly.

“Danny played with Daniel O’Donnell; I played with Nathan Carter; Kieran plays with Johnny Brady; we’ve all played with various artists,” says Tom.

“Danny does a lot of TV work as a session player and also he would do a lot of work in recording studios, again as a session player and singer.”

The siblings love the life, but it can be gruelling: “The travelling is difficult. You are getting on the road at 2am on a Saturday and you could be driving for four hours, it could be 6.30am, before you get into bed. If you do that three or four nights a week, it’s hard going.”

Playing with a big star is even more demanding: while Tom was playing with Nathan Carter, they literally “travelled the world”.

“We performed in America, Australia, London, Spain, Germany, all of the UK and Scotland – every inch of it – and Ireland as well.

“You could be gone for 10 or 12 weeks at a time,” he says, adding that much of that travelling was happening when his children – currently aged 14, 12 and seven – were younger.

Birthday

Even though the brothers all have separate careers, they all get together monthly to play as a band at Cooney’s Hotel in Ballymahon.

“About 10 years ago, for my father’s 70th birthday, we got together. We were all kind of playing different things together, but never as a band as such, so we got together and we learnt my father’s favourite songs – country songs.

“We are all country musicians, we were reared on country music, American country music – and we got together for that, and what we did then was we kept it up, and so we get together at Cooney’s once every month and put on a show. We would always have a guest artist there as well.”

The ‘Take It To The Limit’ show grew out of that, and they are booked to take it to Germany this November.

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