Artist info



Sounds like

Mumford and Sons, The Swell season, The Pogues

band members

Alan Kelly, Kristin Kelly, Steve Cook, Erin Sulman, Gary Ward, Belinda Ford


Celtic, World, Folk rock



Brewed in Ireland and distilled in Australia the Barleyshakes are a Celtic band with worldly influences who combine intense energy, beautiful harmony and driving dance rhythms in their live performances. They are loved for their blend of traditional and original material, and their uplifting and joyous approach to live performance. The Shakes skillfully blend their “bent” Irish sound with country rock and many other styles in their fast paced songs and instrumentals. Using fiddles, banjo, flutes, bass, drums, guitar, mandolin, and vocals, the Shakes are a collaboration of Irish and Australian performers. Vocalist and guitarist Alan Kelly is from Dublin and sings traditional and original songs in the Irish language aswell as English and French. Alan has recorded as a bodhran soloist for the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. Fiddler Kristin Kelly was the long time strings teacher for the Tablelands and a member of Patterson’s Curse Bush band before teaming up with members of the Czech Velvet Revolution to form Prague based band “Puca Rua”. Flautist Belinda Ford won the Declan Affey award for best young folk musician of the year at the National folk fest in Canberra in 2005. Drummer Erin Sulman is famously in demand throughout Australia having worked with Lothlorien, Greg Arnold, Dave Flower .Veteran Instrumentalist Steve Cook is hugely respected throughout Australia for his work with acoustic Irish all stars Tolca Mor. With the Shakes he plucks a mean dizzy banjo. Filling the line up on bass is Gary Ward, again famous throughout Australia and abroad for his work with many great names including the legendary Mangrove Jack from his time up north. With 6 independently produced albums to date the Barleyshakes are simply one of Australia’s finest Irish bands full of surprises and a joy to see in concert. “Any event looking for great musicians with talent, a solid traditional foundation and tasteful experimental leanings should look no further than the Barleyshakes. Combining great musicianship, thoughtful social comment and an impressive stage presence the Barleyshakes are more than capable of raising whatever roof has the good fortune to be sheltering them.” Woodford Folk Festival.


Review by Nkechi Anele Nkechi Anele

22 May 2019

Triple J

This is some tight AF Irish playing. It brings me more joy than I can even express right now. The instrument break - arrrghghghg!!! LOVE IT.

This is some tight AF Irish playing. It brings me more joy than I can even express right now. The instrument break - arrrghghghg!!! LOVE IT.