Fusing Latin, Irish, and traditional gypsy music, Café Orchestra are led by Pat Collins (b. Eire; violin, mandolin). He had first played in Mushroom, a school folk rock band in the tradition of Horslips. An extended musical apprenticeship came after travelling to Europe to join Italian vocalist Tony Georgio, with whom he played at several clubs in Paris. He then recruited busker Michael Flynn (accordion) as his new partner. While playing shows together, and following the release of their debut album they met Croatian guitarist Drazen Derek. The line-up was finally completed by fellow Croatian Sven Buic on double bass. After returning to Ireland they were adopted by the folk rock community, playing alongside Van Morrison, Mary Coughlan and ex-members of the Waterboys and An Emotional Fish. The Café Orchestra played at the premiere of In The Name Of The Father, further establishing their credentials. More permanently, they took residencies at a variety of Dublin restaurants. After Hours included the band’s enlistment of Myles Drennan on percussion to add Latin American variation, with producer Pierce Dunne helping to shape the mix of traditional and original songs.
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