Orthodox Celts

So I encountered a link to Orthodox Celts – Star Of The County Down, and enjoyed the video:

But the accent was a tiny bit funny — were these maybe Australian expatriates? — and come to think of, these are not very most Irish looking group I ever saw, but then again they said “Celts” so maybe they are Scottish?

But I did like the name — Orthodox Celts. None of this modern music for this crew. Take that, you Pogues. And I liked the drinking song, and Far Away, and some of the others.

Is there an Amazon CD? No, there's none. Odd.

Well, what does Google say? There I learn that Orthodox Celts are “Belgrade's most popular Irish & Celtic music band.” OK, that explains the accent and the look. But it sure sounds like damning with faint praise, or at least small frog, microscopic puddle, but no … Wikipedia tells me that the OC are part of a genuine cultural phenomenon:

Formed in 1992, Orthodox Celts are part of the musical phenomenon that came up in Serbia during the 1990s. The band performs Irish folk music combined with rock elements. Their music led to a popularisation of Irish and Celtic music and other aspects of Irish and Celtic culture in Serbia. Despite their unusual sound the band is currently one of the top acts of the Serbian rock scene and has influenced several younger bands, most notably Tir na n'Og and Irish Stew of Sindidun.

A big-time Irish music scene in Serbia. Who wouldda thunk?

It's especially amazing given that, as far as I know, the Celtic influence on Serbia ended when Rome was at its peak. The Scordisci — who may or may not have been ethnic Celts, but seem to have been part of a Celtic political constellation — had their capital at Singidunum (now Belgrade) in the 3rd century BCE, but the Scordisci faded from history more than 2000 years ago, after the Romans conquered them, and the rest of the Celts were pretty much gone from most of mainland Europe before the fall of Rome.

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3 Responses to Orthodox Celts

  1. Matt says:

    I’ll have to check this out. When I lived in Russia I had some (Russian) friends in the town of Kaluga who were big fans of the Pogues, Fairpoint Convention, and other similar bands, so this _sort_ of thing doesn’t surprise me too much, but I’ll be interested to see this stuff.

  2. Mojo says:

    One of my favorite “Celtic” groups is Tears for Beers from Germany.

  3. People are still singing music like this? I was half expecting Mel Gibson to make an appearance in a kilt and blue face paint. Freedom!
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