Kilburn High Road

An island off the coast of Ireland!

Kilburn High Road has long played a part in London Irish life, and even though it’s slowly changing 13% of the Kilburn population remains Irish born. Add the Irish descent and no wonder it still has the highest Irish population in the capital.

The 50s saw the real boom as the Irish poured in to post-war London. Construction, hospitals, the transport system and office work opened up new opportunities, and Ireland had an enthusiastic workforce ready to participate – it was’nt long before ‘County Kilburn’ or ‘Little Eire’ became a new place on the map.

The ninth annual Kilburn Festival kicks off tomorrow (3rd July), and celebrates the changing communities of Kilburn through creativity, the arts, and coming together. The ‘Films @ Kilburn Festival’ is part of the overall event and this year celebrates the Irish!

The London Irish Film Club is involved, and the programme includes two exclusive first UK screenings of ‘Kisses’ and ‘A Film with Me in it’. There is also a retrospective on the director Bob Quinn, including ‘Emigrant Dance’, documenting the Galtymore Dance Hall in Cricklewood, and ‘Vox Humana’, his latest offering.

‘Poitín’ will also be shown, and Bob himself will be present on Saturday for a questions and answers session. An interesting and very nice man, and one not to miss if you can make it.

You can check out the cinema schedule at the films at kilburn festival website.

The week has plenty of diversity to reflect Kilburns multicultural communities, and there’s a fantastic line-up of live music including

  • Root Jackson’s UFBI, (Soul Britannia legends)
  • BibleCode Sunday’s, (Irish Rock with Traditional influences)
  • The Sugar Kings, (7 piece Cuban based salsa band)
  • Suku dia Kongo, (Congolese dance music)
  • Bahareque (Traditional South American band)
  • DJs Marcel and Randy P
  • as well as performances by up-and-coming local young people, dancers and more.

The event runs to the 12th July and there’s sure to be plenty of craic, and no doubt a Guinness or two flowing in various Kilburn establishments!

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