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Celtus History

A year after Tommy passed away, John picked up one of his low whistles and began to play once again. He composed a track called 'Brother's Lament', an instrumental in memory of Tommy. When John played this song to Pat it tempted the two to begin playing traditional Irish music again just for fun. But playing these traditional tunes gave John and Pat ideas for their own songs Their music caught the attenion of Muff Winwood and in 1996 they signed their first record deal as Celtus.

John and Pat McManus together with Jonathan Czerwik recorded Celtus' debut album 'Moonchild' which was released in June 1997, and featured 'Brother's Lament' written by John in memory of Tommy.

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Celtus' first album also featured the singles 'Strange Day In The Country' and 'Every Step Of The Way'. This album was very traditional compared to their earlier material as Mama's Boys and has been described as celtic - folk - rock, a fusion of Traditional Irish roots with electric instruments.

The 'Moonchild' album achieved great success and received an award in the Irish World Awards, with competition such as Boyzone, U2 and The Corrs. Such recognition on their first album was totally unexpected and greatly welcomed. Celtus appeared on Tv and radio shows and toured around the country with this album, and a new fan base began. Not only people who are new to the McManus brothers music, but people who were fans of their Mama's Boys material also, and appreciated this new musical direction.

As John and Pat continued to play, more ideas were crafted but for their second album 'Portrait' their material became more radio friendly and less traditional. Celtus had to sell a certain number of albums in a set time to have their contract

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re-newed with Sony. Unfortunately this target was not reached and Celtus lost their Sony record deal. A new line-up in the group replaced Jonathan Czerwik with Dan Axtell and the band went on tour to promote the new album and were supported to Jimmy Nail.

'Portrait' was realesed in July 1999 and the album included Celtus' singles 'Wide Awake' CD's 1 and 2, 'Touch You' CD's 1 and 2 and also 'Bubble'. The music videos of these songs (except 'Bubble') were featured on music channels such as MTV, like the song 'Every Step Of The Way' had been. 'Strange Day In The Country' and 'Bubble' however did not have music video's. Again Celtus were featured on Tv and radio shows giving interviews and performing their singles 'Wide Awake' and 'Bubble', such programmes as 'The Gloria Hunniford Show' and 'Q's Pop Up Video Weekend'

The 'Portrait' tour with Jimmy Nail succeeded in gathering more fans together, and after Sony did not re-new their contract, Celtus found another Webmaster to host their site. Since the Celtus Fan Base

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has grown and fans have become a community of friends though the Celtus website.

'Rooted' was Celtus' third album which reverted back to their Irish roots. This album wasn't as widely distributed as the other two and can only be bought through the fan club. None of these songs were released as singles though many were played at concerts such as 'Claddagh', 'Moment In Time', 'Navigator' and 'Purple Diadem'. The last three songs on the album 'Two Worlds', 'Moonchild' and 'Bubble' were live from their 'Portrait' tour, this gave an inspiration for their fourth album.

'Live 2000' was compiled of songs performed from various concerts thoughout 2000, some songs were taken from their televised concert at the Fleadh in Finsbury Park, London. This album was released in early July 2001 on Evangeline records and was distributed at about the same level as 'Moonchild' and 'Portrait'. 'Live 2000' also featured two Bonus tracks called 'Don't Be Fooled' and 'Dear Irish Boy' both studio produced. 'Dear Irish Boy' was an instrumental and became a track to be performed at later concerts.

'What Goes Around', Celtus' third full studio album and fifth album in total. This album was released on Evangeline records and again widely distributed. The 'What Goes Around' album again moved away from the traditional Irish roots where the band began though still used the traditional instruments.

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No tracks from 'What Goes Around' became singles, though many were featured in concerts before the album was sold. Such tracks were 'What Goes Around', 'Liberate', 'Shelter', 'Horizon' and 'Hole Inside My Heart'. These songs were featured in sets in November 2000 and even as early as August 2000, even though the album wasn't released until late February 2001. When the album was released the tracks 'Shelter' and 'Horizon' had been made into one full length track lasting nearly 7 minutes long.

This has been the last Celtus album to date and there are no gigs planned, but I'm sure that we will hear from the McManus brothers again someday and when we do, they will be greatly welcomed once again.

- Elise Jones.

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