Interview with Fabien Guiloineau of Shelta

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



 Lyon France is the home of Shelta, a band playing beautiful traditional Irish music. Fabien contributed one of their tracks for your download pleasure.

Shelta has already gained prominence as a  band that jumps into our discussion once in a while. This happens when I talk to my friend Jimmy who lives in France. The Antidote Pub is one of the great places that are very accommodating towards musicians of Celtic music. A year of drifting in and out of discussion(plus youtube posts), it was an honor  to finally  talk to one of the members of the band. Fabien Guiloineau lives in Lyon France. He plays the guitar and acts as the spokes person for the band. He has various side projects. Some, I  already featured in this site. It is great to hear first hand information from someone who is involved with the Irish music scene in France.



Shelta released two albums. One was in 2006 and latest one was in 2010. Is there a new album in the making?

We are not recording albums currently, but we are working on new tunes.

 Your band plays gigs around Lyon. Being the food capital of France, tell me what is the state of Celtic music in Lyon?

There are a lot of Irish pubs in Lyon and big Irish/Anglo community. So there are a lot of sessions (4 times a week). Irish music is very present:
You can get some news here:

How do you describe the music of Shelta.


We try to play Irish music as it is played usually in the pubs in Ireland.
So our music sound like traditional Irish, but we try to arrange it for the concert and make it accessible to the French audience.
We spend a lot of time making the best set of tunes !

 The band met in 2002 because of the common love for Irish music. What inspired the group to choose the name Shelta?


Shelta is the language of the Irish travelers. In Ireland the Irish travelers made a lot for Irish music (Johnny Doran, Paddy Keenan…).
And it sounds good for the name of a band 😉

After 10 years, what has remained and what has changed in terms of the band’s vision and also in terms of the music.

With time, we understand that the most important in traditional music is to have the swing !
You can have a lot of arrangements but if you don’t have the swing your music, it will be flat.

Being part of the group, how do you describe the individual playing styles of each one?

Each member has it own style but try to be the best for the collective aspect.
Guitar and bodhran try to be in the same mood, violon and accordion are very close and the flute can blend with everyone.

What have you learned in the past years playing live? 

Playing Irish music in France seems to be difficult but French people really like Ireland, so for us it’s also easier.
We try to explain our approach for the Irish music and to play it with sincerity! People like to see musicians as sincere; we don’t play just for the sake of playing music.


Do you know other bands/musicians in Lyon playing Celtic music with the same passion?

Yes there are other musicians, professionals or simply those  with the same passion for the Irish music !
For example: Davog Rynne, Sebastien Luthers, Julien Cartonnet, Simon Boddy etc…

What can we expect from Shelta this 2012?

We are working on new tunes and new concerts! Please watch out for our future performances.

What is the best Irish bar in Lyon?

Johnny Walsh’s Pub is the most famous, but for me the one I prefer is the Antidote Pub-both are in St Georges street in Lyon (5th).

Have you met other Irish music enthusiasts in the Antidote ?Do they have their own bands or just listeners.

We play regularly at the Antidote, every Thursday night from October to June. These are not concert types but intimate sessions or gigs. Sometimes we are just 3 or 4 musicians but there are cases when there are more than 10 of us. It usually depends on who is available.There are now some listeners who come regularly too.

Please add Shelta through facebook:

also check out:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s