The official website for the band that was Celtus – Welcome
The Celts: This family of nations includes, the Irish, Erse, Manx, Welsh, Cornish and Low Bretons. According to historic fable, Celtina was the daughter of Britannus. She had a son by Hercules, named Celtus, the Progenitor of the Celts.
The sound of the Celtus has been described as “Pink Floyd meets Clannad meets Enigma. Celtus was founded by Pat McManus and John McManus of Mama’s Boys fame. The History of Celtus tells the story of how how the band became to be and Its a fascinating read…
Folking.com came late to the party in early 2000 when the band already had two albums under their belt with Sony S2 records. Those albums were Moonchild and Portrait. We were invited to see the band play at the Stables in Milton Keynes on the 12th March, 2000 and the visit coincided with the band needing a new web presence after the deal with Sony S2 records had recently come to end. After the show, we were totally overwhelmed by the performance, the strength of the songs, the passion of the material and the musicianship.
This page aims to capture the essence of the original Celtus website that the folking team put together and will take readers back to past gigs and album reviews (which have now been added back into the folking archive).
After becoming absorbed in the Moonchild and Portrait albums in the months that followed that first gig, I felt poetically moved to write the following as an opening piece for the original website. Looking back at it now, 15 years later, I would suggest that you read the History of Celtus link first otherwise the reader may miss its original context.
Jean Camp gave us her review of the “Moonchild” album in November 2001 and said “Debut album of the incredibly talented Celtus, who were previously the hugely successful hard rock band Mama’s Boys. Formed after the death of their drummer brother Tommy. John and Pat McManus from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland wrote the incredibly, mystical music to produce this fabulous album”… Full Review
Jean Camp then followed this up with a review of the second album “Portrait” in the same month “This is the second Celtus album from the incredible McManus Brothers. The opening track Two Worlds, is an up-tempo, love song then leads into Wide Awake, a track telling of a stifled person in love with someone else. Touch You tells of love gone stale. Harmonies and stunning whistle playing from John and fiddle from Pat give us this truly beautiful song“… Full Review
The Celtus album “Rooted” was the 3rd album released to co-inside with the above tour. Again, Jean Camp reviewed this for us and said of it… “A traditional album, again different, but stunning in its own right. Irish Folk/Celtus at its best in a traditional form. Rooted brings out whistles, bouzoukis, reels and jigs in abundance. First track is Heart and Hand, slow then into an up-tempo classic foot-tapper. Next we have Voyage, an Instrumental with a beat and led by John on his whistle”… Full Review
After the success of the live shows in 2000, it made sense for the band to release a live album. Jean Camp captures the essence of it in her final “Celtus Live 2000” album review “The fourth album from Celtus featuring all live tracks with 2 Bonus Tracks. A must have. Starting with Navigator at full belt in front of an audience. Into The Pilgrimslow, soulful and the audience quiet and listening intently. We have Wide Awakenext to make sure “we are not sleeping”.The Awakening, an instrumental from John, performed beautifully live, The fifth track is Believe, again you can imagine the audience listening to the words and watching John, Pat and Dan pour their heart and soul into their music”… Full Review
The firth and final album “What goes Around” arrived in 2001. Here is what The folkmaster had to say about it ““What goes Around” builds a new refined pyramid of sound, vocal and spirit. John and Pat McManus are at the heart of this new structure, which is held together with the strongest set of songs to date, heavenly harmonies and exciting new concepts. Track Analysis: “What Goes Around”, Eastern Techno-folk flavour with funky Bodhran. “Breathe”, a wonderful, smooth, polished love song that takes you to a sacred place. “Angel”, beautiful acoustic guitar and vocals that shine with compassion. “Perfection”, an anthem of harmony”… Full Review
Here is an interview (in two parts) that Pat, John and Dan did with Janice Long on BBC Radio 2 around the time of the album launch and tour.
This was the place where Celtus fans shared their stories, gigs they attended and the Celtus music they loved. It was also the place where they put their questions to John or Pat McManus.
Fans of the band can immerse themselves in the photo gallery below… Fans can also revisit some of messages, articles and photos that were left on the “Reflections And Echoes” page by clicking here or the ‘Reflections And Echoes’ banner above.
We also featured some great Celtus reviews as part of the original site and have been able to retrieve the following below. If you have or know of any more that you would like featured on this page e-mail me here along with a brief description. The folkmaster
Celtus – Reviewed by the Liverpool Daily Post on the 6th March, 2000 – by Andrew Judge
Celtus – Reviewed by The Sunday Citizen Milton Keynes on the 12th March, 2000 – by Paul Brookman
Celtus At the Royal Festival Hall London on Monday 13th March, 2000 – by The folkmaster
Celtus At the Memorial Hall, Sheffield 2000 – By Jean Camp and Emma Camp June 2000 – Devon, England.
Excerpt from the original email that was posted by JOHN McMANUS on Monday, 7 June 2004, at 5:14 p.m.
Hello to all Celtus and Mama’s Boys fans everywhere,
First I would like to apologise to everyone for not keeping you up to date as to what I have been doing since the demise of Celtus. This was really my decision as I needed some time to switch off from the madness of the music business that has surrounded me most of my life. I have just recently returned from Ireland having spent some time with my family and friends both north and south, and been able to meet up with Pat, and talk about (as we say) the old times was really great. Though, still very hard whenever the conversation would turn to Tommy, and the life we shared with him as part of a rock band. Mama’s Boys was all we really lived for. Tommy was the engine that powered it. When he left he took part of Pat and I with him. We knew nothing would ever be the same again. He wasn’t just our drummer. He was our brother and our best friend and we will miss him forever.
I guess looking back now, when we put Celtus together, it was probably a little too soon, but it was our way of blotting things out. I do know one thing for sure. We were pretty difficult to be around. (so to the musicians that have passed through Celtus, sorry)
Now, talking about Celtus, I really loved it. I thought live it was a very powerful band. We played to a whole new audience every night, and made lots of fans everywhere. It takes an audience understanding of the music, to make a concert really special. And you guys provided that. (we thank you).
Thank you all so very much for your support over the years…
folking.com have had no further news from John McManus since the message above.
Pat McManus, the professor can be reached via https://www.facebook.com/The-Pat-McManus-Band
Catch Pat “Rocking all over the world” with his current band and projects.