Nomos (band)

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Nomos band on stage.png
Background information
Origin University College Cork, Cork
Genres Folk
Years active 1990 (1990)–2006 (2006)
Labels Green Linnet
Past members Niall Vallely
John Spillane
Liz Doherty
Vince Milne
Frank Torpey
Gerry McKee
Eoin Coughlan

Cork-based Nomos were an Irish traditional music band during the 1990s. The group formed in 1990 and consisted of Niall Vallely on concertina, Vince Milne on fiddle, Frank Torpey on bodhran, Gerry McKee on bouzouki, and Eoin Coughlan on vocals and bass. They have been described as one of the "most popular Irish bands of the 1990's,"[1] and as "one of the more innovative and fiery Irish traditional bands".[2]

Origins of the band[edit]

Originally the group included Liz Doherty on fiddle and John Spillane on vocals and guitar. Doherty and Spillane formed Nomos with Vallely, Torpey, and McKee at University College Cork. The band followed a musical path begun by artists such as The Chieftains, Clannad, Planxty, Altan, Natalie McMaster, and Eileen Ivers.

The Sound[edit]

The group's fiery sound centered on Vallely's innovative and dynamic concertina playing and Milne's flashy fiddling.[2] Milne's contributions displayed both his West Cork heritage and his affinity for bluegrass.[2] Vallely, of Armagh, also composed and played the low whistle. The rhythm contributions of Coughlan have been compared to Planxty and the Bothy Band,[2] and the bassist/vocalist also writes some of the group's songs. Torpey hails from Wexford,[1] while McKee was born in Lisburn.



  • I Won't Be Afraid Anymore (1996)[2]
  • Set You Free (1997)[3]


  1. ^ a b "Frank Torpey - Bodhrán Player, Nomos - Celtic-Instruments - Bodhran". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Nomos | Biography | AllMusic". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  3. ^ Thomas Andrew DuBois Lyric, Meaning, and Audience in the Oral Tradition of Northern Europe 2006 - 0268025894 " the song is illustrated by the Cork ensemble Nomos on their album Set You Free (1996, track 9). The album notes by Niall Vallely identify the song as common throughout Ireland but state that the present tune is typical of Munster, ..."