Moore left the band to concentrate on his solo career in 1974.
They split after the gig in Brussels but the members all stayed in touch and often shared a stage or a studio while they were pursuing their own projects.
They got back together three years later when music promoter, Kevin Flynn persuaded them to record more material as Planxty. Flynn became their manager and the band welcomed a new recruit, Matt Molloy, who had been a member of The Bothy Band.
The guys picked up where they left off, rehearsing, touring and recording.They met at Molloy’s house to rehearse before going into the studio.
After the Break – farewell to Molloy
Planxty’s fourth album was aptly titled After the Break and came out in 1979. Molloy left the band to join The Chieftains shortly after the album was recorded. He did however rejoin Planxty in the studio to help record their follow up album.
That album, The Woman I Loved So Well, was released a year later. It featured three new musicians; concertina player, Noel Hill, keyboardist, Bill Whelan, and fiddle player, Tony Linnane. They were joined by fiddle player, Nollaig Casey, for their concerts in the latter half of their 1980 tour.
Break here Read more tease Planxty’s music leads to Riverdance
How Planxty music would lead to Riverdance
In 1981, Ireland played host to the Eurovision Song Contest – a huge event featuring more than 20 countries across Europe and watched by hundreds of millions of people.
The producers of the show wanted to feature some Irish music and dancing to fill the time needed for countries to collate their votes.
Planxty were asked to help and came up with a piece of music called Timedance, which was used to accompany a performance of traditional Irish dancing. The interlude filler turned out to be the big hit of the night all across Europe.
Planxty’s keyboard player Bill Whelan then turned the music into the much bigger piece that was later to be known as Riverdance.
Planxty continued to tour throughout 1981 but were starting to get restless again. Various members still wanted to explore other musical directions. Moore and Lunny wanted to write more political songs and formed a new band, Moving Hearts.
Their final studio album, Words and Music, was released in 1983. The band split for the second time shortly after the release of their sixth album. Moore and Lunny left to concentrate on Moving Hearts which had become a high priority for them.
The remaining members were keen to keep the band going and brought in new members, John Kelly, Arty McGlynn and Dolores Keane. They toured Ireland in early 1983 but it didn’t feel quite right. The band had changed too much both musically and in personnel and had lost their identity. Irvine later referred to the final line up as a ‘Planxty-too-far’.
Comeback gig in 2003
They got back together again in 2003, initially for a one off show at The Royal Spa Hotel in Lisdoonvarna. The owner of the hotel, Paddy Dougherty, had encouraged them to get back together and even arranged for them to rehearse in the dining hall.
It was a big success and the band continued to perform more concerts around Ireland for the next couple of years. This led to the band’s first new release for over 20 years, a live album, Planxty Live 2004.
Sadly there has not been any talk of another comeback but as it is Planxty, you just never know.