Period: 1994-1995

History: 1994-1995

December '94   /  Joanne Awarded 'Best Female Vocalist' German/Dutch tour continues.

Joanne is awarded the Classic Rock Appreciation Society's 'Best Female Vocalist' award for 1994.

A deal is completed with the 'Pony Canyon' label in Japan for distribution there of Iona's first three albums.

February '95 - June '95   /  'Journey into the Morn' Recorded Recording of 'Journey Into The Morn' at Neil Costello's Soundfield studio in the heart of the lovely Derbyshire countryside.

The studio, set up in a 200 year old barn (formerly a craft centre), proves to be a superb working environment with its beautiful setting looking out onto fields filled with sheep and new born lambs.

March - At the completion of the band's original 3 album contract with Word, a joint deal is signed with Alliance (in the UK) and Forefront (in the USA).

The deal is a vast improvement on the previous one with Word and leaves the band the option to pursue other licensing deals to get the next three albums out to a wider audience.

The band 65dba (now 'dba') work on a white label 'ambient dance' album, which includes their remix of the track 'Beyond These Shores'. Jo also guests on another track on the album.

HMV take on several hundred copies of the first 2 albums and have a dedicated 'Iona' section in some stores (in the 'folk' section).

April '95   /  German Newsletter The April newsletter is the first 'German translation' newsletter to be distributed by our new German Friends of Iona, co-ordinator Andreas Scholz.
May '95   /  Maire Brennan Recording Sessions 'Morn' album sessions in Dublin with Maire Brennan
(singer/Celtic Harpist with Clannad).

June '95   /  Gigs in Belfast / Troy Joins Gigs in Belfast and at Glastonbury Festival (Avalon Stage) - premiering some of the 'Morn' material. A 'live' version of 'Heaven's Bright Sun' is recorded during Iona's Glastonbury appearance for an album entitled '25th Anniversary Avalon - Live'. The album was to celebrate 25 years of the Glastonbury festival and proceeds were to be donated to the 'Greenpeace' and 'Free Tibet' campaigns. However we are not sure whether it was ever released. Troy Donockley, who has guested on all the albums and occasionally 'live', becomes a more permanent member, joining the band on tour for the first time.
July '95   /  Lindisfarne Live Concert Live concert on Lindisfarne. The BBC film the band in concert on Lindisfarne Island in Northumberland. The event is broadcast a week later as part of a summer series called 'Routes and Rhythms'. This is the fulfillment of a dream as the island and its history have been very significant to the band from the beginning and are particularly relevant to the 'Journey Into The Morn' album. The concert includes the first 'live' performances of some of the 'Morn' pieces. Dave and Joanne are also interviewed on the programme by Caron Keating. The band perform in Rotherham for the Classic Rock Society. The recording part of 'Journey Into The Morn' is completed.
August '95   /  'Journey into the Morn' Mixed UK gigs, including Greenbelt Festival mainstage - headlining in front of 12,000 people. The band are delighted that Calum Malcolm is free to mix 'Journey Into The Morn' along with Dave Bainbridge. Calum has worked with Maire Brennan, Blue Nile, Capercaille and Runrig amongst others.
September '95   /  David Fitzgerald Reunion The BBC has a great response to the 'Routes and Rhythms' programme on Lindisfarne. The band play two very contrasting gigs in the space of a few days; Bury St. Edmunds Cathedral and Cardiff University students union. At the Bury concert, founder and former member David Fitzgerald does the opening set - playing material from his first solo album 'Columcille' accompanied by Tim Oliver (keys), Andrea Cockerton (vocals/keys) and Dave Bainbridge and Terl Bryant. It is a lovely reunion - the first time that the two Daves and Terl have played a concert together since David's departure from the band in 1992.
October '95   /  'Journey into the Morn' Released 'Journey Into The Morn' is released (timed to coincide with the start of a lengthy UK tour which continues on through November). The new album is available in HMV and Virgin stores during the tour. The band are very pleased with the way the album sounds - at just over 78 minutes long it is the longest album yet - more or less equivalent to a double album in old vinyl terms! It also includes, in Encircling, the longest piece recorded to date (at over 12 minutes). Tim Harries (Basses) is unable to do some dates on the tour due to prior commitments with his other band Steeleye Span, but is replaced on these by Phil Barker. Phil first stood in for Tim at the Borderline gig in London in August. Not all goes smoothly on the tour. The Bristol concert is cancelled due to fire damage at the venue 2 weeks before the band is due to play there and the concerts in Leeds, Lancaster and Whitehaven are postponed until early in 1996 due to Joanne contracting laryngitis and losing her voice. Supporting on the whole tour (except at Keele when Eden Burning played) were an excellent duo from Manchester, Annie and Graham (who performed under the name Aon), and whose gently evocative songs set just the right tone for the evenings.

A series of three TV programmes ('ABC of the Celtic Saints') are broadcast by Tyne Tees TV on the lives of Aidan, Bede and Cuthbert. The programmes also deal with the contemporary relevance of Celtic Christianity. Some of Iona's music is used as background music for the series. The band perform 'Irish Day' live on the ITV TV programme 'This Sunday'.

November '95   /  Joanne Voted 3rd Best Vocalist Play at the 'Christmas Rock Festival' in Erlangen, Germany. Joanne and (former bassist) Nick Beggs both feature in a rock poll in a Latvian music paper! Jo is joint third in the best vocalist category (along with 4 others including Sting!), and Nick is joint second in the bass guitar section.
History by Album:
Iona  ('90)
The Book Of Kells  ('92)
Beyond These Shores  ('93)
Journey Into The Morn  ('96)
Heaven's Bright Sun  ('97)
Woven Cord  ('99)
Open Sky  ('00)
The River Flows: Anthology Vol. 1  ('02)
Songs for Luca  ('03)
Veil of Gossamer  ('04)
Iona  ('04)
The Circling Hour  ('06)
Live In London  ('06)
Songs for Luca 2  ('07)
Live In London  ('08)
Life Journey  ('09)
Raphael's Journey  ('10)
Another Realm  ('11)