Female Singer KAREN GILLIGAN Quits Ireland's CRUACHAN

Vocalist Karen Gilligan has left the Irish folk metal band CRUACHAN "on good terms for various reasons," according to a posting on the group's web site. "We wish her all the best for the future. She will not be replaced!" singer Keith Fay says.

Fay continues, "Over the last few years we have been moving towards a more extreme sound and style, now that Karen has left we are going to continue with this plan and I will take over full-time vocal duties while John Ryan and John O' Fathaigh will take on backing vocal roles.

"For live concerts we are planning to adapt some of our back catalogue songs to suit this new arrangement. There are obviously some popular songs where this will not work and we plan to take a session female vocalist on tour with us. Karen has confirmed that she will appear as a guest on some tracks on the new album and this is something we are really happy about. We are looking at this as an opportunity to have a new start with CRUACHAN and we promise that our next release will be the greatest CRUACHAN album to date."

Gilligan comments on her departure: "It is with a heavy heart I make the announcement that I will be leaving CRUACHAN. I want to thank you for all your support over the years, and hope that you will continue to support the lads, as they continue on their musical journey. I have thought long and hard about making this decision and the impact it will have, but it is time for me to move on. I want to thank Keith, John Clohessey, John Ryan, Colin, and John Fay and all the past members of CRUACHAN for all the experiences that I have had. And especially for all the laughs that I will never, ever, forget!!"

CRUACHAN's fifth album, "The Morrigan's Call", was released in November 2006 via AFM Records. The follow-up to 2004's "Pagan" was recorded at Sun Studios in Dublin.

Fan-filmed video footage of CRUACHAN performing live in Dublin, Ireland in May 2008 can be viewed below.

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