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09th Mar 2024

Kneecap bring Irish language to US with Jimmy Fallon appearance

Ryan Price

The Belfast rap trio performed their new track on the popular late night talk show.

Irish language was the talking point on US television last night as Mo Chara, Moglai Bap and DJ Provai made their American television debut with a performance of new single ‘Sick In The Head’ on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

The talk show, which has been hosted by Fallon since 2014 and has an average viewership of around 1.3 million, also had model Naomi Campbell and former American basketball player Sue Bird as guests.

Comments under the YouTube video of their performance on the show suggest the lads did a great job in representing the Irish language.

One comment read: “Kneecap finally going international!! Great job lads.”

Another wrote: “Kneecap did well. They won’t be everyone’s cup of tea for various reasons whether informed or not but from purely a language perspective they’re doing somethin most from outside Ireland or the UK have never heard or seen before. Irish is a language meant to be preserved and shared by those who speak it and learned by those willing to do so for whatever reason they like. Sin Ă©.”

Kneecap on lack of Fallon protests or Palestine statements

Kneecap are on top of the world at the moment, having premiered their new film, which stars Michael Fassbender, at the iconic Sundance Film Festival last month and are about to kick off their North American tour ahead of a much-anticipated album release in June.

The rebellious trio were the subject of some controversy on home soil a couple of weeks back, when their declaration in support of Palestine on RTE’s The Late Late Show went against the national broadcaster’s policy of impartiality.

While many on social media had objections to Kneecap’s calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, a grand total of two formal complaints to the show suggest that much of the Irish public were behind the rap group.

Politics aside, it was a proud moment last night when the Belfast-born trio took to the stage and performed their new single with a mix of Gaelic and English in the lyrics. Following their appearance, the ensemble posted a message to fans on their Twitter page, which read:

“If you’ve just started following us because of our appearance on The Tonight Show – welcome a chairde (friends). It was an honour to be welcomed on to the biggest show in America.”

It continued: “Tonight was a pre-record performance, which meant our ability to make a statement on current events was not possible. We will always use our voice to speak about the genocide being committed against the Palestinian people, sadly being facilitated by the US.

“Use your voice to call for an immediate ceasefire and those responsible for war crimes to be brought to justice. Free Palestine.”

Kneecap kick off their US tour in Boston on March 17th.

The tour will see them play shows in Philadelphia, New York, Seattle, San Diego and Los Angeles.

Related Links:

Total number of RTÉ complaints for Kneecap Late Late appearance tells you a lot about Ireland

Kneecap ignore RTÉ ‘impartiality’ to show support for Palestine on Late Late Show

BBC responds to complaints over ‘inappropriate’ red carpet question to Andrew Scott