Week 6 – Oct 19- Oct 25
Gigs: 5 (Mayo, Galway, Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny)
Musicians involved: 5 (Colm O’Caoimh, Dave Thompson, Gerry Grennan, Kelan Walsh, Luke Browne)
The busiest week of the tour so far – 5 gigs and a lot of driving. Lots of interesting stuff happened along the way though!
The week could be divided into two legs – the Connacht leg and the faraway leg…
The Connacht leg started in Mayo – in the Twin Trees Hotel, Ballina to be exact. Gerry Grennan and Kelan Walsh accompanied me on both Connacht gigs and there really is a lovely trio starting to grow out of this line-up. We know each other well at this stage and this was a very enjoyable gig, for audience and band alike!
The Galway venue was among the most unusual on the tour so far. Right in the middle of the city of the Tribes, beside the train station in fact, stands a monument to history – the St. Patrick’s Band Hall, built in 1896, in the style of an old New Orleans Band Hall.
I’d say they received serious offers during the time of the Celtic Tiger to buy the place but I’m delighted they resisted as it is an iconic building in a wonderful location. The walls are covered in pictures, so I got a great idea of the history of the place, and it was a real honour to play there. My only regret was that we didn’t get the band up to play with us- next time hopefully!
Early on Saturday morning I hit the road to Cork. There was a great buzz in the city as it was the weekend of the jazz festival, and I wandered the streets for an hour or so before the gig taking in the atmosphere. This was to be my first solo gig of the tour, which meant a new challenge, but one that I very much enjoyed! It meant slightly rearranging a few of the tunes but I managed and the audience seemed to enjoy themselves.
Waterford was similar – in that I played solo. It was my first ever time to visit Waterford, and I certainly saw one of its finest hotels, the Athenaeum House Hotel, run by a charming couple, Stan and Mailo Power. Thanks to them both for their hospitality and good wishes.
Here is a review of the Waterford gig, written by Laura Fleming, who I met at the gig…. http://bookshoplaura.blogspot.ie/2015/10/the-next-one.html?spref=fb
Sunday brought a sleep-in (!) and a gig in possibly the nicest venue I have been to yet – Castalia Hall in Ballytobin, Co. Kilkenny. I got to play my second Steinway Model D of the tour – thanks to Kilkenny County Council for this pleasure, but the surroundings were also amazing! It is hard to find – 25 mins or so outside the city of Kilkenny, but my God is it worth it. Thanks to John Clark and all at Castalia for having us!
I got to play with three new musicians too, all Kilkenny-based, and this was a real treat. Luke Browne on lead guitar, Colm O’Caoimh on bass and acoustic guitar and Dave Thompson on drums put huge time into learning my tunes which meant only the minimum of rehearsal was needed before we played what was a really memorable gig for me. Thanks lads…
In other news, another positive review for the album came in this week – from Oliver Sweeney and Fatea Magazine – thanks for taking the time! You can read it elsewhere in the news section of this website.
Also, my Sligo date in the Model on Nov 13 is now sold out, which means I have the pleasure of announcing that we will be doing a second show on Sat Nov 14th, also in the Model. Tickets now on sale and please book quickly in order to avoid disappointment…
This week I will be visiting Donegal (Sold out too I’m afraid), Roscrea, Navan and Derry – please spread the word.