Week 1 (Sept. 14 to 20)
Gigs: 2 - Album Launch in the Sugar Club, Dublin & Greenacres, Wexford
Musicicans Involved: 12
(Aileen Concannon, Dave Flynn, Gerry Grennan, Joe Hunt, Kelan Walsh, Niamh Crowley, Nichola MacEvilly, Seamie O’Dowd, Sinead Conway, Steve Kohlmann, Tommy Moore, Vicky Clancy)
So… after 18 months of writing, recording, planning etc. the album is released and the tour is up and running. The best part was actually getting to play some music at last!
We officially launched the album in Liber bookshop on O’Connell St. in Sligo on Wed 16th at lunchtime. I had launched my first album there and people could hardly get in the door because of the crowds. This time, Brian and the team at Liber cleverly put us at the back of the shop – and there was loads of room for everyone. Joe Hunt, Gerry Grennan, Seamie O’Dowd and Niamh Crowley joined me and we performed 3 songs from the new album - The Wild Atlantic Way, Come Home (both making their live debuts) and Good Times.
We all hit the road to Dublin then for the launch gig in the Sugar Club. What a night that was! Despite it being only 3 months since my last appearance there, we got a big crowd in. As I was pacing the green room floor nervously getting ready, I could tell that they were very impressed with the opening act, singer/songwriter/bassist and good friend, Tommy Moore.
And then the show – well the best way to sum it up was that I left the Sugar Club a very happy man. The biggest thing for me as a musician, is how the music goes down. I could be playing to a crowd of 10 but if the performance and the interaction between the crowd and musicians is good, then that is a good night’s work. Thankfully there were a lot more than 10 there and I enjoyed every minute! I’m always interested to ask members of the audience if they had any highlights and the ones that featured most were Iwetta’s Theme and the Wild Atlantic Way – two of my favourites too, so ye have good taste lads!
It was really special to have all bar one (we missed you Matt!) of the guests from the album there and to get to play every song from the album. This won’t happen again until the gig in the Model in Sligo on the 19th of November so those great memories will stay with me.
At the same time as we were opening the show in the Sugar Club, Charlie McGettigan was kindly featuring my album as his album of the week on the Arts Show on Shannonside FM. This went out on Wednesday night and the podcast will be up on the website soon for anyone who wants to listen to it. Thanks Charlie!
On Friday I was on the road early again as I had a slot on the Morning Show on East Coast FM just outside Bray. Thanks to Michelle and Claire there for having me and it was nice to get to talk and play for a new audience.
And then on to Greenacres in Wexford where I was joined by good friend, colleague and Wexford man, “Famous” Dave Flynn and local clarinetist/saxophonist/pianist/all-rounder, Vicky Clancy (whom I had never met but came very highly recommended by Dave). One of the biggest highs you get as a musician is when you play with someone completely new and it feels like you have been playing together forever – this was the case with Vicky. The buzz/vibe was there from the start and the three of us had a really great time and did the music justice. I hope to be back to Wexford in the near future as I left with very positive impressions of the place and people.
This week is a quiet week – only one gig – in King House, Boyle on Friday 25th. with Cathy Jordan and Gerry Grennan. I hope to have my tour schedule/piano hunt finalised by then though –nearly there!