Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo. 2nd - 4th May 2019
This album was recorded over the course of 3 concerts in what was then known as The Point – in November 2006 in Dublin. One of my first piano students (he was about 18 at the time) went to the gig and he told me at our next lesson that it was the best gig he had ever seen. When the album came out the following summer I listened to it over and over again and fell for it.
Vicar St. Dublin. 7th Feb 2019
Sometimes you have to make a leap. For yourself, for the other people involved, for the future of the project. Once you decide this, then you must try and time it correctly. The same leap made too early or too late won’t work. And once you decide on when, then you must plan, think, work hard to give yourself the best chance of succeeding with your leap. And it still mightn’t come off. But it might.
Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo. 26th and 27th September 2018
In Theme Night #21 a huge gang of us had a blast performing a series of duets. For our slot, Niamh (left) and I put together a 4-handed classical/boogie arrangement of Flight of the Bumblebee. What struck me about the night though was the handshakes, hugs and smiles exchanged between performers after each performance finished. In each case there was a sense of something worthwhile achieved together, and performers who would usually sing on their own got a extra kick from having a partner-in-crime. It’s not always the answer, but sometimes if you want to achieve something, or just have a bit more fun along the way, all you need is someone else.
Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo. 27th and 28th April 2018
I was told leading up to this night to get the guitars and harmonies right and I wouldn't be too far off. We hopefully got close enough! Lots of memorable moments from this show - however when 6 Sligo guitar legends got up together on the stools (see left) the crowd were literally lapping up their every note. Dean Gurrie's Wasted Time and Sarah Crummy's Witchy Woman were two other audience favourites from this entertaining show.
Knocknarea Arena, Sligo. 24th March 2017
The first theme night to be held in the Knocknarea Arena, this collaboration with Sligo GAA focused on the links between music and sport over the years - no link too tenuous! From the obvious ones such as We Are the Champions and the Chariots of Fire theme, to the Olympic anthems of One Moment in Time and Barcelona, to Abba's Winner Takes it All and the Saw Doctors' To Win Just Once, this night kept the audience on their toes from start to finish.
Stephen St. Carpark, Sligo. 4th August 2016
The first and only (so far) theme night to be held outdoors. Over 4,000 people crammed into the Stephen St. Car Park for the first gig of the 2016 Sligo Summer Festival and enjoyed the setlist of Stadium Anthems. Featuring the most iconic songs from bands such as Queen, ACDC, Bowie and Status Quo, this night was one to remember.
Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo. 4th - 6th May 2016
An epic night from start to finish, one which really upped the ante in terms of energy, quality and also production. Featuring the Sligo Academy of Music Sinfionetta, the songbooks of Billy Joel and Elton John were given the full theme night treatment. Many performances from this show have become part of theme night folklore, from the showstopping trad arrangement of She's Always A Woman to Me to Chris Baillie's heartfelt An Innocent Man to Aileen Concannon's haunting version of Yellow Brick Road.
Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo. 20th and 21th January 2016
A Night at the Grand Ole Opry - featuring the best of American Country Music. Like many theme nights, it suits some artists more than others, with some right at home and others a bit out of their comfort zone. The highlight of the night was unquestionable, the raucous fiddle trio of Niamh Crowley, Seamie O'Dowd and Steve Wickham stealing the show with their version of the bluegrass standard Orange Blossom Special.
Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo. 13th and 14th May 2015
The first ever Theme Night in the Hawk's Well Theatre. It was the brainchild of theatre director Marie O'Byrne - she suggested bringing the theme nights to the Hawk's Well, to team up with the Sligo Academy of Music Sinfionetta and also to form a Theme Night Choir. We took her up on all 3 suggestions, and the rest is history. The setlist for this night was incredible - from Ennio Morricone to Quincy Jones, from Toy Story to Forrest Gump - it had everything.
The Velvet Rooms 12 June 2014
This was one of the 4 theme nights that took place in The Velvet Rooms – Source had closed, and anyway this venue could cater for bigger numbers, which suited us now that the nights were attracting larger audiences. I had never heard Painted With Memory before this night, and Joe Hunt sang it so well that I have never forgotten it since. Georgie Gorman sang Arthur’s Theme (a collaboration between Christopher Cross, Burt Bacharach and some others) and blew it out of the water, and I’ll always remember Laura May Lenehan’s presence and soul on What the World Needs Now.