Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday Night at Aggie's

Driving past Hayes' pub on Friday, I note that Freddie O'Brien is topping the entertainment bill at this popular pub in the fishing village of Dunmore East, Co.Waterford, so with the prospect of a convivial evening ahead, I returned on Saturday night. The intimate bar was already packed with locals and regulars who were engaged in their favourite Saturday night entertainment, a sing-song. Freddie O' Brien with his bazouki, acting as  MC entertained the gathering with an eclectic  selection of songs mixing folk ballads,  popular hits  and show tunes, his strong voice requiring no amplification for this venue.  Highlights of his set include , The Maid of Malabar, The Spaniard who Blighted My Life, and Deise song, The Connerys.

'Top of the Bill' Freddie O Brien

Pat Flynn  Our host
All present are invited to do a turn and Freddie scans the room for newcomers and  assesses the mood of the regulars,  calling on individuals to make their contribution,  all of which  are greeted with warm applause.  There is a bit of slagging, Waterford style, but no arm twisting is required and the evening moves a long with very few lulls.    Freddie is assisted by accordion player Eamonn  Breathnach  and Terry Butler who favours stirring songs in march tempo.  Three visiting ladies produce tin whistles , one of who performs a beautifully phrased version of Sliabh na mban.   Eamonn leaves aside his accordion to give a beautiful rendition of Lovers which is a local favourite introduced by former publican Paddy Green and recorded by the Fureys .  Pat Flynn, our host gives a raw bar himself as his late aunt and former landlady, the eponymous Aggie looks down rather sternly from her portrait .  I enjoyed playing  a few numbers myself. I follow, La Golondrina , a favourite of Johnny Drohan, long time collaborator of Freddie's at the legendary Candlelight Inn Sessions  with a request for  the Marino Waltz and a Donegal Mazurka. Freddies student , Eamonn Gavin produced his mandolin to add the instrument pool  but it is all about the songs tonight and the musicians keep the instrumental interludes brief and punctuation marks for the songs.

Local regular Bob Desmond
It is the most cheerful  and entertaining way to spend an evening and swapping tunes, songs and stories around a fireside  and helps to banish the Winter  gloom for a few hours.   There is a poignant moment as the second anniversary of  local man Jimmy (the Raven) Cullinane is remembered and celebrated with a good rendition of Jimmy's party piece, The Old Bog Road by Eamonn  Beathnach's melodious tenor voice.   Jimmy's familiar cloth cap is taken down from its perch amongst the hurling memorabilia and pictures of local hero and former Deise star, Sean "The Rock"  Cullinane and held aloft.
May we enjoy many more such evening's of good cheer at this convivial local gathering place

Soldiers and dreams are like lovers
That come without warning
And take you by surprise
When you think you must make it alone
Sooner or later their presence is only a memory
But you know that without them
You'd never have rolled back the stone
                             From the Song LOVERS by Adrian Mannering

1 comment:

  1. A musician with instrumental can spend her/his time with fully enjoyment. Singing a song with instrument, this is the entertaining way.
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