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

Friday, July 8, 2011

Saturday at Tall Ships

 They wrapped you in linen
They wrapped you in clay
They gave me the promise 
of a bright new day     Peter Sirr

Against all the odds the sun shines for a third  successive day on Waterford.  I make the great expedition  by bicycle to the North Quays to see the larger vessels and I particularly want to see the Norwegian Vessel The Soerlandet, the oldest fully rigged vessel. I played a few tunes on the board and when I strike up a hornpipe a young girl Niamh Linnane joins in and dances a sailor's hornpipe on the lovely wooden deck. It was a magic moment. Sadly my camera man missed it so you'll have to take my word for it. We carry on to the Gloria but there is no reprise of Friday morning vocal manoevres. It is a long walk to Frank Cassin Wharf but I feel a sense of achievement in arriving at the far point  to view the largest vessels close up having viewed them all week from across the river.

Back on the South Quay I join RNLI man John Purcell, busking a few tunes on a nautical theme to assist his fund raising effort. It takes a particular sort of courage I think to take on the elements and go to the aid of those in difficulty at sea. The predicted crowds converge on the quay on Saturday afternoon and it is very busy indeed..

Sharon Shannon and band have a large enthusiastic crowd but the best atmosphere is on the WV Plaza where local boy and recent freeman of the city, Brendan Bowyer is  sending them home sweating with his lively selection. It is hard to square the image of the Bishop's Palace museum case housing the Hucklebuck shoes and other Royal Showband paraphanalia with this larger than life manifestation rocking it .  Even from the far end of the quay, one can hear the emotion in the voice as he belts out My City of Music by local Tops of the Town stalwart, Denny Corcoran. An artist with real cross generational appeal , teenage daughters with their mothers and grandmothers all sing and bop to the energetic and lively set.

As seasoned Spraoi goers, we are somewhat blasé about fireworks but the final fireworks are truly spectacular opening with a stunning waterfall effect .  All that remains is the final leavetaking and crews settle down for an early start with the morning tide

Here,  now, this very moment
In flowing time
within this harbour
And this haven  Michael Coady

The Hucklebuck Shoes

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