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

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hope Prevails at Dolans

David Hope  

Notes cascading from a mellow wooden  flute  greeted patrons stepping in to Dolans last night as the regular trad session musicians occupied their usual spot in the downstairs bar. The dockside venue was a hive of activity upstairs and down .  In the warehouse, Minister on European affairs, Lucinda Creighton was topping the bill at a debate in the Leviathan series  title 'Communicating Europe'. I can't say it looked  too lively but I didn't dwell too long as my destination was the  Upstairs  lounge  where travelling troubadour  David Hope performed a short but compelling  set of his own songs as part of the prelude to an album launch by rock group, Senakah. I suspect Hope has no ambivalence about  European citizenship and spoke to me with enthusiasm about his recent tours in Switzerland and \Germany where he regularly plays to packed venues. For more on David and his work, this article on Breaking Tunes  is quite comprehensive;

David Hope was preceded  by newcomer, Emma Kate Langford. There was quite a contrast between these two singer songwriters. Hope dominates the stage  like a colossus, the guitar looking diminutive in his  hands. The songs are at times dark in tone  accompanied by forthright rhythmic guitar  and delivered in a deep gravely voice. Emma Kate is winsome , petite and beguiling with a  clear bell like vocal quality . Something about her style reminded  me of Corinne Bailey Rae. The self penned songs are light in tone and she was well supported by Tod Doyle on beat box and vocals and Cillian King  on concertina. As usual at this venue, the amplification was effective but not overpowering.

If the performers were disappointed at the paucity of audience , they didn't dwell on it but it was hard to believe that Limerick is the home of two third level colleges, both offering music degrees One wonders where do all those  students go on Thursday night.  I might add that admission was low at €7. Dolan's do a great job in providing a convivial venue and engaging the artists but one felt that neither of these two high calibre live acts or the venue got the support they deserved this evening.

You can hear one of Emma Kate's songs from the Dolan's set list below and my interview with her on the audioboo.


  1. Were you out in the toilet when Senekah were playing?

  2. I have had an enquiry as to my whereabouts for the main event, a new album launch by rock group Senakah. I left the venue after 11pm when Senekah had not yet taken to the stage . This is too late for me with a journey and early morning ahead . I hope to catch them later on the tour.