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

Monday, January 31, 2011

D'Unbelievables at Glór

As an extra night was added to an already sold out extended run we went along to hear  Jon Kenny and Pat Short reunited for nationwide tour. What new sharp observations would they have on contemporary rural Ireland since their last outing  some years ago? I wondered. They certainly had much potential material to work with. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Albert Niland upstairs at Dolans

Albert Niland with Dave Carey at Dolans
 Albert Niland is currently doing a short Irish tour and as we had missed him at the  Island Music Club, Clare  we made the expedition to Dolans for a midweek gig.  He was supported by fellow Galwegian,  Ultan Connolly who sounded pleasant although we just heard a little of him.

Albert, looking like a  actor from a  French Cop movie  bounded on stage,  plugged in his Spanish guitar and  served up a flamenco infused set of very attractive songs to energetic and skilful guitar accompaniment holding his guitar mariachi style high up against his chest . I particularly enjoyed the 1930's  World War 2 anthem  (I'll Be Seeing You  Sammy Fain and Irving Kamal ) with his improvisational guitar style adding  a distinctive stamp, making the rendition very much his own and unlike any of the many other covers. 

Swinging Strings: Learn and Explore from National Concert Hall

Swinging Strings: Learn and Explore from National Concert Hall: "Today we welcomed Dorothy Conaghan from Learn and Explore at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. Dorothy is a highly regarded stri..."

Monday, January 24, 2011

Launch of resource website
Happier days for Brian Cowen at opening of new building
Gerry Godley Lyric fm
 There was a convivial gathering of musicians and educators at an event in the striking  new Tara building at Mary Immaculate College of  Education, Limerick on Fridat 21st January to launch a new resource website
  The launch was adressed first by Professor Teresa O Doherty . She was  followed by Ailbhe Kenny who spoke about the overall vision for the project to redress the 'disconnect' that exists in the whole business of music education.

Patricia Flynn of St Patrick's College Dublin, spoke about the specific aims of the website and the sections contained in it. The efforts of Eric Fitzgerald , music journalist in setting up the site were acknowledged. It is important to note that it is Irish Music Education in general and is not a genre specific website

The guest speaker was musician, broadcaster and promoter Gerry Godley who spoke about his own pathway to musicianship , some perspectives gleaned from a career in gig promotion and broadcasting  with some musings on multiculturalism in performance .

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tommy Fleming at Glór Ennis

Set List                                                                           Second half
Going Home
Dream a Little Dream                                                     Isle of Hope
Sand and Water                                                            Danny Boy
You raised me up                                                           Solitaire
The Boxer                                                                       Vincent
The Contender                                                                 All I want is you
Bright Blue Rose                                                               Carousel When You Walk
Halcyon Days                                                                    Will Ye Go Lassie Go
Christmas 1915                                                                  Hard Times
                                                                                            Encore Smile

The car park was full to overflowing when I arrived at Glór indicating a  full house for this popular entertainer and I gather he usually packs this venue on his tours here in  recent years.   I had never heard Tommy Fleming  live and my first recollection of hearing him was in an interview with Gay Byrne  following a comeback after a car accident which must have been some time ago now. So I was curious to see what sort of live performer he was and what  factor drew his consistently large audiences.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Irish Times Music in the Classroom University Concert Hall Limerick


Emmanuel Lawlor and Conductor Gearoid Grant

4th class in the foyer
Principal Power waves us off  ' Be good!
Birds eye view of UCH

Tea for Two              most prominent instrument  / audience  conduct orchestra
Hebrides Overture    Mendelssohn    themes ABC  Ballet
Walk the World          actions
Swine Lake                Tchaikowsky
007 James Bond         For Your Eyers Only/
Ms Barry meets double bass player Seamus Doyle
Midsummer Night's Dream   Mendelssohn    with ballet
Overture to William Tell      Rossini
Toreadors March       complete with actions
Mary Poppins selection

The Irish times Music In The Classroom concert was in UCH last week. I'm  involved in classroom music now for a decade or so but this  was my  first experience of this popular  concert series aimed at young audiences. It is running for 21 years and is a wonderful venture. Sometimes events which promise to be fun are  anything but.  On this occasion, the promise was delivered on and it was great fun and I really enjoyed it   as did my young string students.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Winter Music Weekend, Sixmilebridge

Fiach McHugh PR WMW, me  and troubadour  Jimmy Crowley
Jimmy Crowley
Sliabh Notes
Poit Dubh
Georgia Cusack Patrick Groenland 

We arrived   late to the Saturday night accoustic gig  at the Courthouse  in Sixmilebridge for the Winter Muisc Weekend ( and it was standing room only to hear a plethora of acts . Unfortunately we missed Colum Sands, who by all accounts was brilliant and Scottish  group,  Poit Dubh with their line up of two fiddles, guitar and cello were working their way through a pleasant set of Scots Gallic songs and polkas.  Chanteuse Gergia Cusack accompanied by Patrick Groenland offered effortless understated vocals  with a nicely varied selection with a Latin American vibe reminiscent of Diana Krall.

Clare Poets Take a Haiku

Yuki performs Cherry Blossom

Yuki explains her Haiku

I spent the afternnon at The Clare Three Legged Stool Poets monthly meeting at Glor.. There was quite a lot of business to conduct with the launching of the group's Haiku competition for schools.  The afternoon was ably compered by Rob Hopkins and there were many contributers today.  Fred Johnston  spoke about the technical aspects of composing a Haiku.- which is a short 17 syllable poem and not to be confused with a well known ritual tribal dance  ; teachers from Clare schools spoke about the positive impact the inititaive is having  in their schools. Yuki Nishioka spoke about the genre and demonstrated one of her own.  A multi faceted performer she sang and played some traditional Japaneese melodies    It was good to hear a young voice at the gathering and Mark James performed his rap influenced rhymes with and without guitar .

Pat MacNamara of Knockanean NS School

Fred lays down the ground rules

There was good variety in the open mic session. Ilsa Thielen opened with a poem about a horse (a common theme lately), Noel Mulqueen followed with some Yeats and MC Rob read from his own work . Peter Kay was I believe a new voice to the group and remembered the late  and sadly missed Brendan O Beirne.  Arthur Watson's work  always makes me smile and today's offerings about lawn mowers, rural  health centres and acronyms was no exception.  Brian Mooney spoke about forthcoming events and Pat MacNamara disproving the old adage,  (those who can, do and those who can't ....)closed the written word offerings with a powerful war poem of his own.

Mark Jame Poetry Slam Winner
Mary Fean of RINS Fm Shannonside Radio Station was there to conduct an interview with the main movers and shakers in the group. Unfortunately Glór, strangely enough, closed up at 5.15 pm and we had to leave - which  effectively curtailed the informal exchange that is very much part of such an occasion. Next meeting is on Saturday 19th February and features Paddy Bushe from Kerry.  Put in your diary!
Peter Kay

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Shakespeare and Co

On  a cold evening in Paris, we came across the famous Left Bank book shop, Shakespeare and Co and we spent a pleasant hour browsing the shelves. The shop has a piano on the first floor and we enjoyed being serenaded by Alice as we browsed

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Silvester Party at Bayernhalle Garmisch Partenkirchen 2010

Bayernhalle  performers
Wandering around the Bavarian resort town of Garmisch Partenkirchen on New Year's Eve we spotted posters promoting a 'Silvestre' event  and made our way to this venue. It was exactly what you might expect, a large gathering of mostly locals whiling away the hours by drinking, eating and being amused by tarditional party turns .  We especially loved Catherine with her Cow Bell Solo, followed by euphonium and clarinet turns, all very good indeed.  The woodchopping pancake turning routine had us a bit baffled.  Finally a sing song  (Ce Sera Sera a pan European favourite it seems) and a good old knees up before all going out to look at the fireworks. Sehr gut  fun !