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

Monday, February 15, 2016

Joey Whelan & El Sombrero at the Copper Coast

It was a mucky, rain sodden night  in the South East on Saturday but there was slow release  of sunshine  over an evening of music , food, wine and chat at the Copper Coast Centre in the Waterford seaside village of Bonmahon.
It was my first trip to the centre, part of a UNESCO Global Geopark no less! The history of the  Bonmahon copper mining industry featured in a film shown at the Imagine Arts Festival in 2013and featured on this blog post Bonmahon copper minining on film . The centre housed in a converted church, makes for a convivial  performing space. We sat at long tables  under a vaulted timber ceiling sipping tempranillo . There are arched timber doors, a stone wall lining and a little bar in one corner.

The heat of a Spanish sun was conjured from a guitar by the fingers of Joey Whelan in two sets of works by Tarrega, Piazzola, Villa Lobos, Granados, Scarlatti, Albeniz and others, all performed from memory. Whelan added spoken programme notes and his performance was assured, very polished and quite enthralling.

The event was associated with West Waterford Food Festival and opened with an address from the chairman. There was food for body as well as the soul as during the interval,  Mexican nibbles were  served courtesy of  El Sombrero who operate out of Dunhill Eco Park.

It was an evening of many parts that combined to make a memorable  occasion. It was extraordinary, that while many live music events struggle to attract an audience, in this  relatively  remote part of West Waterford quite a way from any major conurbation,  on a miserable rainy evening, there was a audience of 50 patrons gathered. John Galloway was a gracious MC and  sombreros  off to Copper Coast manager, Catherine Kavanagh on a fabulous PR job.

El Sombrero: Javier Garduno & Michelle Comerford

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