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

Saturday, February 13, 2016

McLoughlin & McCarney at Tramore Coastguard Station

Treeline encored at Tramore Coastguard Station

Tony McLoughlin Singer songwriter
Tramore Coastguard Station has a marvellous location perched on the cliff at  the seaside town with a view of the sweep of Tramore bay. A café operates on the ground floor and the upper floor houses an art gallery and hosts occasional music gigs. The venue  offers a chatter free alternative to the pub and patrons are free to byob. To date I have heard veteran balladeer, Andy Irvine ,  the inimitable Francie White and his Omega 3 (plus 1) here and last night, songwriter Tony McLouglin held court at the venue joined by ace guitarist, Mick McCarney. McLoughlin  in jeans and cowboy boots and with a languid drawl in his mellow vocal delivery had an air of Nashville denizen in his rugged stage presence. The songs were good in a bluesy, country vein and easy on the ear. McLoughlin's set was much enhanced by Mick McCarney's skilful guitar obligados and interludes. The late Brian O Donnell was remembered in a dedication and  another  to local Green candidate Grace O Sullivan who was in the house.  Here is the PR blurb.

'The Irish performer and songwriter Tony McLoughlin has created a catalogue of literate songs that shine a spotlight in the dark corners of our real lives, while at the same time blending elements of country,folk,americana,and rock into his overall sound.His lived-in voice and captivating melodies can take you places you’ve never been before.’         (Hotpress Magazine).
Tony will be joined by Guitarist Mick McCarney who began his professional career in music in the 80’s playing with Donegal soul funk band ‘Quarterdeck’. He has since played with the likes of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. ‘Naked Lunch'(Steely Dan Tribute band), Dolores Keane, Chiara Browne and Ben Reel.

While this was a good gig from a musical point of view, the paucity of audience did not help to create a lively ambiance or indeed can not have made it a profitable evening for the artists. Munster Express arts critic made these comments on the Tramore arts scene in a recent review '

'When this newspaper ran its Arts & Theatre look back at 2015, I had some emails from Tramore people who deplored the fact that I had not included the 'vibrant art community' at the Coast Guard Arts Centre. Looking back over my diary I found I had not received an invite from the Coast Guard Centre for months and I had thought it was going the way of some arts organisations. Apparently, I am no longer on their information or mailing/invite lists.

I have noticed that since arts events went from 'Arts Service' funding to a catch-all 'Tourism Development' funding, things seem to have deteriorated in Tramore.

I think the Coastguard Station is a great venue offering advantages over a pub setting but audiences will need to be wooed to this alternative in a concerted effort by  both the artists and the venue promoter.

Next week Paul Tiernan is joined by the fab Finnish violinist Marja Gaynor for a gig on Friday 19th . It looks very promising.

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