Better late than never they say??

Hey everyone, I hope this blog finds you well. First off I would like to apologize on behalf of the band for the delay in the blogs. We have been extremely busy working hard behind the scenes, working on new plans and projects to make 2012 an enjoyable year for our fans and audiences worldwide. On that note I would like to take this opportunity to reminisce on the past year and to sincerely thank everyone for making 2011 a great one for the band as we had many great achievements. In 2011 we released our first original single called “The Last One “which reached number 2 in the Irish singer songwriter charts and is still available for download on iTunes for 99c ha-ha… sorry I just had to get that plug in lol… we also toured Belgium, UK , Germany and our first USA tour which was a great success that seen us cover 5 states such as Kansas, New York , Las Vegas ( where lee found his wallet, but lost all his money)ha , Boston and Orlando, Florida (where Damian and John met with their childhood hero’s Mickey and Minnie Mouse) haha…

The last blog was from Damian who spoke about our time in Boston and Las Vegas, so I’m going to try my best to take over where he left off which could never be easy …lol… but here it goes… After our amazing week at the Ri Ra Irish bar in the Mandalay bay hotel Las Vegas it was time to make our way towards the last leg of our tour and no better place to finish “The Big Apple” New York as the song goes “concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there is nothing you can’t do”… I remember as I was starting out on my musical career singing along to the Wolfe Tones version of “The streets of New York”, dreaming of maybe performing there someday myself. It was one of the greatest experiences of my short life so far!! The memories of walking up and out of the Grand Central train station for my first time in the heart of Manhattan and seeing all these fantastic buildings and crazy busy streets will remain with me forever.

Our first gig was in Yonkers where we based ourselves for this leg of the trip. We played Fagan’s Friday and Sunday evening which is based on McLean Avenue and is a large Irish area. They were two great nights. I would like to thank a great family friend of the Hennessy’s Mr Dick Lyons for looking after us during our stay and sorting out the accommodation for us, and also Cathal and Brian from The Rambling House for looking after us so well. Saturday night brought us to Paddy Reilly’s Bar at the centre of Manhattan, it was packed to the rafters full of friends, relations and hopefully some new Na Fianna fans……it was a very enjoyable gig. Apart from performing we also got to meet up with friends , and the chance to do shopping along with some sight seeing such as times square, the statue of liberty and  of course Ellis Island where it all began for the Irish !! (I also got a few history lessons from Professor Damian who should really get a job making documentaries for the discovery channel) haha … It was time to bid farewell to New York and to the USA where we spent 9 amazing weeks touring and return home… USA we love you and we shall be back!!

Since returning home we have been working extremely hard, we wrote our own brand new soccer single which is in connection with the Irish soccer team making the European finals. The single is called the “The Irish Roar” which we performed live on National radio the morning after Ireland secured qualification.  Alan Thorney from the John Murray Show contacted us on the Tuesday of Ireland’s last qualifying game asking could we write a song celebrating Irelands qualification and perform it live in the studio the following morning, of course we said yes, sure how hard could it be haha….Anyway we did it and it all turned out great. We would like to thank John Murray, Alan Thorney, Denise Davies and all the crew on the show for their continued support. And for those of you that keep asking for the song…..well it is due to be released very soon along  with some other exciting news!…. There are plans of a few more singles being released along with some great news on the gigs and touring front. All will be revealed over the coming weeks…..

We had a rather busy December which seen us play many staff Christmas party’s in Hotel Kilkenny.  We also performed all over the country such as The Arlington Hotel DublinNaomh Columba in Donegal, Srtetford Arms in Kerry to name a few.

We have made many great friends both at home and abroad throughout our travels in 2011, such kind and generous people who helped us in everyway; it would be impossible for me to mention you all but ye all know who you are.

I hope that ye all enjoyed Christmas, turkey, ham and everything else that came with it. As for the four of us….well we all had to join the gym after…. haha

On behalf of Na Fianna I would like to say a big “thank you” to everyone for your continued support and help over the past year. We hope to see you all again very shortly.” Happy new year” may 2012 be a great year for everyone, best wishes…..

Do chara

Ross Mac Aonghusa

Ross Hennessy

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Sorry we’re late but we never put this one up!

A Chairde,

Sorry this is a bit late but we are very busy at the moment!
After Mr Dooleys in downtown Boston, it was time to relocate again as our remaining gigs were in the South Boston area so we spent the day packing our stuff and loading it into the car of the one and only Meghan Sowsun. Meghan had made the journey of nine hours to see us the previous night with her friend Bree Springthorpe from Oakville Toronto. We first met Meghan in May when she was holidaying in Ireland with her parents and we have kept regularly ever since. So as she and Bree moved our gear to Quincy we boarded the T (the Boston version of the dart/subway) and set out for our hotel. That night we played a gig in The Twelve Pins and it was great to see some familiar faces from our previous gigs in Boston. We also had a group who traveled four hours to see us after meeting Lee in Bobs Bar during the summer. We also met up with a few Laois lads that John and I would have played hurling with and against throughout the years with club and county. Fran Keenan, Ciaran Moore whom I have to congratulate on his engagement and of course the bold Terry Doran. Camross is well represented. Meghan and Bree were late for the gig after falling asleep after all their hard work from helping us during the day but at least they made it in time for us to depart up to Fran’s house to watch Ireland vs. Wales in the rugby world cup quarter final. This match was a great one to watch with some great Welsh defending and it was that defence that ensured we stayed out from their linen and got beaten. Disappointed we went home…

Saturday night we played in Paddy Berry’s of Quincy where the gig was packed to the rafters! We met up with some more people from home like the great Larky Conroy from Mountmellick in Laois who has been out in Boston for maybe close thirty years – a true and proud Laois man if ever there was one in Boston. Thanks to Jerry and the staff for treating us very well. Great to see Jennifer Browne and Francesca Infranca making the trip from New York to see us! Also Danielle Mayzes was there at our gigs on Saturday and Sunday. We had an early night by our standards as we prepared ourselves for the Dorchester gig next day. Brian arrived for us early and after our customary Dunkin Donuts breakfast it was all systems go and we made our way to Dorchester. Even the Dorchester cops knew Brian at this stage. All he said to the numerous cops directing traffic was his trademark saying in his Boston accent – “I’m with the band!!!” as they waved him on into restricted access areas in order to get us nearer to the stage area. The day was beautiful and with a large crowd present it was important for us to get it right – and by the crowd’s reaction I think we did. There is a big Irish and Irish American population in this area and it was great to feel the pride of place and of Ireland throughout the day. These people have a great community and national spirit for all to see. We had to leave the festival as we had another gig in the Clash of the Ash pub in Quincy that night. A big crowd came in the doors which included a lot of the hurling team that John played for when he was out in Boston – and we had a right night here let me tell you. It was great to meet up with lads I had met years previous on a trip to see John. Total headers like Peter Nolan, Brian “The Crow” Dalton, Dominic McGill, John Joe O Neill, Jigger, Denis Brennan and Seanie Gallagher. These men are legends in Boston and that will never change!! With heavy hearts and an even heavier heads we left Boston early the next morning. Many thanks must go to Brian Bailey for all of his help and also Pat.

We spent Monday in transit and with a four hour wait for connecting flights at JFK airport New York it was a long day before we finally arrived in Las Vegas at about 11 pm local time. We were graciously met at the airport by Cyril Kenny and Paula Quigley. After bringing us to our apartment they brought us to Ri-Ra the Irish pub in the Mandalay Bay hotel to get a feel for the place. All seemed to be good so we passed the night with a great contingent of Irish staff as the showed us the ropes and Hooters!! Vegas is a place like no other and although I have visited twice before one is still amazed at its grandeur and splendour. The next nights gigs in Vegas were a great success and the tables worked out for us at times too! We met many friends like the aforementioned Cyril and Paula but also Vanessa McDonagh, Aimee Dwyer, and Bernice Naughton to name but a few. Melissa Hockin was another friend we met on this leg of the trip. Niki Dee and her friends drove from Arizona to be with us which was brilliant. This is really an amazing trip.

I hope you enjoyed catching up on the gallery we are having and the wonderful experiences here in the USA.

Is mise le meas

Damian Walsh

Shipping up to Boston!!

Hey everyone here I am writing my last blog of our 2011 US tour it’s the morning after the night before and how time has flown. What an amazing action packed month we had at Raglan Road in Orlando Florida!!

That Friday feeling!!
Our second last night at Raglan Road was upon us and I had that Friday feeling that it was going to be a great one. As we played to a full house it was great to see all our friends and many new faces there. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bill for the lovely gifts, we’re still trying to burn off the calories from the cake ha!! And a big thanks to the ladies from Limerick who sung all the songs with us word for word it was great to have a front row choir!!

The last one!!
It was here the day had come “The last one”. It was time to perform our last show in Orlando for 2011 and what a way to finish. There was hardly room to move and the place was electric as we were joined on the stage by the fantastic fiddle player Colin Farrell who added so much and it was one of those evenings that I was hoping would never end as we finished on a high. I would like to thank everyone who made Na Fianna so welcome at Raglan Road we have made many great friends in such a short time. We were sad to have to bid farewell to Orlando, especially our pool and tennis court, lee really misses them…… I think he misses looking at them haha….

Shipping up to Boston
On our arrival at Boston it great to have a few days break and to get the chance to let the hair down it was time for some long overdue Monday madness….the only thing is I never knew the lads had such long hair haha …. It wasn’t long before we were back in the thick of the action as Wednesday seen us play at the Tinkers son. When we arrived at the Tinkers son there was a trad session been played and it was great to see how strong Irish music is in Boston, it felt just like home. As soon as the trad session had ended we done a quick sound check and got on our way with all the well knowing Irish classics. It was great to meet Eileen and all the crew from Quincy and Dorcester who travelled to see us thanks for a great night.

Mr Dooley’s
It was great to get the chance to play music in the heart of down town Boston and no better venue to play then Mr Dooley’s.  knowing for its music with such acts playing there in the past as Johnny Mc Evoy, Finbar Furey and now Na Fianna haha…. it was a fantastic night with a lot of Irish being present and it was great to chat to all of you we hope to see ye in Boston in the near future. I would like to thank Jeff our sound engineer for the evening who was rather helpful and done a great job.  I feel that this tour has been a great success for Na Fianna and I’m really looking forward to Las Vegas and New York. I would like to say a very special thank you to our driver in Boston for the week Brian “I’m with the band” Bailey who done a fantastic job, we would have been lost without you. Can we stop in Dunkin Donnut’s one last time?? haha…… 
I hope you enjoyed reading my last US blog for this tour I had such a great time but I’m also looking forward to getting home and seen my family and friends and reading Damian’s next blog which will be based on Vegas. For everyone knows “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” so Damian is going to have to be very careful with his wording haha……

Do chara
Ross Hennessy

Settled in the sunshine state!

Hey guys!

Apologies in delay in getting this blog up…So much is happening in the world of Na Fianna…It’s all good though! I’m enjoying every minute of it

So the last time I blogged we has just arrived off the plane from Ireland… 5 weeks later and so much has happened, all well documented by the Ross, Damian & Lee. The good news is that the band is still together anyways! I thought this tour would be a testing time for us all living and working together every day…our schedule is so full that we do spend a lot of time together, but thank god everything is running smoothly and we’re all in great form!

The house we have here in Florida is SAVAGE! We all have our own rooms, mine happens to be the master en-suite with hot tub and walk in wardrobe…NICE! We have a stylish open-plan kitchen/living room too and did I mention the pool?! LOL we have rented a car here too…We live about 20 minutes away from Raglan Road, (that’s at least 30 when Damian “Grandad” Walsh is behind the wheel!)

Raglan Road is a great place. It is the biggest Irish Pub I’ve ever seen. It has the three most important things required for a fantastic night out: GREAT FOOD, GEAT DRINK and GREAT ENTERTAINMENT!!! I have to say that all the staff have made us feel as part of the team also which is pretty cool. The first week was very tough for all of us…4 hours of playing music a night…That’s double the time for a night of gigging back home! We learned a lot that first week and I feel we’ve now cracked the set, and know when and where to play different songs and tunes! I believe people want to be entertained, this includes listening to songs and the story behind them…such as the story of Annie Moore in the song Ellis Island. People also want to have the craic (fun) and get involved in clapping their hands and dancing… People obviously also want to have a chat among them, eat their dinner and have a few drinks too! We have focused on the points above and I feel our show in Raglan Road accounts for all of them.

A few memories of the past week

On Friday night I witnessed a romantic moment when a man proposed to his girlfriend, we called him up to sing a song…then he turned around to his girlfriend and popped the question. I’m just delighted she said yes! Imagine the humiliation of getting turned down in front of a couple of hundred strangers! Congrats to the happy couple Natasha Rakitina & Dominic Palazzolo

On Sunday we got up early and went to Universal! Our good friends Katie Cox & Sionainn Crevoiserat Woodward organised tickets for us, they showed us all around both parks and basically made our day for us. Both knew every ride and showed us a great time…Thanks a million ladies… I really enjoyed the Rip-Rocket, the Mummy, the Hulk and the Spiderman… Harry Potter was another story! I felt hung-over after it so I retired to the village of hogsmeade to enjoy a glass of badly needed water! I have been so impressed with the precise detail in all the parks we have visited…they are so “real” and greatly adds to the magical experience! We also met up with Rob & Heather Robertson who were celebrating their wedding anniversary with us in Raglan Road. They are a very close, funny and friendly couple whom we have gladly gotten to know over the last few weeks! Many happy years’ together guys!

Na Fianna bless Universal Studios with their presence

On Thursday it was Damian’s birthday. Damian is now 27 + VAT years old! We had a few beers and were also joined on stage by Colin Farrell on the fiddle. Colin is part of the house band in Raglan Road…Creel. He is the finest fiddle player I have ever witnessed. He fitted into our style of playing with ease and greatly added to our set…a sign of a true musician! I would also like to acknowledge the in-house dancers of Danielle, Amal & Ivor; they have been very nice to us and put on a great show! Big thanks to Damien from Creel too for lending me a spare guitar to use for DADGAD…cheers lad, I’ll get you a few scoups the next time!

We have settled down very well here in Florida and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time here in Disneyworld & Raglan Road. We have met so many people and made a lot of friends on this tour so far…I won’t even start to name people but you all know who you are!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it and hopefully I’ll see you again soon.

John 😉

John Walsh

From Wimbledon to Halfway To St Paddy’s Day

From Wimbledon to Halfway To St Paddy’s Day

I’ll start with Friday the 16th,
We got up and got our tennis championship started. Thank God there’s no one competitive in our group so we only had a mess around…YEAH RIGHT!
I thought the band was going to split up after one game of Doubles..haha !!!! We headed back to the house for a swim and I could barely make out Ross “the doggie paddle” Hennessy because he was swimming lengths so quick. That evening we headed in for Raglan Road nice and early to get the dinner before we started playing music. Like every night in Raglan Road the food is absolutely brilliant thanks to the super chef James Guinan.

We were all excited that night playing because there was a great crowd in Raglan Road and we also knew Ireland were playing Australia in the Rugby World Cup group stages after the gig at 4am in the morning. Meanwhile I was up on stage playing away and thought I was back in Kilkenny when Beata Bali and Stuart Downie walked in and sat down at the bar. It was great to see a few familiar faces from Kilkenny!  Straight after the gig we went home and got ready for the big match. There was only one problem…we had to be back in Raglan Road early the next morning for a sound check for HALF WAY TO PADDYS DAY. As everyone knows the match went very well that night with Ireland beating Australia on their home turf…but the sound check didn’t go as good the next morning!!! I think the next door neighbor came in and turned off our alarms clocks (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!) because know one woke till around 9.45am in the morning so we ended up being about 20 mins late but it all worked out Ok in the end.

Half Way To Paddys Day

We kicked off at an earlier time Saturday evening and there was green, white and gold balloons and banners everywhere. There was a great vibe around the pub all day and the minute we plugged in the instruments a big cheer went up so I knew it was going to be a good one. We played for around 4 hours in total and there was brilliant Irish dancers there all day as well with Ivor,Amal returning back from holidays and then the local dance school led out by Courtney.

Na Fianna in Raglan Road

When we finished up we had the night off to relax and it was “Elevations” turn to start rocking. Elevation are a brilliant U2 tribute band all the way from Canada. We stayed in Raglan Road for the night and drank a few Bud lights with the company of all the locals and a few special guests as well, Debbie and Amy Josland all the way from London. We had a great laugh all week with them and of course they ended up drinking with Beata and Stuart and rumors are that the two ladies are coming to Ireland very soon!!!

We finished up the weekend with no gig on the Sunday so John and Damian decided to take a trip off to Tampa for a change of scenery, so Ross and myself took a trip down to the local Irish pub to watch Dublin lift the Sam Maguire cup. When the match was over we just finished up our drinks and headed on home. !!! Yeah like you would all believe that!! Lets just say a good night was had by all but; there was a few sick heads in the morning. I had to go into Ross’s room the next day and check for a pulse!!!…

I would like to thank everyone who came to Raglan Road and gave us great support during the month of September: Margaret M Ryan and all her crew, Sionainn, her family and friends, Katie, Rob, Heather, Bill, Charlie, and loads of other people who I have met and talked too over the last few weeks and of course all the management and staff of Raglan Road. The next time I’ll be writing I will be in the Big Apple and Ross will have closed down 2 casinos in Vegas!! Oh and it wont be late this time!!

Lee Campion

“Tús maith leath na hoibre”

Dia dhaoibh ó Florida,

“Tús maith leath na hoibre”

Ni folair dom a rá go bhfuilimid an sasta ar fad anseo san stáit aontaithe!

A big welcome to any new people who are reading these blogs!

It is just coming up to 3 in the morning as I gather my thoughts together on the past week and a half. So much has happened to us and we have met so many people I hope I do not leave out some important incidents or some people as I try to classify credit and edit.  As the seanfhocal (Irish saying) above translates a good start is half the work so here it goes!

After Kansas Irish fest it is fair to state that we would have loved to stick around after our performance and socialise but we had a sound check to do in our new port of call Raglan Road Irish pub and restaurant in Downtown Disney, Florida the following day at 9 a.m.  We made our way from the hotel to the airport with Gretchen Ryan once more and low and behold we had a plane journey without drama as John gave his passport to me to mind (me being the older brother and the responsible one I duly obliged!!) We arrived back to the “gaff” at bout 4 in the morning.

Next morning our sound check went off without hitch as our engineer Jason is a sound man!! Even though we only got a few hours sleep, we spent the afternoon organising our car with the help of Lorraine from Raglan Road and then time for a quick paddle…yes paddle (!!!) in the pool before we left for our gig. Raglan Road is a fantastic example of a big Irish pub with top quality food and drink and is very popular amongst the people who frequent Downtown Disney. We soon got to understand why. As we settled down for dinner we met up with Bill and Charlie from Friday night previous and they wished us the best of luck.  As the dinner was being eaten there was very little talk as we all agreed the food was up with the best we ever had! We get dinner there each day and its consistency, staff hospitality and presentation is brilliant.

Our show here is divided into four parts and three of the four segments include a dance piece. It is true that the gig itself is different to what we have been doing in Ireland. Firstly it is a longer show than what we are used to. It is four hours here compared to two at home. It was a worry at the start as to our voice strength after all these hours per week but thank God so far our voices and energy levels have held up. Secondly it is different due to the fact that probably half of the crowd in front of us are eating as we play. This does not stop them from getting involved though and it really is a brilliant gig to do. The local Irish dancing school sent in their talented dancers as the regular ones are on holidays. We met up with Courtney, Sierra, Christie and Danielle. I must say Irish culture is alive and well here in Orlando with their enthusiasm and skills for all to see.

We are delighted to note that, as our shows go on people who come to our shows do come back again. I have to acknowledge Don Campion (our local barman in Don Egan’s pub, Kilkenny) and his crew who we met out here, Rob and Heather Robertson, Katie, Dawn Rancourt, Sionnainn Crevoisarat Woodword and family, and Erin Trumble and her mother and friends who all made long journeys to see our shows. The regulars like the aforementioned Bill and Charlie, Suzie Niziol, Margaret Ryan and all her crew from the Orlando. Jessica Correll and all the staff of Raglan Road have been really friendly and helpful to us also. We really are meeting some new friends out here. Two of our treasured friends from this past week have been Debbie and Amy Josland from England. We had some laugh- Debs and Amy the coolest mother and daughter combination since Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson!!! I know there are many more people that we have met but lads and lassies you know who ye are and thanks from Na Fianna.

I must say that our manager Darren Farrell has got it spot on in organising our living quarters out here. Wow! It was far from this that we were reared! It has four bedrooms with a massive kitchen/ living area and another sitting room type room where we practice. We are trying to continue improving so this “music room” is where we rehearse and try out new songs and tunes. Already we have amassed about ten new songs and five or so pieces of traditional music since we have arrived. We are just beginning to write some new material too which is exciting to say the least. Ross mentioned it last week in the blog but it has to be said the pool and tennis court are standing to us! Tennis games are getting quite competitive and somewhat noisy as Ross “Monica Seles” Hennessy keeps improving. Our pad has a private pool where our own Adrian Thorpe of the band swims up and down the ten metres. I will leave that up to you to decipher but its not Ross, Lee or myself. Lee is busy catching the rays! I walked into his room yesterday as he was rubbing something into his skin. When I asked what it was I was told it is a new body wash. The bottle read “St Tropez”….. Whatever that is!!!  Can anybody shed some light on that one???!!!

Now it is not all work over here you know. On Sunday we had a day off so we chanced a visit to Hollywood Studios and Epcot parks here. They were very good as we did roller coasters and looked around. My favourite park of the two was in Epcot where we relaxed for a while in World Showcase at the end of the day. This is a central area of restaurants and bars themed to different countries and you really do think you are in that country while in that area. For example one can go for dinner in Italy and go for a drink in England!  The fireworks show at the end was the highlight though. Amazing- certainly the best I have ever witnessed! That night we got to sample Downtown Disney on our first night off as we ended up in a cool spot called House of Blues! Then it was back to work again the next day and even if the heads were still a bit heavy it did not deter us from a performance to the best of our ability.

Right so everyone until next time mind yourselves and be happy in whatever part of the globe this reaches you in.

Is mise le meas,

Damian Breathnach

Damian Walsh

Orlando Magic!!!

Orlando Magic!!!

Hey everyone, here I am sitting beside our pool in Orlando writing my first US blog!! I’ve often dreamt about things like this but I never thought they would happen, but as Walt Disney once said “ Disney World where Dreams Come True “  I have so much to talk about I’m not even sure were I should start but here it goes, hope you enjoy……

On Friday the 2nd of September it was our first full day in Orlando and we had the night off so this gave us a great opportunity to settle in and find our feet!! First up we had a good look around the area and noticed that on top of having our own pool there is a tennis court right across the road so we have no excuses what so ever for not been a fitter and healthier Na Fianna when we return home, sometimes it’s hard to keep the tennis going when Damian is carrying on like John Mc Enroe on the court ha!!!

After we got our few bits and pieces in the local wal mart like bread, milk and kerrygold butter we decided to take a trip in to “Raglan Road” in down town Disney to have a look at a band by the name of Creel. Creel has been the resident band at Raglan Road for the last number of years and that’s who we are replacing for the month of September. It was great to get the chance to see their show first hand and pick up some ideas. Both Damien and Colin from the band were so helpful and gave us some great advice and tips, they also left us a spare guitar and banjo. Thanks so much for all the help lads….

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the managers from Raglan Road who we met on the evening, Scott, Tom, Rachel and Jonathon who made us feel right at home. Thanks for the beers!!!

Kansas City Irish Fest!!!

Although it was an early start to our Saturday the mood in the Na Fianna camp was that of great excitement. For we were on our way to the airport to catch a flight to Kansas City, this would be our first time to perform live in America….

On our arrival we were greeted at the airport by a lady by the name of Gretchen Ryan, Gretchen is a extremely kind woman who on dropping us to our hotel gave us the complete history of the city which was highly interesting and all the information that we needed for the festival. After we got sorted at the beautiful Hyatt hotel we made our way towards the green room at the festival were we had our dinner and had the chance meet with other acts such as, Tullamore, Girsa and Kila…..

I had never been in a green room that was so friendly, it was full with food and refreshments and there was even a masseuse by the name of Paul Mc Carthy, a good Irish name of course!! Paul got us in great shape for our first performance, there was some moans out of Lee ha-ha!!

It was now time to make tracks towards the Atrium Stage for a quick sound check and before we new it we were playing our first gig on US soil…  this was an early gig and it was only one hour long. It past so fast and it was so enjoyable. We had the large audience on their feet from the off as we belted out Irish classics, such as the Irish Rover, Whiskey in the jar and the Holy Ground, we also performed three of our own tracks which were Cody’s greatest, the last one and the Irish man which got a fantastic response. I would like to thank the young dancers who kindly done some Irish dancing in front of the stage, ye were fantastic…. River Dance watch this space!!!

After our performance we went to the Miller lite stage were we seen three amazing acts. First up was another Irish band by the name of Goitse (meaning” come here ” in Irish)  who showed great skills in traditional Irish music, they also like Na Fianna have three members from Co. Laois. At one stage in the green room I thought Laois was about to take over Kansas city!!!

Next up were “Girsa” all the way from New York. These eight ladies surely know how to play their music, great dancers and are fantastic singers with super harmonies. They’re well worth checking out. And finally it was time for “Kila”, this been my first time to see them playing live… they are top class energetic musicians and are a credit to Irish music.

That concluded our first day at the Irish Fest as John turned in to catch up on his beauty sleep….. But wait a second,,, did someone mention an after partaaaay???

With word spreading of an after party been held at Kelly’s Westport Inn for all the acts who performed at the Fest!! Myself, Damian and Lee hit it like three members of the Irish wolf pack ha-ha!! What a night as we got the chance to chat to all the acts, I even chanced a bit of Irish dancing myself which wasn’t a pretty site… We did go to bed early Darren don’t worry ha-ha….

The greatest day of the year!!

Yes the day I’d been waiting for Kilkenny vs. Tipperary in the All-Ireland senior hurling final. Although it was another early start with the game been shown live at 9.30am in the morning, it was well worth dragging the lads out of bed to watch the masters Kilkenny in action what a win for the cats!! As the lyrics of great song said,,, “ Cody’s team the greatest that’s for sure”. With no time to celebrate it was time for our final performance at the Kansas Irish Fest.

Na Fianna “live” on the Boulevard stage on Sunday morning at 11.30am, the sun was high and the audience were mighty…. As some of ye may have witnessed first hand it seems…..it was streamed live on the internet… As we performed all the Irish classics with our own twist on them plus three of our own songs we received an amazing reception from a large crowd…

With only a few hours left in Kansas city we went back to the green room for a bite to eat were our own band member the one and the only Mr John Walsh was met with a nice surprise as for he was celebrating his birthday and the fantastic staff had organised a cake for him and shot of Jameson whiskey. This was a lovely touch and I would like to thank all involved… It was just a pity that we don’t drink whiskey… ha-ha…. NOT!!!!

Unfortunately it was time to say our goodbyes to the Kansas City Irish Fest, to all the lovely and kind friendly organisers, staff and all the amazing acts thanks for a fantastic time we really hope that ye all enjoyed the Na Fianna experience and that we’ll get to do it all over again next year!! I would also like to take this opportunity to speak on behalf of the band if I may, and say that we have never got treated as well as we did at the Kansas City Irish Fest. Thank you all so much.

Thanks for taking the time for reading my blog, until the time slan go foil

Do chara

Ross Hennessy

Where’s me passport?

 Where’s my Passport?!

 Hey guys,

So I told you the next time you’d be hearing from me was from Orlando…well guess what…we’ve made it!! Only barely might I add…more on that later…

So I’m picking things up with our last week in Ireland. On Saturday night we were in Kytelers Inn…We had 3 different birthday parties…Ann Brennan, Wendy Doyle-Murray & Aileen Marnell…Happy BDAY ladies, hope ye had a good one!

On Sunday we were on the road to Causeway Co. Kerry…The dance floor was hopping and even the security guard was dancing…UP THE KINGDOM!

Monday night was the last of our unplugged summer sessions in Egan’s…A great turn out as has been the case all summer. Thanks to one and all for helping us train for our US tour…you all know who you are at this stage but we certainly could not have done it without you…A special thanks to Darren Farrell from “Realta” for some great backing on the guitar and singing a fantastic version of “lawless”.

Tuesday night was our last Irish gig for over 2 months…This is easily the best live music venue in Kilkenny…We love it! We had a great crew there to send us off…Again Paris Texas has been great over the summer…

We will certainly miss all the resident gigs and the regulars around Kilkenny…I won’t start naming names as I’m sure to leave someone out but ye know the craic…Mad Mondays, Tremendous Tuesdays & of course Thirsty Thursdays…We’ll be back in no-time sure! J

I woke up Wednesday morning with 101 jobs to do…I had been out and about since 9 am and I only starting organising my clothes and things in the early afternoon…I definitely could not have done this without my flatmate Tracey and my mother Mary…Thanks very much ladies! I’ll bring ye back something from my travels! It was tough to pack for two months of touring…I had to pack clothes for Orlando in heat of 35 degree C & by the time we’re in Boston it will be turning cold and heading for winter…as well as clothes for gigging in and all my music equipment…Then making sure the weight was ok!!! You can be sure I’ll be making a checklist well in advance the next time!

“We’re going to America!”

I was so excited Thursday morning when I woke up…It was suddenly here and very real…We were leaving for our 1st American 2 month Tour…Every Irish musicians dream I would imagine…

We were flying from Dublin to Atlanta and then Atlanta to Orlando…After 8 hours on a plane we arrived into Atlanta, we had 1 hour until our connecting flight to Orlando. We thought we had loads of time but for those who don’t know…Atlanta is the busiest airport in the world!!! $45 billion dollars passes through Atlanta Airport every year and a plane takes off every 33 seconds! I had our entire travel itinerary for the two months along with my own passport and travel documents in a plastic sleeve. We were making our gate when we all needed to use the restroom (Hope you like my new American slang!)…I left down the plastic sleeve, my backpack and hoody on the ground beside all the rest of the lads things…That was grand…quick freshen up and away we went…we had to go to a different terminal…down a few escalators, onto a underground train and we arrive at the next terminal…S**T lads where’s my passport?!

This feeling in my stomach is familiar…I got it when I heard the tragic news about my good friend Colm passing… Straight away I knew I had put it down on the ground outside the toilet about 5 minutes previous. Lee and I raced back to the toilet while Ross and Damian searched all our bags…To say my heart was in my mouth would be the understatement of the year… We arrived back to the spot…No Passport! I asked a man cleaning the floor while Lee looked inside the toilets, He sent me to security…I asked them, they sent me onto another security booth…I explained to them and they sent me to Delta airlines…Delta airlines contacted the plane, and main office…neither had heard of any passport missing…(40 minutes before our connecting flight!) They sent me back to Security…A Security man made me feel even worse when he filled me in about lost and found being closed for the weekend!! This situation kept getting worse…We decided to try seeing was it on the underground trains which connected all the terminals…NOPE! My head was gone at this stage… Damian suggested pleading at the gate to let me on…While in the queue I felt terrible…I had ruined our first trip to America! What was I going to do? We needed to be in Kansas City in 36 hours…with no passport that wouldn’t be happening! I arrive at counter and tell air hostess the story… “You’re a very lucky man Mr Walsh!”… Someone had seen the Passport and travel documents on the ground, checked my boarding card and most kindly left it at the boarding gate for me…J WOW! In today’s world of violence and crime, a gesture of such magnitude gives hope to us all… I definitely owe that person a few pints!

So onward and upward…We arrive in Orlando to be greeted by Sionainn Crevoiserat Woodward…Sionainn kindly offered to pick us up from airport and bring us to our house….Thanks a million Sionainn! It definitely wasn’t going to be my day…all baggage and instruments arrive except my guitar…I go to delta and enquire…to find out it’s on the next flight which won’t be in for another hour!!! A few pizza slices later we finally arrive at our place of residence for the month…It’s unrail! We even have our own pool!!!

Video Blog coming very soon from Orlando!! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it and hopefully I’ll see you again soon.

John 😉

John Walsh

Oh America!

Oh America!
Hey there everyone, Lee here with you, sorry about the delay but things have been crazy getting ready for our US tour.

Timoleague West Cork..!!
Last Friday we set out for Timoleague in West Cork. We arrived after a 3-hour drive from Kilkenny and set up right bang in the middle of the town on a nice big stage. Like last year we were pulled straight into “Grainne’s”pub for a big feed and couldn’t move for an hour after it but well worth it. Nice to see a few familiar faces at the gig like Paul and Sinead Meaney and PJ and Sarah Ryan and I would like to thank Paul and PJ for showing us some fantastic Irish dancing..!! Well I think it was Irish dancing anyway..!! It was a great gig that night with the main street full and a big thanks to Mick (Winston) Jones on sound who got a great bargain on 8 tins of beans on the way home.

Athy
We were off Saturday night for the first time in months so we all just went for a few drinks in Kilkenny City. Next up was C.I Bar in Athy and they do love the ballads there. Good crowd in the pub but we had to start a little late because we couldn’t get Damian out of Supermacs next door..!! Like to thank the bar staff there for setting up the new stage for us, very solid.

Monday Madness
Our second last Monday before we headed off and another great night had in Egan’s in Kilkenny. The Left Bank staff all dropped in for a few songs and again Ashling and Karen Farrell sang out of their skin. Paddy Ryan was there giving us a few tunes on the mouth organ and a few cracking songs. Thanks to John Joe Cullen and Davie Holihan for belting out a few songs over the last few weeks.

Paris Texas
Our Paris Texas gigs are nearly up for the summer and will be missed big time. Its a cracking place to play and the crowd are always singing or clapping along even if they don’t understand one word we say, just like the group of Italians that were there the other night and seemed to have a great night clapping and dancing.. It was nice to see John and Damian’s folks, Mary and PJ Walsh. I even got to hear Mary sing for the first time..brilliant..!! Massive thanks to Laura and Sharon for flying around the place selling cds for us .

Lanigans
Another Thirsty Thursday…..It was great to see Nuts, Vicky, Eddy, our 2 “Laureens” and all the locals out for a few drinks. We had people from the U.S, England, Australia and New Zealand and many more places all enjoying the music and crack in Lanigans. Damian had a lovely new shirt on him….. that I wouldn’t wear off a wall !!!Its going to be weird not playing in Lanigans on a Thursday night for the next few weeks but I’m just going to have to get used to the warm weather and nice beaches in Florida hahaha

U.S.A
Lastly I would like to thank everyone who gave us a hand out in getting our U.S trip organised especially Helen Campion, Teresa Duffy, Darren Farrell, Nicole Meaney, Linda Jordan and many more.. Once again sorry about the delay but i’ll have one hell of a blog to write next month and loads of time to do so !!! ROLL ON AMERICA YAHOOO!!

Lee Campion