“In the merry month of June…”
I always feel June is the start of the real summer…Schools and Colleges are finished, there is a great stretch in the evenings and Kilkenny (where I am living now) is thriving with tourists. We’re really enjoying our resident gig every Thursday in Lanigans Bar Kilkenny. We have a great balance of regulars such as “Thirsty Thursday Crew!”… NO NAMES MENTIONED! YE KNOW WHO YE ARE! And also a load of new faces that are in Kilkenny as part of their tour of Ireland. Damian likes to ask after a few songs where people are from… One night in particular we had people from USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, Belgium, UK, France Czech Republic & Switzerland…Ross came out with a cracking line… “This is like a United Nations Summit!” We are using this gig to try out loads of new songs…at least 2 every week.
We have been travelling around the country promoting our new album; we’ve been to Dublin, Limerick, Galway, Kilkenny and Portlaoise. We’ve had some mighty craic on the road doing these PA’s. Personally my favourite was in Laois Shopping Centre (not being biased at all!)… It was great to be playing a few songs in our local, meeting and greeting everyone. I got such a buzz out of it…felt like a celebrity signing autographs and posing for photos… we got such a great welcome from everyone, there was a fantastic atmosphere which I think everyone could feel. I was delighted to meet Jenny Mulhall and Sile Carter in particular. These two ladies had been to the Hazel Hotel to see our DVD recording, back again for the launch and now were over to see us again to get our latest merchandise…
We had another eventful day in Galway on Shop Street… We arrived up, the sun was shining. We discovered we had to carry all our equipment down the pedestrianised street for about 200 metres (600 feet for our American friends!) through a sea of people… that was ok…after a few loads each we had all the gear outside the shop ready to set-up…you guessed it…IRISH weather at its best…Flash floods within seconds!!! WHOOPS! In the end the rain did stop…and we had mighty craic playing to another brand new audience…it’s a special feeling and very hard to describe when playing music together in a band, we are giving out this energy to the audience and they’re giving it back in leaps and bounds…UNBELIEVABLE! The funniest thing about our trip to Galway: We had played and talked to loads of people over our time there and not one of whom was from Galway! We had Mayo, Clare, Limerick, Roscommon as well as loads of international countries but not one from Galway… This is certainly one of my favourite places in Ireland… I’m looking forward to the Galway races!
Another Highlight of June was playing Moynalty Music Festival in Meath. This was the first year for the festival to take place and we were delighted to be on the bill. We arrived up for our sound check around 3… I have to give great credit to Alan Wheelan on sound. He was definitely the most professional engineer we have worked with…apart from Kevin Broderick of course! LOL! Ah we do love you Rory. I mean Kevin! It makes such a huge difference knowing the sound going out to the audience is good quality, this means we can just relax and enjoy playing. After having a good chat with Johnny McEvoy, we head off for dinner in the local parochial house. We’re greeted by Fr. Joe who is sporting an apron… He leads us into the dining room…this was a massive room with a huge table all fully set to 5 star hotel standards! It was cool, and the food was fantastic… 4 courses served by Fr. Joe… a lovely pleasant, genuine man. After the feast it’s back to the festival to get ready… We go on and ROCK IT! We’re all in the zone; the 50 minute set feels like 5 minutes… I don’t want to leave the stage when we’re finished… it was that good… I want to play more songs! After the gig it was nice to talk to our friends and colleagues; Paul O’Reilly (Dolphin Music Group), Derry (The Branding Idea), Ronan Collins (RTE) and of course Christian and Karen (Sigma Productions).
These are just a few small memories shared from me for the month of June. It would be wrong if I did not acknowledge the death of my close friend Colm Barry. Colm has helped out a lot with Na Fianna over the last year of his life in particular, selling CD’s, carrying equipment etc… Ar dheis De go raibh a anam. May he rest in peace.
I would like to thank our manager Darren Farrell for his continued hard work and support.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it and hopefully I’ll see you again soon.