With the weeks passing us by and a lot to look forward to last weekend was very busy for us. Although our Irish summer did not surface last weekend there is no denying that we were all in great form leaving Taghmon after an early gig at the fabulous Taghmon/Camross Gaa club. We were really impressed by the facilities for a rural parish and it really shows what a Gaa community can do given the right people within a club and obvious hard work and time. Being a day time gig it had a family feel about it which was very nice. We played songs to a lot of children on the dance floor and we had a major dance off between boys and girls for the best dancers. They each got a Na Fianna cd so even though I forget your names congratulations again and keep it up!
As Lee and Ross drove like Fast and the Furious Kilkenny Drift Ford Focus style, the jokes from our sound man Mick “Shake n Vac” Jones were flying by as John tried to keep the van on the road. (If you ever get to meet him or know him ask for the penguin and the car)
The family run pub called the Salmon Pool, Thomastown and Darren O Hanrahan’s party was our next venue. The two lads, Martin and Ger, have been long time supporters of Na Fianna and its one of those venues where we always love playing as it is full of characters. We knew that this gig was going to be a big one- how wrong we were- it was massive!! From the off we were chatting to Lee’s cousin and her friends when one of them took a liking to flowers on the window sill outside. She decided to pick one and the whole pot came tumbling down!! Ger was not impressed with the damage but we tried to reassure him his flower arranging course had paid dividends and he was back to his usual self in seconds. We arrived earlier than normal to set up and even then the crowd had started to gather. Martin Walsh had a busy night even though Ger was annoyed with the girls disrupting his beautiful flower arranging he worked hard too! Congratulations to Darren on his 21st birthday.
Tired as the lads and I were, it was an early start on Sunday morning as we departed for Mahon Point Shopping Centre for a P.A. outside Golden Discs. We quickly had all ready and got straight into the action with a few songs before a stop to sign and chat to people who so kindly had taken time to buy our CD or/and DVD. It was at this point that Jemma Hurley’s brother, Paul, introduced himself to us. Jemma and ourselves have known each other since March 2008 when Mick Fitz Patrick invited us to London playing on St Patrick’s weekend. John and I spent a weekend in London in November with her and Mick looking after us brilliantly. Also an familiar but unexpected visitor to us was our cousin Joey Mc Grath and his two children. Always good to listen and chat to the Big Lad!!
From here in on the outskirts of Cork city we drove up to Athy Co. Kildare to play in the C.I. Bar. The gig itself was packed and my old teaching colleagues turned up to sing and dance the night away. Congrats to Brona Redmond on her wedding from the band but the night was full of surprises notably Aonghus Corry going home before 2 am and also the engagement of Margaret and Shane after Shane disclosed they were engaged for the laugh!! Funny thing is it’s only a matter of time as we all know – smashing couple.
Our first gig in Paris Texas Kilkenny went very well indeed. We played some requests for songs that we had not played in a while and the atmosphere was really nice amongst it all. We will be playing there every Tuesday until we go on our tour in the states. We missed Sharon, Laura and the girls but Beata and Gabby kept it on the road!! They were back for Lanigan’s Kilkenny on Thursday though and belted out the tunes all night. This gig was really something. The place was full and one girl stole our heatrs away. Her name is Mia and she is on holidays with her mam from California. I was introduced to her by Laura at half time and she told me all about her irish dancing. Well she got up on about five occasions as we played jig, reels and songs to show us her talent. Well to say she got the biggest of cheers and applause at the end of the night is an understatement – and rightly so! Watch out for her. I did not get her surname but I do remember she was in Claddagh Irish Dancing School in California.
So we Na Fianna boys got talking over the past few days about having a few intimate nights together with old friends and new – a sort of summer gathering of musicians, singers and storytellers in a relaxed way some night we are off. We have decided that Monday night in Egans pub Kilkenny is going to be the venue. It’s an old fashioned session unplugged so to speak, where all are welcome to contribute a song, play along or tell a story or poem. Personally I cant wait for this as it is going back to our roots as musicians and singers. We will hopefully pick up a few tips from others and maybe a new song even. We are also going to try out new songs and “sure see how they go”. This venue has been chosen as the proprietor Don Egan has been a very good friend of ours for the duration of our musical careers. It is really where it all began. We will be there for a few pints and a bit of craic!! Next weekend Germany:
Wir sind sehr gespannt!
PS: Pop over to the Press section of our website to read my ‘Under the Spotlight’ interview which was featured in the Offaly Topic recently. Many thanks to Louise Coghlan and the Topic.