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