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

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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

Land of Spuds and Bacon

Hey there folks, Lee here with you this time and its my turn to tell you all the news and gossip goings on with Na Fianna….ENJOY !

HOW YA !!

We had a little break last Friday and Saturday so it started off in a beautiful, wonderful little town called DURROW!! We kicked off the weekend in my home pub “Bobs Bar” or as Damian call’s it “Bad Bobs”. With the first bit of summer weather this year, we decided to set up outside the pub and it worked a treat so we belted it out for 2 hours flat. There was a great buzz around the town with Durrow now holding the “All Ireland Scarecrow Championships” and also the “Howya Friendship Festival”, all kicking off last Sunday.

To the land of Spuds and Bacon!!
Straight after the gig in “Bobs”, we packed up and hit the road for “Causeway” Co Kerry. It was a nice long two and a half hour drive and to make it worse, I had to listen to Ross the whole way. I thought I was going to fall asleep with the stories he was telling me. (Only messing Rossatron) We arrived in Causeway in the “Stretford End” pub and the place was electric. We had a wedding party there and also a few friends from Lisselton, Ballyheigue and Ballyduff. A great night had by all especially Damian who took a shine to the sandwiches that were brought out at half time. He couldn’t talk for 10 minutes !! haha

New Monday Madness
A nice way to start the week with an unplugged sing song in “Egans” pub in Kilkenny. A great crowd turned out with plenty of singer’s as well. It was all male singers to start the night with Ross, John, Damian and meself all singing the first few songs. Then it was Mark (Nuts) Phelen who gave us a blast of “Willie McBride” and then requested the same song again an hour later because he thought he was in the smoking area when it had been done earlier….haha. We had a few other male singer’s around the pub but then, the second half the ladies kicked off!

HERE COMES THE GIRLS!!!!
We had a load of talent when the ladies started singing and up first were John and Damian’s (more talented!!!!!!!) sister Deirdre and she started with a fantastic version of “Only Our Rivers Run Free”. Next up were Aishling and Karen Farrell who belted out two songs and with brilliant harmonies may I add…..Evelyn’s turn then with the Fugees classic “Killing Me Softly” that got the whole place singing along. Then last but not least, Na Fianna’s very own makeup artist Tracy o Sullivan stepped up and sang a brilliant version of Snow Patrols “Run”, with great backing vocals from Nicole Meaney who has promised she is up first next Monday for the women.

Paris Texas
We played our second Tuesday in a row in Paris Texas this week and another great turn out. It was great to see Johnny Barry and his friends down for the night; I think he parked the helicopter up in Kilkenny Castle so he didn’t have to walk too far. Big shout out to the big crowd from Mayo that were down and also all our Canadian friends (Thanks for the presents). Once again big thanks to Laura and Sharon who took care of the shop for us on the night. (“Jagerbombs” all the way!!!!)

Thirsty Thursday
Another Thursday and another busy night in “Lanigans” in Kilkenny City. Nice to see a few lads calling in to see us on there holidays such as Robbie, Richie, Eddy and also Alan Kelly who just flew home from Newcastle that evening. Great to see the Tipperary crew (Edel and all the girls) back in Kilkenny for a night and fair play to ye for dancing and singing for the whole gig.

That’s it for me, hope u enjoyed it, especially my two sisters, Ruth and Susan out in Australia who keep giving out to me because I don’t keep them up to date with any news. Haha!

Talk to ye all in a month!!!

Lee Campion