T-shirt lost, if found please return to Damian!

Friday was a very busy day for us. We dragged ourselves out of bed at the early hour of nine o clock (!!!!) and prepared ourselves to go to Dublin as we were playing at Dolphin Discs Talbot Street Dublin. It was just unlucky that when we got up the weather had changed to showers. We decided to return the next day for more at lunchtime and set off for Citywest on the outskirts of the city. A quick sound check and a bite to eat and we were happy and rearing to go. The gig was for the Eurypaa Conference. People had arrived for this long weekend of activities and meetings from various parts of the world including Ireland. We met and were talking to lots of people from the U.S.A., Canada, the U.K. and other parts of Europe. Big thanks to Niamh Elliot and all the organisers. 

Dolphin Discs on Saturday was great craic. The weather was good and the people who stopped to listen seemed really happy to sing along and dance. We met up with a man called Sean O’ Connor and his wife and family. They played along with us for a while before telling us about their band- Lava.  They kindly gave us a copy of one of their albums and I certainly can recommend it as it’s been playing in my car for the last week. That night was The Cedar in Mountrath for Eoin Hogans 21st party. What a nice family and Eoin was in particularly good form!! Lee ate half his body weight in sausages as Ross and John made a fair stab at cleaning out the sandwiches. Eoin kindly gave us a drink to wash down all the food too! “Happy days” as our manager Darren never says….!!!! 

We had a very busy Sunday indeed with Egan’s and Dinn Rí in Carlow. It was great to be back in Carlow again. It was part of the Fleadh over there and we always love playing in Cedar Square. At the end of the day it is fair to state that after putting in our best efforts on stage we were glad to see our beds!! 

One of the great nights of the week is our Monday Madness session in Egans. Once again a large crowd turned up and as we started we noticed that Sean O’ Connor and family were in Egans. Straight away it had the hallmarks of a great night as we began with a few tunes. All singers like Lava, Tracey O Sullivan, Karen and Aishling Farrell, PJ Norton, Davy Holohan, Paddy Ryan, Razzer  and the dancers, Joanne and Marie Kelly on the night were given a free t-shirt compliments of the proprietor Don Egan which we all thought was a nice touch.  Only problem for me was that my t-shirt got misplaced in a late night establishment after the gig!! Oh well it was well worth it and a great “after session” session was held in our apartment which we do apologise for the noise coming from the apartment but never the fun we were having lol!! 

It was Paris Texas gig where we met up with a lovely couple for the first time all the way from Co. Meath- Tommy and Bernie Sherlock. We also got a visit from four Dublin hurlers who got knocked out of the hurling championship two days previous. They were Ryan O’ Dwyer, David Curtain, Shane Ryan and Simon Lambert. John would have hurled with Ryan in Boston a few years back. When I met him out there when visiting John I knew he was a head the ball and he has not changed thank god. The moves were ridiculously funny and the striptease act polished. He even got Flor Hennessy up for a twirl and a dance off ensued. Flor the old pro from his showbands days wiped the floor with him!! Good to see an old friend from my teacher training days, David Curtain too. It’s been too long and a reunion was well over due! Another sound lunatic. Shane “Marbles” Ryan and Simon certainly left an impression in Mizzoni Pizza after the gig- rumour has it they ate two 16” pizzas each and a bag of chips!! 

Congratulations to all leaving certs on your results! We played Kytlers Wednesday night and sure enough our two academics from Meath were in the crowd once more so we must have done something right the night previous! A nice gig in the courtyard was just the ticket and a big shout out to the crowd from Armagh and Louth who seemed to have a ball! Then Thirsty Thursday was back around again. Massive crowd once more and a great buzz around the town. Great to see Micheal Kenny and his friends in celebrating their results. Some moves on him. Very John Travolta-esque!!!   

Once more big thanks to Laura and Sharon powerful work as merchandise managers!!Roll on another week as the 2 month tour comes closer. So much to look forward to.  Friends to meet- new and old- it certainly is exciting times for us four lads!

Talk to you in four weeks!

Damian Walsh

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Rockin All Over The World

“Rocking all over the world” 

Hey everyone, Ross here with ye again for my second blog and my god do I have some news and stories to share so I wont delay, here we go!!!!

 First up was Jim Kennedys in Thurles Co. Tipperary. This was our first time to play in Thurles so we didn’t really know what to expect but never the less we were excited. We arrived early with our sound engineer Kevin “Rory” Broderick for our sound check and within minutes of starting the gig, the function room was packed to the rafters with a great vibe of energy being sent out. We got many request on the night such as the “Galtee Mountain Boy”, “Brennan On The Moor” and of course Slievenamon …. There was also a strong request for the “Rose Of Mooncoin”  Joke of course, but being from Kilkenny myself I had great Craic with the “Tipp fans”… “UP THE CATS”….. 

The dance floor was hopping and as we belted out our last couple of songs the manager came to the side of the stage to ask if by any chance we could play on for a bit extra, which we gladly did.  I would like to thank everyone in Jim Kennedys for fantastic evening and we hope to see ye all again very soon.

Balver Hohle Irish Folk Festival 2011, Germany

Straight from our gig at Jim Kennedys we hit the road for Dublin airport to catch our flight to Germany. This was our first time to perform at this festival and we were looking forward to catching up with our good friends Sean Reeves, Keltic Kats and The High Kings. It wasn’t long before the messing and joking started…. While on the plane to Germany a little prank was played on me by a couple of the High Kings….it was announced over the intercom on the plane that I was celebrating my 40th birthday ha…. I wouldn’t be much of a gambler but if I was, my money would be on Darren Holden and Brian Dunphy on being behind this… As the roars of cheers and laughter went up on the plane I knew that it was going to be a great trip…..

On arriving at the Balver Hohle I was blown away, it’s definitely the coolest venue we’ve played in to date with a big professional stage and lights all set up inside a “cave”. As the acts got on their way the atmosphere was constantly building with super performances from the Keltic Kats and The High Kings…..the crowd was electric. Then it was time for “Na Fianna” to hit the stage. WOW….. What a crowd, as we started our set with The Holy Ground (a Clancy’s brothers classic) the cave went wild as it was sung word for word by the audience. The time past by so fast, we could have stayed playing forever!! One of my personal highlights of the trip was at the end of the show when we were joined on stage by all the other acts from the night, and we all performed “Go Lassie Go” together, what a way to end the festival. My other highlight was the after party as we sang songs and played our instruments well into the early hours of the morning…

I would like to thank Sean Reeves and all involved at the Balver Hohle Irish Folk Festival for giving Na Fianna the chance to perform in such a a great venue and to such an amazing audience. We have made many great friends from this trip, as Lee promised one fan that he would learn “Johnny I hardly knew ye” for him…. We hope to see ye all again next year.     

 “The Hills of Donegal”

CLG Naomh Columba Co Donegal Sunday the 7th of August.

Fresh off the plane from Germany it was time to hit the road for old Donegal. As my co pilot Mr Lee Campion fell fast asleep in the passenger seat I had to pull in on the side of the road in Cavan to check him for a pulse “ha”…. He was out for the count!!! We finally reached Donegal after what felt like three days of non stop driving “ha”… I must say the views and scenery up in Donegal are out of this world.

We kicked off our gig in the marquee at 10.30pm and by 11pm it was packed!! This was also our first time to perform in this part of Donegal. Damian was on fire and had the crowd in his hands, as John said “sure why wouldn’t he not haven been asleep the whole way from Germany to Donegal Ha!! What a gig the place was rocking and the biggest song of the night was “Wagon Wheel”, at one stage I thought the marquee was going to turn over as the crowd were dancing on the floor so hard… Yet again thanks to all involved up there in Las Vegas in the hills of Donegal for the lovely dinner and taking care of us so well. See ye all for the dinner dance!!

  Monday Madness

Monday madness in Egan’s saw another great turn out as we were joined by Thomas the fiddler all the way from France who performed with us for the evening, a big thanks to him and also to Joanne Kelly who provided us with top class Irish dancing. I chanced a bit of Irish dancing myself with Joanne, her feet were on fire where as mine just got burnt L… a big thanks to all the singers on the evening, Johnjo Cullen and of course all the female singers “Na Females”. See ye all again next Monday for some more madness.

 Tremendous Tuesdays

Tuesday night we were back at the ranch in Paris Texas and as a special treat we had the fantastic Aonghus Buggy performing with us on the banjo, he surely can make it talk. Another tremendous night and a massive crowd for the third Tuesday in a row as we made new friends from Canada, America and Johnstown. It was great to see our good friend Jim from Carrickshock in to see us. Thanks to Laura Gaffney yet again for doing another fantastic job on selling our CD’s and DVD’s.

 Thirsty Thursday

Well what can I say about thirsty Thursday at Lanigans, it was extra thirsty and extra busy and as another little treat we had…….the one and only Mr Gerard Moloney who gave an absolute exhibition on playing the accordion. It was great to see our good friend Karen Galvin who was out celebrating her 25th birthday; I hope you had a great one. It was definitely our maddest Thursday so far this summer!! Thanks to every one that was there from far and near for a great night.

 “Well I hope ye enjoyed that one folks”  

Until the next time that’s it from me, thanks for taking the time to read my blog… It was a week of madness.

Do chara Ross Hennessy 

 

 

 

 

Ross Mac Aonghusa

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!!!

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!!!

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the delay in getting this up… Wow, it only seems like yesterday since I wrote my last blog…we’re so busy at the moment I don’t even know what day it is! We are not complaining however…we love it!

Last Friday week 29th July we headed out to The Ranchers Return in Coon Co. Kilkenny to play for Sinead Meaney’s 18th Birthday Party. This was a gig we had been looking forward to… When we arrived the party was already well underway with the DJ playing some cracking tunes to a full dance floor! We started where the DJ had left off keeping her lively… It was so hot that we kept the back door wide open behind us! On a personal note, it was great to see and chat to Aishling Holohan and all the Shores (especially BIG Sheila!) …It was a great night enjoyed by all and the very best of luck to Sinead in the future…see you in 3 years for your 21st!!!!!

Happy Birthday Sinead

On Saturday night we had the pleasure of playing in The Orchard Suite in Hotel Kilkenny for the wedding of Ciara Davis & Gary McCaul. These two families were very welcoming to us…thanks for the few pints Tom! This was a great gig to play in the intimate function room and I believe it was one of our tightest gigs we have ever played! The dance floor was full all night…one of the highlights for me was on our last song…Little Lion Man, the DJ who was about to start did a remix of “Everyday I’m shuffling!” into the instrumental…Pure Genius! We are not your obvious wedding band but I believe everyone had a great time! It is clear to me that Ciara and Gary are madly in love with each other and I would like to wish them the very best for the future!

On Sunday we had two gigs, first in Egan’s Bar John Street and then onto Napper Tandy’s Stradbally. There was a nice crew in Egan’s with a few lads nursing hangovers from the Aviva Stadium the night before…Celtic were playing Inter Milan in the Dublin Super Cup. Our gig in Stradbally was in conjunction with the local steam rally. We were out the back in the lounge…Brendan was worried about numbers being down from last year, I don’t think so!!! The place was jammers and we rocked it out of it with a good few lively numbers…The Best part of the night for me was when Damian sang “The Town I Loved So Well”…this song holds a very special place in the hearts of the community in Stradbally and as Christy Moore would say…”You could hear a pin drop at the back of the hall!”.

Our new Monday night madness sessions in Egan’s hit a new “high note!” last Monday with a MASSIVE crowd… 80 people there according to Sam Ryall! We also had a new musician on the whistle… Gerry from Cavan was down in Kilkenny for a few days with his wife and had seen our poster and he decided to come along. A pure gentleman and what a great whistle player! He really added a lot to our night…Thanks Gerry! Other memorable performers were Tracey O’Sullivan singing “Jar of Hearts” and a wonderful debut to Nicole Meaney singing “Too lost in you”… our few mins of practice really paid off ladies…WELL DONE! It was great to hear our good friend Sharon Dwyer singing too…It was my first time to hear Sharon sing…a great version of “Irish Soldier Laddie”

Tuesday night we were back in Paris Texas again…This gig has been fantastic for us…We’re playing a lot of new songs to a fresh audience every week… I’m really enjoying these gigs as the venue is a dream to perform in…The stage, the sound, and the atmosphere is something special.

Paris Texas

We are meeting a lot of new people…and Last Tuesday night was no different! Question: What do you get when you mix 4 mad young men from Fermanagh + 5 crazy female school teachers = A GREAT PARTY! A big Thanks to Pat and the entire bar staff in Paris Texas for making us feel so welcome.  I would like to thank our Kilkenny Merchandise Manager Laura Gaffney and her P.I.C. (partner in crime) Sharon for their continued great work selling our CD & DVDS…T-shirts, hoodies, Wrist-bands, Key-rings all on the way…YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!

Last weeks Thirsty Thursday in Lanigan’s was another special night…We got to meet up and play with a good friend of ours…Santa Bob Mitchell. We first met Bob in Newcastle last February when another friend Alan Kelly invited us over to Tyneside to play a few gigs. We have since kept in touch via facebook and I was delighted to hear of him coming to Kilkenny… Santa as he’s called (I wonder why!) is one of those genuinely nice, happy people who put a smile on your face…a true character, great bodhrán player and always has a story to tell!

Na Fianna meet Santa

Right…That’s me done for another month… Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it and hopefully I’ll see you again soon. The next time I’ll be blogging from Orlando!!

Slán go Foill

John Walsh

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

The Fast And The Furious Kilkenny Drift

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!

Damian Walsh

 

 

 

 

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.

No one as Irish as Barrack Obama

“No one as Irish as Barrack Obama”
We kicked off July with an action packed weekend and up first was “Hayes’ be Jaysus”. Yes Ollie Hayes bar in Moneygall, Co Offaly the most famous bar in the world after the recent visit of a man by the name of Barrack Obama. With major celebrations being held for Independence Day, we were given the opportunity to perform to a large crowd which included Henry Healy, President Obama’s cousin who was in great form. Is feider Linn,” Yes we can” and yes we did, Hayes’ bar was rocking with Na Fianna long into the early hours of the morning and a great night was had by all thanks to Ollie, his family and friends. I would like to thank everyone in Moneygall for such a warm welcome and hope to see ye all again soon.

Na Fianna in Ollie Hayes with Susan Doughan and Niamh Cahill

“Hail Hail the Celts are here”
The City West Hotel in Dublin was the venue for the Irish Celtic supporters club dinner dance 2011. What a venue and a fantastic crowd. This was our second year in a row to perform at this great event putting our own stamp and style on some of the Celtic classics, we had the Celts on their feet from the off. They surely know how to party but the highlight of the night for me was performing the ballad of Joe McDonnell, with Damian singing a passionate version to the full respect of everyone in the room. I would like to thank Tom Maher, Mick Hurley, Neville Carolan and everyone on the committee for the Celtic supporters club who really looked after us, with photos of us with a few Celtic greats holding the cup and of course a few pints!! Lol…..I would also like to thank Andrew Milne from www.morethan90minutes.com for his support.

These past couple of weeks we have also been playing in Wexford not once but twice. First stop was Tintern Community Complex. It was a privilege to be the first band to perform in the new complex. Thanks for the free burgers guys as well, Mick Jones our sound engineer for the night is still licking his lips!! Lol…Next in Wexford was the Taghmon Music Festival. It was great to share the stage with such acts as Blue Moose and Black Knight. Even though we were on early in the evening we had a large audience that were well able to sing along and dance.

Vegas Baby
With preparations well under way for our upcoming American tour we received great news this week with more dates added for the month of October “VEGAS BABY”. We’ll be live in Rí Rá Irish Bar at the Mandalay Bay Hotel Las Vegas for six nights and this has brought a great buzz around the band. I hope the lads don’t get too carried away when we’re over there and that we still have the shirts on our backs when we leave lol…Lee is currently glued to the television watching 21; he reckons he can learn to count the cards haha… As Del Boy Trotter once said to Rodney “this time next year we’ll be millionaires” lol!!!

Some other good news so far this month, Lee has finally got his car back on the road even though the Government offered him the scrapage deal…however he turned it down and now has his Ford Focus back to its former glory and will be entering it into the Durrow Vintage show this year …lol

I would like to thank all the people that do a lot of work behind the scenes for Na Fianna you all know who you are. Big thank you to Sionainn Crevoiserat who has just recently set up our Official US Fan Page on Facebook which you can find here, and lastly a big thank you to Sissy Porter and all the Texas crew for doing a great job spreading the Na Fianna buzz

Talk to ye all soon

Ross Hennessy

The Merry Month of June

“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.

John Walsh