Category Archives: Irish trad music

Paddy Keenan at De Barra’s

Paddy Keenan at De Barra's

Uber-piper Paddy Keenan played in de Barra’s in Clonakilty Thursday week ago accompanied on stage by guitarist Tommy O’Sullivan.  The pair have an album, The Long Grazing Acre, from which they took quite of a bit of material for the live show.  I had seen the two of them play in de Barra’s a few years ago so the drive down from Cork was always going to be well worth it.  The effortless multiple triplets which Paddy Keenan achieves and his fantastic tight fingering wows any crowd and this night was no different.  He is regarded as one of the better pipers in the world which is very evident on all his many albums.  If you don’t know much about the uilleann pipes, his albums would be a very good place to start.

Tommy O'Sullivan at de Barra's

Paddy Keenan and Tommy O'Sullivan at de Barra's

As you may have noticed, the lighting was very difficult as usual down ther with a massive red lamp shining straight into Paddy’s face so that made things a bit tougher.

Stamp Covers and Buses

Friday week ago An Post released a set of stamps comprising of four of the most prolific and well-known Irish traditional music bands: Planxty, De Dannan, The Bothy Band, and the Tulla Céilí Band.  Oh, and there’s me skulking on the first day cover playing the uilleann pipes.  Local Cork artist Finbarr O’Connor was commissioned to paint the four stamps and contacted me through the Cork Pipers Club website during the summer.  I was shocked to see how recognisable the image was when I got a larger version from Finbarr and the first day cover has pride of place on the mantle piece now. You can buy this set of stamps on the first day cover online at IrishStamps.

The stamp was not my initial foray into the modelling arena.  Last year my image was plastered on the back of a bus le haghaidh Gael-Taca.  I never actually saw the bus myself but below is the image used on the back of the bus.  Comments about face like the back of a bus etc are welcome.

I’m seriously considering a career change with this breakthrough into modelling so if you need to spruce up that family photo, or that graduation photo why not get in contact?  Answers below too :).

Tobar an Cheoil at the Triskel

Tobar an Cheoil at the Triskel

On Thursday night last Tobar an Cheoil came to the Triskel in Cork in the guise of three fantastic traditional musicians: Brian McNamara on uilleann pipes, Gráinne Hambly on harp and concertina and Éamon Ó Donnchadha on flute and vocals. As well as the delectable playing from all three, they interspersed the music with good humoured chat and detailed information on the history of the tunes they play. I also play the uilleann pipes but I know very little about the history of the music I play so I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the night.

Tobar an Cheoil at the Triskel

I haven’t been to the Triskel for quite some time now and I had forgotten what a wonderful room they have for music. I’ll be back there next Friday when Aaron Dillon launches his debut album. On Thursday night however, the bass beat from The Long Island across the lane from The Triskel could be heard at times, especially when solos were being performed. I hope this doesn’t interrupt the gig next week.

Tobar an Cheoil at the Triskel

Tobair an Cheoil are touring the country at the moment as part of the Music Network series of gigs, they even have a Music Network van which Brian seemed to be very proud of and we spotted afterwards parked nearby. Here are the remaining gigs so if they play near you and you want to see top class traditional music being played, get on down to this.

  • Saturday 17 May Thurles (Source Arts Centre, 8:00 p.m.)
  • Sunday 18 May Portlaoise (Dunamaise Arts Centre, 8:00 p.m.)
  • Tuesday 20 May Waterford (Christ Church Cathedral, 8:00 p.m.)
  • Wednesday 21 May Carrick-on-Shannon (The Dock Arts Centre, 8:30 p.m.)
  • Thursday 22 May Castlebar (Linenhall Arts Centre, 8:00 p.m.)
  • Friday 23 May Clifden (Church of Ireland, 8:00 p.m.)
  • Saturday 24 May Virginia (Ramor Theatre, 8:30 p.m.)

Tobar an Cheoil at the Triskel

Tobar an Cheoil at the Triskel

See a few more photos in the full set over on Flickr.

John Spillane at The Roundy

John Spillane

Chonaic mé John Spillane don chéad uair seachtain go leith ó shin ag The Roundy mar chuid den oiche Gaeilge eagraithe ag na daoine ag People’s Republic of Cork.  Sheinn sé i ndiaidh an ghrúpa traidisiúnta Na Ceapairí Grá.  Gan amhras, tá aithne agam ar na hamhráin atá aige ach thaitin an taispeántas seo go mór liom.  Tá Ghaeilge breá ag John, rud a léirítear in an-chuid dá hamhráin atá scríofa as Gaeilge.  Tá mé ag éisteacht leis an albam “The Wells of the World” faoi láthair,  a eisítear ós cionn deich mbliana ó shin, agus tá an stíl bog cneasta fós le feiceáil in a chuid cheol na laethanta seo.  B’é Orca Orca Killer Whale an amhrán ab fhearr ar an oíche.  Insíonn sé seo scéal na horcaithe a tháinig suas abhainn na Lí cúpla blian ó shin.  Chan sé amhráin iontach eile chomh maith, There Was a Man, atá eisithe aige le déanaí.  Is féidir éisteacht leis seo faoi láthair ar an MySpace ag John Spillane.

John Spillane

John Spillane

John Spillane poster

Tá pictiúr nó dhó eile agam san set iomlán ar Flickr.   Dála an scéil, má fheiceann tú aon botúin anseo le mo chuid Gaeilge, bheinn buíoch má sheolann tú ríomh-phost chugam ag photos [ag] donal.ie.

Na Ceapairí Grá at The Roundy

Na Ceapairí Grá

D’fhreastal mé ar an oíche Gaeilge sa Roundy eagraithe ag na daoine ó Peoples Republic of Cork oíche Céadaoin an seachtain seo chaite. Club Dhaon-Phoblacht is ainm ar an oíche cheoil agus caint agus de réir na tuairiscí go léir, bhí an chéad oíche ar fheabhas chomh maith. Thosnaigh Na Ceapairí Grá an oíche seo le ceol traidisiúnta bríomhar. Nach bhfuil an t-ainm acu go hiontach!? N’fheadair cad as a tháinig sé sin! Bhí mé ag caint le mo dhuine a sheinn an gíotar (dhearmadas an t-ainm mar is ghnáth dom!) agus dúirt sé liom nach sheinneann sé leis an ngrúpa seo de ghnáth ach ni féidir a shéanadh gur chur sé go mór leis an ngrúpa.

Na Ceapairí Grá

Na Ceapairí Grá

Tá pictiúr nó dhó eile sa set iomlán ar Flickr. Beidh pictiúirí de John Spillane a sheinn chomh maith á sheoladh anseo agam i rith na seachtaine.