The bar was in the middle of nowhere, literally. In fact we got lost trying to find it.The gig started at 8:30, but we didn't arrive til about 9:40. We left late anyways, but we added an extra 15 minutes due to our detours through the dark country side. When we did finally find the pub it looked more like a house then a bar. One story with what looked like a barn and a house attached. When we walked in, it was wall to wall people. It wasn't very big mind you, but I would say about 120 people squeezed into the size of our old apartment. The band was in the corner playing. There was a bodhrán player (Irish drum) and fiddle/bango player, a guitarist and an accordion. They were called the Mairtin O'Connor band. Mairtin was the accordian play, Jim Higgins the bodhrán player, Seamie O'Dowd the guitarist and singer and Cathal Hayden was the fiddle/bango player. It would be an understatement to say these guys were good. In fact L and his band mates who were there told me that Cathal and Mairtin would be the best of their instruments in all of Ireland. Just last week they were playing in the Sydney Opera house and this week they're in a tiny pub. The music they played was powerful and moving. Some songs would start out slow and end in a lively reel. Others had you in almost in tears they were so sad and moving. They did have a musical guest, Dom Stiffe, who was a finalist in the All Ireland talent show. He's from Galway and sang and play guitar.
|The band and the crowded pub|
|These pictures came from the phone. Regretted not bring my camera the whole time we were there.|
What made this night the quintessential experience was that during the break in the music, sandwiches were handed out to everyone there, as if everyone was family. The fiddle player, Cathal got behind the bar and help serve drinks. (His dad owns the pub but now the sons are running it. Funny enough the pub is called Hayden's Bar) After the break they played a few more songs. Cathal's brother then got up and joined in with his fiddle as well. He was very good as well. It was Mairtin's and Seamie's birthday so a cake was brought up with candles for them and then cake was passed around. The night ended shortly after midnight with everyone catching up over their last pint. I feel extremely lucky to see such talented musicians in such an intimate setting. L told us that there were a few other musicians there enjoying the experience. It was a great night and I hope to have a few more like it. I know Beoga will be playing there in June, so I'm looking forward to seeing them again and sharing the night with you all.
Here's a wee video we took from R's phone. The quality isn't very good, but it gives you an idea of what we heard last night.Now I must get ready while the babe is asleep. R and I head down to Dublin tonight to pick up our first American visitors. I really can't wait to see them. However it's going to be a long day tomorrow because they're landing into Dublin at 5:20 in the morning. Luckily we're staying at his Aunt's house near the airport so we don't have to get a hotel or leave at the 3 am from Tobermore. It will be nice to Aunt M and her french husband X. They have two kids, cousin R who's almost 5 and A who's 1 year older then O. Anyways, after we pick A & D up from the airport we're headed straight into Dublin city to go to Trinity college and the book of Kells. D is going to meet someone for his job. I'll tell you all about it this week. We've got lots of stuff planned so my blogs will be more frequent and packed full of more history!!
Hope you all have a good week!
Here are a few links to each of the band members.
Mairtin O'Connor http://www.taramusic.com/biogs/mocbg.htm
Cathal Hayden http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/50949ee6-6b96-4e6f-8f4e-08570018f806
Jim Higgins: http://www.armaghpipers.org/artists/jimHiggins.html
Seamie O'Dowd: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seamie_O'Dowd
|Mairtin and Cathal. Picture courtesy of the internet.|
|Picture courtesy of : http://www.myspace.com/mairtinoconnorband|