Trad tunes

If truth be told, I’ve always thought that I wasn’t a big fan of traditional Irish music gigs.

If truth be told, I’ve always thought that I wasn’t a big fan of traditional Irish music gigs.

Despite (or perhaps because of!) over a decade of Irish dancing, a partner who hails from a trad background and having interviewed scores of musicians, a full live set has never appealed to me. On paper.

However, throw me into the middle of a seisuin and I have to admit I get lost in another world.

That’s exactly what happened on Saturday night at Cleere’s.

The venue, which regularly hosts the celebration of our reels and jigs, was again the venue for a special night featuring some of the best local and national names.

In the backroom Martin Coughlan, Tommy Lannigan, Ivan McGuire and Paddy Cleere got proceedings under way with a wealth of tunes and songs, followed by the Shannon Vale Ceili Band featuring Danny O’Mahony (accordion, vocals), Sile Garry (fiddle), Mick Collins (banjo, flute), Brian McGrath of Four Men and A Dog (piano, banjo), Micheal O’Raghlaigh (concertina), Mac Dara O’Raghlaigh (fiddle) and more to come.

A number of these popped out to assist with a front-bar session which also saw talent from Brendan Donoghue, Peter O’Brien, Eddie Hoban, Frank O’Brien, Ciara McGrath, Dermot Donovan, Charlie O’Neill, Philip Tobin, Mick Foley and Billy Carrigan.

Scores of people turned out to enjoy, sing along and marvel at the expertise of the performers.

A truly great night was had by all, and you’ll find recordings of the occasion on my Facebook page.