Jerry Fish

He’s the smooth-toned crooner who wins hearts whenever he sings, and on Saturday night Jerry Fish won a lot of hearts.

He’s the smooth-toned crooner who wins hearts whenever he sings, and on Saturday night Jerry Fish won a lot of hearts.

The Set Theatre was again host to the singer and songwriter who found fame with Emotional Fish and now performs with his Mudbug Club. His hit single Celebrate has been re-recorded with the Emotional Fish lineup and proceeds from Irish sales are going to Barrettstown, which he’s hugely proud of.

True Friends was the big hit for him with the Jerry Fish and the Mudbugs outfit and ahead of the local gig he outlined how he “began as a swamp crooner and people forget that I’m a rocker.” But he showed both sides when he hit the local stage.

Jerry’s always had a very positive outlook and he describes why: “When I came back to music, my mother-in-law said there’s enough negative news around we need positive news. The whole Jerry Fish thing is that and in the live show we take it a step further, it’s about us all being right there right then. It’s a great experience for me as well as the audience to go for that positive thing.”

The sellout event proved hugely popular but you can have a little of him at home with any of his albums, among them The Beautiful Untrue which was mixed by Phil Hayes (Cake Sale, Bell X1), recorded by Dick Meaney (The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine), produced by Fish and released on his own record label The Mudbug Club. It features some extraordinary guest vocal performance from Imelda May and Carol Keogh.

The Very Specials

Cleere’s hosts a very special gig with a very special band called, well, the Very Specials.

From 10pm on Saturday night, catch this eight piece from Coventry.

After the crew hit Dublin’s Olympia Theatre with their 30th anniversary tour, it proved that ska still holds a huge place in many people’s hearts.

The band’s now fronted by Jonathan Yeates with the lineup including Ronan Carroll on lead guitar, Graham Birney on rhythm guitar, Robbie Stanley on bass guitar, Damian Izydor on keyboards, Ken McGrath on drums and backing vocals, Eugene Somers on percussion and vocals, Brendan Kennedy on trombone and Tomas Boyle on saxophone.

Last here in June, they’re back this Saturday night and promise a night of fun, dancing and two-tone mayhem.

Tickets are €12 with the fun starting at 10pm.


It’s always a good sign when you pull up to a venue 10 minutes before the doors are due to open and find a queue.

Such was the situation on Friday night at Graignamanagh’s Abbey Hall.

The recently renovated centre’s a fantastic place to enjoy theatre, on this occasion the town’s Spark Productions take on Roddy Doyle’s Brownbread. Scores filled the hall, each and every one together forming a hugely receptive audience.

The play tells of three unemployed guys in Dublin’s Barrytown who find a gun then use it to kidnap a bishop. Hilarity ensues as the culprits keep him hostage while others try to talk them out.

The cast did a great job, especially Jim Kielty, who gave a stand-out performance as the role of one of the boy’s fathers. But take a bow all of the cast: Thomas Drennan, James Kilbride, Adrian Kavanagh, Mark Bolger, David Behan, Jackie Douglas, Edel Bolger, Eoin McNamara and Paul Hickey.

The show was directed by Kelly-Ann Whelan.

We look forward to more from this group, who in recent times have been focusing on their own original works.

Briefly Up Close

Ugly Christmas Jumper

We’ve all got one, and this weekend’s the perfect time to pull it out of the wardrobe. The Pegasus Ugly Christmas Jumper party night takes place at the Kilford Arms venue on Saturday night. It starts at 10pm and the night will feature all your favourite festive songs, Christmas decorations and some really rotten jumpers.

Debs fund-raiser

A fund-raiser for the Loreto Debs takes place at Breathnach’s on Friday from 8.30pm. This event is for those aged 18 and over and you’ll need to bring identification as there’ll be bouncers on the door on the night. The theme’s festive and the event will feature a live crib, Santa’s kissing grotto, free candy canes, vodka gummy bears and some surprises. Entry’s €5.

Winter solstice party

Neon Wolf are to the fore at a winter solstice party in the city this weekend. From 9.30pm on Friday the Thomastown-based band will entertain at Billy Byrne’s at this event which takes place in the marquee. The band’s latest recording, five-track EP Love Lost in Design, is available on iTunes. Better still, get to Billy’s and enjoy them live.

Christmas carols

There are many caroling sessions and it’s possible to take a number of them in. This evening (Wednesday) from 7.30pm, the Methodist Church on William Street hosts a session to which all are welcome. On Friday the Soulful Spirit Choir Kilkenny host an evening of Christmas Carols in the Friary Church, Friary Street, in the city from 7.30pm. Aimed at all ages, there’s no cover charge but all donations will be greatly appreciated and will be divided between Cois Nore Kilkenny Cancer Support Centre and the Good Shepherd Centre. On Saturday the Kilkenny Fire and Ambulance Service will fund-raise at the Town Hall in the city for Ceart in Callan which provides health support for people with chronic or long-term illness and the Laura Lynn Foundation, Ireland’s children’s hospice. On Sunday the Church of Ireland Christmas services in Castlecomer see carols by candlelight from 7pm at St Mary’s featuring the Castlecomer Male Voice Choir and other local soloists.

Vultures PI

After five years, 12 episodes and two series, web-based Vultures draws to a conclusion this weekend. The penultimate instalment, Dan McGrain in the Nick of Time, screened on Friday last and this Sunday sees the last in the form of The Dicks Who Came in from the Cold.

Spirit of Christmas

Kilkenny people have been digging deep for a variety of local causes in the lead up to Christmas. €15,000 was raised for the Kilkenny Lions Club Hamper Appeal, which saw lots donated by local businesses, listed in the Kilkenny People newspaper then auctioned off on KCLR. The proceeds will be given to St Vincent de Paul for distribution, as food hampers and financial assistance, to those in need in the city and county. The same organisation benefited from a schools concert held in St Canice’s Cathedral on Thursday night. That venue hosted another wonderful night the week before. In the event organised by KCLR’s Soul Agenda team, €6,000 was raised for the Home Care Team with entertainers including Voice of Ireland Pat Byrne, Kilkenny senior hurling manager Brian Cody and more. On Saturday Cois Nore Kilkenny Cancer Support Centre picked up the proceeds of the Kilkenny Santa Charity Run, which saw over 100 red-and-white-suited participants work their way through the 5km route.

An Poc Fada

An Poc Fada’s gearing up for its pre-Christmas fun. Andrew McGuinness swaps his politics for music to entertain from 9.30pm until late on Friday. On Saturday night there are two stellar acts: Strange Brew are there from 8pm to 10pm followed by Traffic, who’ll keep the party going into the wee hours of Sunday morning. Then one of the county’s finest guitarists, Shane O’Dwyer, takes up the baton from 9.30pm.

Castle Christmas

One of the county’s most iconic buildings is hosting a wealth of wonder for young and old this festive season. Kilkenny Castle has lots on offer this weekend for all the family. On Saturday children’s storytelling starts at 11am, from 2pm there’s more as well as balloons for kiddies and face painting, while from 3pm you can enjoy the Cantóiri an Rúthaigh Choir in the Long Gallery. On Sunday the Sonas Chamber Choir entertains there from 2pm, at the same time elsewhere in the castle there’s more balloons for kiddies and face painting. Music for Tiny Tots can be founds in the Tapestry Room from 2.15-3.45pm while over at the Parade Tower there’s Mondo’s Magic Show from 3pm, and then it’s back to the Long Gallery at 3.45pm for Grennan College Choir.

12 Days of Christmas

Frank Kelly may be the best known for counting down the finals steps to the festive season but it’s Billy Byrne’s that will be remembered for the 2012 version. The John Street venue has been holding its own take on the 12 Days of Christmas with an indoor market which continues from Thursday to Sunday. Catch it each day from 11am to 6pm.

Beauty and the Beast

Danesfort’s getting in early with the first of the local pantomimes. The show has been put together by the pupils of St Michael’s National School. It can be seen this (Wednesday) evening form 7pm. Admission costs €10 for adults and €5 for children. See it at the Set Theatre.


If you want to include information in Up Close and Personal or the Gig Guide, you can phone 086 8628626, email or leave a note at All items must be forwarded by 6pm on Sunday to be considered for inclusion.

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