not a member? click here to sign up
Faith & Begrudgery
Across the world musicians are honoured for their contribution to society, even if the exact choice of artists is often contentious. Why can’t we do the same in Ireland?
Greg McAteer, 05 Oct 2012
From as far back as Count John McCormack, and encompassing Van Morrison and The Chieftains in the mid-’60s, the Irish music industry and specifically Irish musicians have done for the country what saints and scholars did in the Middle Ages. They have given the country a veneer of civilisation and allowed us, as a nation, to stand eye-to-eye with the rest of the world.
You might, of course, be tempted to represent the absence of any Irish awards system as a reaction to the hammy sash-and-medals type of schtick that our neighbours and former colonial overlords cling to. In truth, it has much more to do with the fact that we’re a nation of boney-arsed begrudgers.
Which may explain why so many musicians of the calibre of Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman choose not to live here any longer. The pair are, however, visiting for a short series of gigs over the next couple of weeks.
They arrive Saturday, October 6 for a show in Nobber, Co. Meath as part of the O’Carolan Harp, Cultural and Heritage Festival which takes place in O’Carolan College. The following weekend sees them in Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick (12), the Island Music Club at Minogue’s Bar, Tulla (13) and in the Village Arts Centre, Kilworth Co. Cork (14).
As part of this year’s Sligo Live Festival, the Hawk’s Well Theatre will be presenting a couple of double bills which have the potential to upstage headliners Pokey Lafarge and Van Morrison. Fidil, the Donegal fiddle trio awarded the Music Network ‘Young Musicwide Award’ only a few months after getting together, aren’t too far from their home turf and the substantial trad community in Sligo will be cleaning the plate when it comes to a helping of some of the finest fiddling in the north-west.
Team them up with I Draw Slow and you have a strong contender for one of the gigs of the year. They hit the Hawk’s Well Friday, October 26. The following evening, you can look forward to Lau, described by Channel 4 as, “Quite frankly, the best band in the world right now”.