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Acoustic gig from My Fellow Sponges

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Sam Wright, Anna Mullarkey, Donal Connon and and Dave Shaughnessy of My Fellow Sponges.

Galway band My Fellow Sponges, who had a sold-out concert at the Taibhdhearc last March as part of the Cúirt Festival of Literature, will play a unplugged afternoon show this Saturday, July 25, at 5pm in the intimate surroundings of the Ruby Room on the top floor of the King’s Head Pub in Shop Street.

Fronted by two singers, Anna Mullarkey on piano and Donal McConnon on guitar, My Fellow Sponges will play a stripped down acoustic set of their quirky songs  at the Ruby Room, with selections from their debut album Bonne Nuit and their most recent EP Something Like Light which was featured on the RTÉ Radio 1 playlist.

My Fellow Sponges first started raising eyebrows with the brilliantly kaleidoscopic video for This Dream Song, which was shot backwards and in one take by the award-winning director Mia Mullarkey.

That production earned My Fellow Sponges a position in the Golden Plec’s Top Ten Irish  Videos of 2013.

Their debut album, Bonne Nuit, was recorded in various houses around Co Galway and  was also released in 2013.

The most recent Sponges EP Something Like Light demonstrates a slightly more reflective side, although they have not lost their original folksy charm.

It features four  tracks, Floating and All We Need (both by Donal McConnon) and Cold Winter and Other Than Myself, written by the group’s other main songwriter,  Anna Mullarkey.

Last month My Fellow Sponges won a lot of new fans at the Body and Soul Festival in Westmeath with their onstage theatrics, mixing musical styles from  jangly folk to hip-swinging bossa nova to eerie minimalism.

Next month they are booked to play  Electric Picnic in Stradbally.

Doors for this Saturday’s afternoon concert at the  Ruby Room upstairs at the King’s Head are at 4.30pm and My Fellow Sponges will start their show at 5pm. The capacity of the Ruby Room is just 60 people and  tickets are €8.

For reservations contact 087-2491262.

Connacht Tribune

Piper Pádraic making mark on rich tradition

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Pádraic Keane from Maree who has just released his solo piping album, In Full Tune.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Pádraic Keane from Maree was seven years old when he began playing uilleann pipes – a learner set, he explains. His initial instrument had been tin whistle but he soon moved on to the pipes, which are a family tradition on both sides.  Pádraic’s father, Tommy Keane, is a renowned uilleann piper and member of na Pióbairí Uilleann, who worked with greats of Irish music, including Liam Clancy, Liam O’ Flynn and Alec Finn of de Danann, as well as with the likes of Elvis Costello.  Pádraic’s mother, Jacqueline McCarthy, plays concertina and her father,  Tommy McCarthy, was a highly-regarded piper, whistle player and concertina player from West Clare. He and his wife, Kathleen, spent many years in London, where they reared their family before returning to live in Miltown Malbay.

London-born Jacqueline and her husband, Tommy, who’s originally from Waterford, settled in Maree in the late 1980s and music was ever-present as they reared their three children.  Pádraic has an older sister, Siobhán, and a twin, Maisie, both of whom play fiddle and “a bit of concertina”, while fiddle is his second instrument.

Pádraic, a teacher in Coolarne National School, Turloughmore, has now added his link to the family piping chain with his debut album, In Full Tune.  He’ll have a formal launch in the city’s Crane Bar later in Spring when lockdown eases, but it’s available to purchase now.

Thirty-one-year-old Pádraic won Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana in the 2011 TG4 Gradam Ceoil when he was just 19, making him one of the youngest ever recipients of that accolade. He has toured all over Ireland and in the USA as a soloist with The Irish Chamber Orchestra and has collaborated with the late composer and pianist Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, who once jokingly described the uilleann pipes as “being like an octopus”, given the instrument’s many elements.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Cream of Galway’s musicial talent gets down to Booley!

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Booley Sessions... diverse line-up all available online.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

No institution in Galway has provided local musicians with as many platforms and opportunities in recent years as the Black Gate; from Amhráin and Eclectics to the Black Gate Sessions and their role in Eye on the Edge, the dedication and attention to detail that have gone into every project in the venue-cum-cultural centre is unparalleled.

And one man who has been at the centre of most of their work with the city’s arts community is David Boland, who himself performs as New Pope, and who has, once again, been instrumental in their latest collaborative endeavour – the Booley Sessions.

A series of concerts filmed in the loft space above Booley’s Outdoors Shop on Eglington St, the Booley Sessions feature twelve artists with ties to Galway. That list is comprised of Niall Teague & Padraic Joyce, Amelian, Me Auld Flower, Jossle, ⁠Bríd Kenny, Rory Ryan, New Ceremony, Jack Lee, Montessori⁠, Emma Lohan, Jack Vanderklaus and Ruth Mac.

Unsurprisingly, given Dave’s involvement with Eclectics, it is a diverse range of acts in both style and experience. For the likes of relatively fresh bands Montessori and New Ceremony, the Booley Sessions represent seminal, early public performances.

“We went for a mix of artists who have proven track records like Emma Lohan and Me Auld Flower,” Dave explains.

“They’re all local so we have more established songwriters like that, who I’ve been a fan of for a while. Then we have some younger, exciting acts like Montessori, who I had been hearing about. I caught a bit of one of their practices before, so I knew that they were going to be superb, and I think they’re one of the highlights of the series.

“New Ceremony were probably the act that I was most excited to film because I know the lads from different bands, and I know Conor, the lead singer, and his approach to performance. I knew that they would knock it out of the park.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Show goes on at Town Hall – despite latest constraints

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Anna Mullarkey will be joined by Jossle on January 29, also for a Strange Brew show.

The Town Hall Theatre has teamed up with the Róisín Dubh to offer a series of musical evenings, taking place over three Saturdays in January.

The first, featuring singer-songwriters Tracy Bruen and Eoin Dolan, is on this Saturday, starting at 5pm.

All three show are under the ‘Strange Brew’ banner, referring to the weekly music gigs normally hosted by the Róisín. As per current guidelines for entertainment venues, Saturday’s show will be finished by 8pm and the Town Hall will operate at 50 per cent capacity, with audiences wearing face-masks.

One of Galway’s most exciting and innovative performers, Tracy Bruen has played several of Ireland’s leading festivals, including Electric Picnic, Body and Soul, Westport Festival, Cúirt International Festival of Literature and Sunflower Fest and has toured Ireland, the UK, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Germany. A multi-instrumentalist as well as a singer, she has also provided support for Lisa Hannigan, Mick Flannery and The West Cork Ukulele Orchestra. Tracy is the host and driving force behind the Róisín Dubh’s Open Mic night.

Eoin Dolan is a local songwriter and producer who sound incorporates vintage psychedelic pop and alternative folk, among other genres. With several albums to his name, he’s also a founder member of the Galway collective, Citóg Records and a facilitator with youth music groups including Foróige.

The other Strange Brew shows taking place at the Town Hall are Brad Heidi and Anna Carmody on Saturday, January 15, and Anna Mullarkey and Jossle on Saturday, January 29.

These events, all 80 minutes, will have limited audience numbers and will also be livestreamed. Tickets are €5. They’re part of the Town Hall’s revised programme in light of the recent government guidelines, issued in December.

“We stepped back and regrouped following that announcement,” explains Town Hall manager Fergal McGrath of last month’s decision to close pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues at 8pm due to rising Covid numbers.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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