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Amazing Apples to branch out in new creative direction

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The Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell

Bringing a lively take to Irish and American roots music, Amazing Apples play Monroe’s Live on Friday next, May 31. The Galway based five-piece have gone from strength to strength since winning the hotly contested Battle of the Band’s competition in The Townhouse last year.

“It gave us a bit more faith in ourselves, made us push on a bit more,” says Cian, who plays guitar and sing in the band.

Amazing Apples are currently recording their debut single, which they plan to release in July.

“It wouldn’t be a dance-y kind of tune, but it’s not slow,” says Cian about the song. “It’d be upbeat enough – I don’t how you’d say that. We’re going to have a brass section as well. It’s the first time we’ve done that, looking forward to it.”

The band members have mostly been doing some home-recording, but went to a city-centre venue to get their drum sound right.

“We’re recording out in Ed Kenehan’s [sound engineer with Monroe’s Live] house, but we’ve put some of the drum tracks down in Monroe’s,” says Cian. “There’s a room in there that Ed thought would suit, it had the right ambience, good reverb.”

Last year, Amazing Apples made the transition from being a covers band to performing their own compositions. Cian has found the transition relatively smooth.

“It’s been about eight months now,” he says. “We don’t really do covers anymore. If we do, they’re our own take. They’re never straight covers, we’d always change it as much as possible. Just for the live show.”

“It’s going pretty well, to be honest,” he adds. “We thought it’d be harder. People seem to respond well to it. A lot of the stuff is upbeat, it catches people’s attention. I suppose our main thing when we’re playing live is to create the best show that we can. It’s all about the live show, you have to make sure that people stay into it.  It’s about making an impression; that’s the main priority.”

The full line up of the Amazing Apples is Eanna Fahy (fiddle/mandolin/vocals), Cian Crehan (rhythm guitar/vocals) Anthony Ryan (lead guitar/bass/vocals), Brian Grace (drums/guitar/piano), Darragh Crehan (bass/keyboards/mandolin/bouzouki/vocals.) They formed almost accidentally, says Cian, explaining that the band was originally “just a bit of craic really, something to do”.

“Myself and Dara are brothers,” says Cian. “We were in a band with the drummer, Brian, years ago. Myself and the brother used to work in a car-wash with the guitarist, Anthony. Then, the fiddle player is just a friend of a friend.”

Amazing Apples formed over three years ago. Did Cian have a good feeling about the group from the get-go?

“No!” he laughs. “We didn’t think we’d be taking this direction, but it kept going from strength to strength. We just kept working on the live show, and it was going well. When we started writing our own stuff, that’s what we were trying to do. People were coming to our gigs that we’d recognise. We were happy with it so we decided to keep going.”

Having three people swapping lead vocals means Amazing Apples are never dull to watch.

“It gives the other person a break as well!” says Cian of this practice.

Perhaps the most arresting part of an Amazing Apples live show is their singing fiddler, Eanna. Cian admits that Eanna’s onstage antics helped to get the band noticed at an early stage.

“It was definitely different,” he says. “It opened a lot of doors and we could do more things that we wouldn’t be able to do if he wasn’t in the band. It brought an Irish flavour to it. We wouldn’t be traditional Irish at all, but it definitely has an Irish feel to it because of the way he plays.

“It drives them a bit mad!” Cian adds about Eanna’s effect on a crowd. “If you’ve a song rocked up with a bit of fiddle in it, people tend to go a bit nuts.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

‘World in a Window’ – a unique perspective of lockdown life

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Helium Artist Chelsea Canavan, Galway-based artist and parent Yvonne Cullivan and her son at the launch of Helium Arts’ ‘Our World in a Window’ exhibition at Galway City Library. PHOTO: ANITA MURPHY.

A new exhibition, Our World in a Window, which is currently running in Galway City, focuses on the experiences of children who have been living with long-term health conditions during lockdown

Facilitated by Helium Arts, the national children’s arts and health charity, the exhibition features animations and mechanised artwork produced by young people from across Ireland who took part in Helium’s remote programme ‘Distance Creates’.

Our World in a Window can be seen until August 4 at Galway City Library before it goes on tour to Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick and Longford.

Since last February, children aged 9-12 who are living with long-term health conditions have been exploring the world of animation, guided by Helium artist, Chelsea Canavan. From tinfoil and claymation characters to foam sculptures and hand-drawn illustrations, these young creators have brought their stories to life in unique and imaginative ways.

The origins of Our World in a Window date back to the beginning of Covid. That was when Helium Arts began adapting its usual in-person programmes, moving to digital and postal formats to allow vulnerable young people to be creative from the safety of their homes. The goal was to offer respite during a time of social distancing and to support the youngsters’ mental health, which is part of Helium’s brief.

In non-Covid times, Helium Arts supports sick children via arts-based projects in hospital, community and public settings. More than 5,000 children and their families have availed of its service since 2010.

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

126 Gallery fundraising for new studio spaces

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126 Gallery and Studios, based in St Bridget’s Place in Galway City

The artist-run 126 Gallery and Studios, based in St Bridget’s Place in Galway City, has established a satellite studio space on nearby Saint Francis Street, in response to members’ need for working spaces that are affordable, secure and easy to access. The new Barton Studios will host four studio spaces and the artists using them will have access to 126’s main facilities.

Submissions for Barton Studios and any further spaces are open to current members of 126, in recognition of those artists and creatives who have supported the members-run gallery over the past 16 years.

The group is currently raising money to fit out the studios and because normal methods such as table-quizzes and its ‘drink and draw’ nights are out of bounds, the 126 steering committee has turned to GoFundMe to try and raise €2,000, which is what they estimate it will cost.

If any extra money is raised, it will be used to subsidise the rest of costs for the studios to artists for the remainder of 2021. Some €1,800 would be needed to lower the rent to €50 per week for each artist. A breakdown of all costs will be posted on 126gallery.com and made available to donors.

Initially, the studios will have a communal computer, a private workspace with wi-fi, and access to all resources at 126’s main facility, just six minutes’ walk away. Active studio members will have free 126 membership.  The mission of 126 is to support its members to work and to access opportunities, supports, and spaces. With that in mind, the gallery team is available for one-to-one conversations to facilitate group engagement between both facilities, or with other organisations in Galway.

To contribute, go to www.gofundme.com/f/barton-studios-2021. For more information on how to get involved, email contactg126@gmail.com.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Film Fleadh enjoys its day in the sun

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Dónal Ó Héalaí and Fionnuala Flaherty in Foscadh with writer and director Seán Breathnach in the background. The film won Best Irish First Feature at the Fleadh.

The winner of Best Irish Film at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, which closed on Sunday night, was Here Before, a psychological thriller set in Northern Ireland. The feature debut of Belfast television writer and filmmaker Stacey Gregg, it stars Andrea Riseborough as a bereaved mother whose new neighbours stir up uncomfortable feelings of grief.

The award for Best Irish First Feature went to Foscadh, an Irish language drama set in the mountains of North Conamara, based on characters from Donal Ryan’s novel, The Thing About December. This delayed coming-of-age story about a bereaved young man, an only child, who inherits the family farm was written and directed by Seán Breathnach and stars Dónall Ó Héalai.

Pure Grit, directed by Kim Bartley, won best Irish documentary. It explores the male-dominated world of Native American bareback horse racing and the impact of a young woman, Sharmaine, who is determined to break the mould.

Galway Film Fleadh is an Oscar-Qualifying Festival in three categories: Best Fiction Short, Best Short Documentary and Best Animation Short.

The Tiernan McBride Award for Best Fiction Short went to Saul & I, written and directed by Jon Beer.

The Best Short Documentary Award was won by Nothing to Declare, directed by Garrett Daly.

The James Horgan Award for Best Animation Short was won by Memento Mori, directed by Paul O’Flanagan, written by Paul O’Flanagan and Laura O’Flanagan.

The Fleadh’s Pitching Award for 2021 went to Athenry man Giles Brody for his teen caper, Top Marks.

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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