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Galway bands go down a blast at Wesport Festival

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BY CIARAN TIERNEY

Veteran singer Elvis Costello might have been a little bit liberal with the truth when he told the 12,000 revellers in a Mayo field that they were “better than Glastonbury”, but he certainly encapsulated the wonderful atmosphere of the second Westport Festival of Music when bringing the festivities to an end on Sunday night.

The English rock star with Irish roots flew to Ireland West Airport directly from the famed English music festival and, seemingly like everyone else in the grounds of Westport House, was blown away by the relaxed attitude during Ireland’s most laid-back music festival.

Costello, who has been a musical legend since the mid-1970s, produced a storming set laced with hard-hitting political songs while enjoying wonderful banter with the fans between songs.

The pristine grounds of Westport House proved to be a big hit during the inaugural event last year and the festival managed to win over another healthy crowd, even if it was apparent that the line-up was slightly weaker than last year.

Another man to embrace the spirit of the festival was veteran Christy Moore, who headlined the main stage on Saturday night. After playing some of his massive hits, getting the crowd to sing along to the likes of Lisdoonvarna, he headed into the centre of the town for a spontaneous session in the pub owned by Matt Molloy of The Chieftains.

The pub was jammed to the rafters and the whole town seemed to go wild. Christy, being Christy, made sure not to be too predictable, either, and his version of Hurt, made famous by the late Johnny Cash, was another highlight.

Magically, barring a couple of hours before the gates re-opened on Sunday morning, the rain stayed away for the entire weekend. Entertainment was spread over four stages, including a new Comedy Tent and a Róisín Dubh stage for up-and-coming bands.

The Comedy Tent lost out by being a bit too close to the music, but that did not stop a huge crowd from enjoying Apres Match star Barry Murphy’s take on German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday afternoon.

The Róisín’s stage provided a wonderful diversion from the entertainment in the main arena and was the scene for one of the weekend’s best sets as Dublin dance merchants LE Galaxie produced a stunning visual and musical show. Delorentos managed an equally enjoyable set in the same courtyard on Sunday night while Donegal band In Their Thousands brought two bus-loads of ecstatic supporters for the biggest gig of their careers so far.

There was some repetition from the inaugural festival, with The Waterboys, Imelda May, Damien Dempsey, and the Clew Bay Pipe Band all returning to an event where they made a big impression 12 months ago.

Former Galway residents, The Waterboys rocked the main stage with a set laced with old classics while the Clew Bay Pipe Band packed a tent with enthusiastic locals before being joined on stage by Mundy, Damien Dempsey, and local hero Matt Molloy.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Reverberate – exploring migration and memories

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Joselle Ntumba of Éireann and I, the collective that is presenting the show at Galway Arts Centre, pictured with her family.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

A new exhibition, Reverberate, by Éireann and I, will open at the city’s Galway Arts Centre this Saturday, December 3, at 2pm, and will run until December 22.

Reverberate is an oral history project developed by Éireann and I, a black migrant community archive, in collaboration with members of Galway’s African diaspora.

The organisers invited Black migrants who have settled in Galway to recount their journeys to Ireland, their relationship with the city and county, and to reflect on whether they have developed a sense of belonging.

The testimonies in Reverberate come from eight people of varying age and from different places. The many subjects they deal with include parenting, politics, the effects of the asylum system on lives and the communities and organisations they have built.

Some of their shared background is immediately obvious, but there are deeper connections too and these demonstrate how all humans are affected by the global and local tensions that cause people to leave their homelands and build new lives elsewhere.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Songs of Celebration at Galway Cathedral

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Composer and clarinettist Emma Johnson will join Vox Orbis.

Galway’s Vox Orbis, a female choral ensemble directed by Mark Keane, is joining forces with internationally renowned clarinettist Emma Johnson to present her Songs of Celebration. The concert will take place in Galway Cathedral next Friday, December 9

Emma Johnson, who won the BBC Young Musician of the Future at the age of 17, has since gone on to become one of the world’s biggest selling classical artists, celebrated for her diverse repertoire. The choir will present two of her compositions as well as her Variations on We wish you a merry Christmas with Annalisa Monticelli, piano.

The programme will also include Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, accompanied by concert harpist Aisling Ennis. Aisling has recently released an album of harp solos, Folly of Melancholy, and will perform a solo on the evening too. Galway based soprano Noreena McDonagh will join the choir for seasonal favourite, O Holy Night, newly arranged by conductor Mark Keane.

Vox Orbis promotes the work of female composers, and the programme will include Snow Angel by the contemporary Canadian composer Sarah Quartel, with Nickie Geddes, cello. They have also commissioned leading Irish composer, Rhona Clarke, to compose a set of carols, Sweet the Song, which will also be premiered on the evening.

Tickets at €20 are available on Eventbrite and at the door on the night. Visit voxorbis.ie for more information.

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Potato People’ pays homage to victims of Great Famine

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Artist and sculptor Joe McCaul

The Potato People, an exhibition of sculptures based on the Irish Famine of 1845-49, will open in the foyer of Alcantara, one of the new buildings at the city’s Bonham Quay, this weekend.

It’s the work of artist and sculptor Joe McCaul, who lives in Ballinderreen.

These ceramic figures, fired in clay, “tell the harrowing stories of the lives and deaths of our ancestors during the Great Hunger”, he explains.

The exhibition has already had an eight-week run in Kinvara where it was very well-received, Joe adds.

Joe became fascinated by the Great Famine in recent times and with the many different accounts of those tragic years.

This fascination began in earnest when he read The Truth Behind the Irish Famine, by Kerryman Jerry Mulvihill.

“I began to feel a strong affinity with the people in these stories, their tragedy and the horrendous suffering they endured. I felt compelled to find a way to honour the millions who died of hunger and disease – and emigration; the countless stories forgotten in the Famine graveyards all over this country.”

Joe used his knowledge of working with paper clay to express this need. The process was intuitive and experimental, he says, as he worked without pre-planning or pre-drawing.

The resulting figures, which were formed by draping paper clay over armatures of chicken wire and steel bars, “just emerged from my fingertips. I sculpted feverishly for many months, one horrific figure leading to the next – so many stories to be told”.

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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