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Galway bands go down a blast at Wesport Festival

Ciaran Tierney

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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

Branar adapt Rockin’ Rhymes for classroom setting

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Branar adapt Rockin’ Rhymes for classroom setting

Rockin’ Rhymes, the hit musical from Galway theatre company, Branar, was due to be revived for a tour of Irish schools this autumn. However, that can’t happen now.

Instead, it’s getting a new outing as a multi-platform show that’s being made available to schools throughout Galway, Mayo and Limerick

Branar has joined forces with The Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar and Limerick’s Lime Tree Theatre to create Rockin’ the Classroom, a project that’s designed for children from Junior Infants to Second Class.

Performed by a band of five musicians, this is a rock-n-roll adventure, featuring well-loved nursery rhymes which Branar has reimagined in funk, pop and rock stylings.

The show offers children and teachers an opportunity to explore these classic rhymes in a fresh context, while they learn about making music.

The project hopes to inspire children to create their own rocking rhymes, explains Marc Mac Lochlainn of Branar, who adds “we really miss performing for children”.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Covid caution pays off for Arts Festival

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Plans to site the Mirror Pavilion to Derrigimlagh Bog outside Clifden have now been deferred until March 2021.

The Mirror Pavilion art installation which was visited by over 120,000 people when it was displayed at the Claddagh during Galway International Arts Festival’s autumn programme will not be moving out to a Connemara location this month, despite earlier plans that it would.

The striking structure by world-renowned artist, John Gerrard, was due to be located at Derrigimlagh Bog outside Clifden in October but that plan has now been shelved until March, due to current Covid 19 restrictions.

The shiny cube which depicts an image on an LED wall 24 hours a day was a popular attraction while it was exhibited at Claddagh Quay last month. Images of it were circulated around the world, mostly on various social media platforms.

It was dismantled after September 26 and was due to move to Connemara, to the site where Alcock and Brown completed the first trans-Atlantic flight in 1919 and also the transmission site for the first trans-Atlantic radio signal from the Marconi station in 1907.

The installation, which was commissioned especially for Galway’s European Capital of Culture 2020 programme, was to be situated in Connemara for most of this month.

However, the Artistic Director of GIAF, Paul Fahy, told The Connacht Tribune that, some weeks ago, the Festival organisers had discussed the possibility of postponing it because of rising Covid-19 cases at home and abroad

“There was no point in going ahead with the Connemara installation in light of us going into Level 3, when the country’s population was in lockdown and couldn’t come into the county to see it, not to mention travel restrictions on other countries stopping them coming to Ireland,” he said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Away with the Fairies – a spooky Halloween treat

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In recent years, Halloween in Ireland has become all about the imported American tradition of Trick or Treat – which may have, in a simpler form, originated in this country, according to experts.

But with Tricking and Treating off the menu for this year, it might be time to return to more traditional Irish traditions.

There’s no better place to start with fairy and ghost stories and these can be found in abundance in the latest book from city historian, William Henry.

Away with the Fairies, which is now in the shops, contains some 50 stories and tales gathered from across Galway, City and County, that have entertained countless generations.

“Ireland really is the heart of a supernatural tradition and some of its most famous manifestations include the Banshee, Cóiste Bodhar, Pooka, Leprechaun and the Fairies,” explains William.

“The stories and beliefs surrounding these characters formed part of everyday life for people long ago,” he adds. And it wasn’t so long ago either.

Introducing the stories, Mike Glynn, former editor of the Galway City Tribune, points out that in an era before rural electrification, “the sounds and movements of the night were truly frightening when there were only candles and crude lamps to cast limited light”.

Rural electrification only happened in the mid-20th century, which in the broad scope of history, is merely the blink of an eye.

William opens the book by introducing the reader to Ireland’s main fairy characters and this sets the scene for the extraordinary tales that follow.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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