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Seán filled with new energy as he plays Town Hall show

Judy Murphy

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Singer Seán Keane will be in concert in the Town Hall Theatre this Friday, May 17 after an absence of almost five years from the city venue.

It’s difficult to believe it’s been five years since his last concert there, says the Caherlistrane born singer, but then a lot has happened in the intervening time.

Four years ago Seán lined out in the nearby Black Box Theatre with a full band and a crew of dancers and singers to record an album and DVD, The Irish Scattering about the Irish experience of emigration through the centuries.

It was a powerful project, with which his wife and manager Virginia was critically involved. However, shortly afterwards Virginia became ill and this July will mark the second anniversary of her death.

He has given a lot of thought to that project since then, and he has plans to recreate a stage version of it in the future, but right now, Seán’s focus is on the Town Hall show.

He pulled back on work during Virginia’’s illness and afterwards he took time out from singing and touring.

“Going back to it without her, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do that,” explains Seán, whose accolades have included winning Best Male Folk Singer for four years in a row in Ireland a Meteor award nomination.

But, he laughs, even in death, “like she always did, she gave me a kick in the arse”.

And he knows it was the right thing.

“Even through the whole process afterwards, this is what I was meant to be doing. It’s the gift I was given. And it’s what Virginia would have wanted; she’s the one who got me into it.”

It was only because Virginia had offered to manage his career in their early days together that Seán went back to performing after he had decided to leave the music business, he explains. And his career blossomed, with a series of solo albums including Turn a Phrase, No Stranger to the Rain and The Irish Scattering.

So it hasn’t been easy since she passed on. But in the past while, he’s been taking up offers of shows and has travelled to America, Canada and Germany to perform, and now he’s become more active about seeking gigs. That’s how the Town Hall show came about.
“I thought it was time to do a proper gig in Galway. I’ve mostly been doing charity gigs and it’s time to do a proper one.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Sharon goes global for lockdown album The Reckoning

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Sharon's new album will be available from this Friday.

Despite Covid-19 travel restrictions, Sharon Shannon has gone global for her latest studio album, The Reckoning, which is being released this Friday, November 27.

The Reckoning, which was composed, written and recorded during lockdown, features more than dozen remote collaborations from locations across the world.

All the twelve tracks have been co-written by Sharon and band members and various guest collaborators.

The full-on method in which it was recorded marks a new departure for the Clare-born musician who lives in Galway City, she says.

“Normally when we work on an album, we do one track at a time,” Sharon explains. “But with this, it seems to be an avalanche when you’re working on 13 or 14 tracks every day. It’s like a minefield!”

One of the key tracks, The Jolly Roger, resulted from a challenge which rugby player Robbie Henshaw presented to Sharon during the first Covid lockdown. Issued via Facebook, her task was to learn a new skill. And she did. After five days of intense practice, she created The Jolly Roger Facebook video . That clip of Sharon and her electric guitar has attracted more than 289,000 views since it was uploaded earlier this year.

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

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Artists going to dogs in aid of annual auction

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Work donated to MADRA by Galway artist Grace Cunningham and Achill Island’s Padraig McCaul.

Works by some of Ireland’s top artists, including Grace Cunningham and Finbar McHugh from Galway as well as Padraig McCaul from Achill Island and Charles Harper from Valentia Island, will go under the hammer at this year’s MADRA Dog Rescue Charity Art Auction.

The popular event, which kicks off for viewing next week, will take place online year due to Covid restrictions.

The event, will open for registration and online bids next Thursday, December 3 and will remain available to view and bid online until Monday, December 7 .

The goal is to raise €3,000 to contribute towards vet bills for the Connemara-based dog rescue and adoption charity. MADRA is facing major bills, all without the financial support that’s normally generated by its two charity shops – they have been closed for months this year due to the pandemic.

“We have stunning artworks available with an amazing variety of subjects and styles,” explains MADRA co-founder and director, Marina Fiddler, adding that the organisation is “honoured that so many talented artists have donated such beautiful pieces to support the homeless dogs in our care”.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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Celebrating Romania on Great Union Day

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ConTempo, will perform a programme from thier native Romania for next Tuesday's lunchthime concert.

The next instalment of the lunchtime music series, From Europe with Love, will take place next Tuesday, December 1, at 1pm. Hosted by Galway Music Residency, it’s the last one for 2020.

It promises to be a special event as Galway’s Ensemble in Residence, the ConTempo Quartet, who are from Romania, celebrate their homeland on what’s known as Great Union Day. This national holiday marks the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918.

ConTempo will perform a varied programme, showcasing the best of Romanian music. This will feature works by celebrated composers George Enescu and Theodor Grigoriu alongside lesser-known musical treasures. There will be a strong folk theme throughout, making for a lively lunchtime show.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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