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Sublime Mark Geary for Monroe’s show

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Mark Geary.

Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell

The sublime songwriter Mark Geary makes a welcome return to Monroe’s Live this Friday, May 22. When he takes the call for this interview, Mark is recording an album he plans to release in the autumn. His process is a little unusual, even risky, in that he goes into the studio without having any songs prepared.

“That’s kind of how I’ve done it on the past couple of records, almost wilfully have no songs and just create around the musicians, write on the fly – it’s awful!” he laughs. “But the creative brain starts to commit, it starts to make decisions. You have to believe what you’re singing about.”

It’s a gamble that’s paying off and Mark has hit a creative purple patch.

“This whole week I’ve been in Westmeath, and it’s the third day I’ve woke up with a new song,” he says. “They’re really the gifts. It’s usually 90% perspiration, 10% inspiration but to wake up with a fully formed, written song, that’s what you wait for.”

In 1992, Mark moved to New York to cut his teeth as an artist. The Dubliner appeared alongside the upcoming Jeff Buckley and made the city his home. A few years ago, he decided to return to Ireland and began to put a band together.

“When I came back from New York, I was looking for a band that I could hang with and sit in with, that would know my back catalogue and add something to it,” he says. “In my head, I wanted singers, as well as bass players and keyboards. I wanted loads of harmonies, because that’s my favourite part of music. The Everly Brothers, The Beatles, Fleet Foxes . . . killer harmonies, it just feels so intuitive to me.”

He placed an ad in Hot Press and began the search. In a world far removed from the callousness of the X-Factor, the auditions were ‘very mellow, a cup of tea and a chat’,

“I was looking for intuitive musicians, not a super group,” Mark says. “Sometimes it can be a bit too session-y. My New York band, a lot of those guys could be playing in ten bands.”

This search yielded a gem when Gráinne Hunt walked into the room. Adding nuance and texture to Mark’s songs, Gráinne is a gifted singer who will soon be releasing her own EP.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Jon Kenny visits Áras Éanna with hit show Crowman

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Actor and comedian Jon Kenny will visit Áras Éanna on Inis Oírr this Saturday, August 24, performing in Katie Holly’s hit one-man show Crowman.

The play premiered at the 2018 Cork Midsummer Festival, receiving standing ovations from audiences and praise from critics.

Crowman is the story of Dan Lonergan and the characters he meets throughout his life.

It’s about lost love and the sense of belonging and not belonging in a small community. Most of all, it’s about the humanity and decency of people in every village and town in Ireland.

As Dan himself surmises: ‘Some people never had the dance that I had and some people never hear the music.’

Jon Kenny carries the audience on a roller-coaster ride from Dan’s childhood to middle-age, from the hurling pitch to the pub and from one uproariously funny character to the other.

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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Miami showband musical revisits a troubled Ireland

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The Miami Showband Story, a new musical telling the tragic story of one of Ireland’s greatest showbands will be at Galway’s Town Hall Theatre on Monday, September 2, as part of a national tour.

Written by Marie Jones (Stones in His Pockets) and Martin Lynch (Dancing Shoes –The George Best Story), The Miami Showband Story takes the audiences on a roller-coaster ride from the band’s glory days in the 1960s right through to the tragedy of 1975 when they were massacred in Northern Ireland.

Told through the eyes of best friends and song-writing duo, Fran O’Toole and Des Lee, The Miami Showband Story captures the lads’ rise from Dublin and Belfast beat groups to relative fame and fortune. A 1960s newspaper report suggested they would be earning more than the then Taoiseach.

Ten years later their story ended in tragedy when Fran  O’Toole (played by Niall McNamee) along with Brian McCoy and Tony Geraghty were murdered at a bogus British Army road-check outside Newry.

Des, played by Gary Crossan, survived but went into meltdown.

Haunted by survivor’s guilt, he turned to alcohol and eventually moved to South Africa. However, Fran’s presence continued to haunt Des and it wasn’t until 25 years later when he got a phone call from Ireland proposing a Miami reunion that he was offered a chance of redemption.

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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Diversity and quality in a packed Clifden Arts Festival programme

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Readings from novelists Colum McCann, Sinéad Moriarty and Mike McCormack, from poets Michael Longley, Moya Cannon and Thomas McCarthy, theatre from Phelim Drew and Pat Kinevane, and exhibitions from artists including Margaret Irwin West and John Coll are among the highlights of this year’s Clifden Arts Festival which will run from September 18-29.

Shows for children include Marty Moncrieff, the Teddy Bear Thief from Galway’s Beluga Theatre Company. The play, set in ‘a world where Toy Story meets Fr Ted’, premiered at the Galway Theatre Festival in May.

Theatre shows for adults will include the one-man musical play Before from the wonderful Pat Kinevane and Fishamble Theatre Company, fresh from its success in Edinburgh. This drama about a father and daughter is as powerful as people have come to expect from the creator of Silent and Forgotten.  According to The Scotsman, it packs “a considerable punch”. Before is at Clifden Town Hall on September 25 at 7pm.

Phelim Drew will present Joxer Daly Esq. at the same venue the previous day at 6.30pm. The playful scrounger from Sean O’Casey’s classic, Juno and The Paycock, takes centre stage in Eddie Naughton’s new play.

The Sphere of Light – Secrets of the Boleyn Women will be presented on September 27 at noon in the Station House Theatre.  Actors will perform this work by Ann Henning Jocelyn which explores a new angle on the story of the Boleyn family and King Henry VIII of England.

There will be talks from historian David McCullough of RTÉ’s Prime Time and from Martina Fitzgerald, formerly Political Correspondent with the national broadcaster.

RTÉ’s Northern Editor Tommie Gorman will interview former MP and SDLP Deputy Leader Seamus Mallon, who played a key role in the Northern Ireland Peace Process and whose memoir A Shared Home Place was published recently.

Poets John Kelly and Gerry Smyth will read during the Festival, as will Mary O’Malley who joins forces with Galway City born novelist Conor Bowman for their event on Monday, September 23.

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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