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Superb single and new album on way as Cathy Davey plays Town Hall



Date Published: {J}

Sometimes waiting for a good song to come on the radio can be like looking for a needle in haystack. But, every so often, a track will come along to clear the dross out of your head. Cathy Davey’s latest single Little Red is one such tune, a joyful burst of music that is surely one of 2010’s best tracks. And the good news is that the Dublin-born singer plays the Town Hall, Galway on Saturday, May 8.

It has been two years since Davey released the hugely impressive Tales Of Silversleeve and dominated the airwaves with the infectious Reuben. Is Cathy happy with her soon-to-be-released third album The Nameless?

“Happy? Happy seems a little too simple,” she says. “I think the songwriting and everything is good. I’m always, forever, disappointed with what I achieve in the end. It’s such a long project and I only have myself to blame for what comes out in the ending. But I’m happy that I gave it my very best shot and you have to abandon it at some stage.”

In the period since her last album, Cathy has again become an independent artist after parting ways with EMI. The singer reacted quickly to the situation by doing what she does best: making music.

“The first thing I did was to get out of the house in Dublin, because it’s too expensive for me!” she laughs. “I went to the country and I started recording. The first thing I felt was ‘well, I’ll never have to give them songs and have them not react to them’ . Which is the worst way someone can react to songs! So that felt good.”

Cathy enjoys being away from the pressures an artist feels when they are signed to a huge corporation like EMI.

“I know for a fact that I’m not suited to a major label at all,” she says. “The thing I didn’t get when I signed to them was in order [for them] to put in X amount of money to record and promote the album, I have to make double the amount back. Or they’re not happy. The only people who are going to do that are people who are a very different breed to me entirely.

“I just want to record at home and do things quietly,” Cathy adds. “I don’t want to dress up in ‘fashion clothes’ and I don’t want to do things that jar with my sense of integrity. Trying saying that to record executives is very hard.”

Unlike some acts which have been let go by their labels, Cathy Davey isn’t bitter about her dealings with EMI.

“I was absolutely fine; it wasn’t a surprise. They were dropping a lot of people. It’s all fine, I don’t blame them – they need to make a lot of money, because they invest a lot of money. I wasn’t doing that for them.”

Seeking to recharge her creative batteries, Cathy went to the small town of Albi, near Toulouse in France.

“It’s a tiny town and really pretty, but it wasn’t for the prettiness,” she explains. “It was just somewhere where I didn’t know anyone and I couldn’t speak the language. I got down to work for a month.”

Like anyone travelling on a budget, Cathy had to be wary of baggage restrictions.

“I brought small instruments! I brought a tiny drum kit in a suitcase, like a toy one. I bought a mandolin and tin whistles and had to come up with new songs with those. Anything with mandolin was written there. Little Red, The Nameless, Wild Rum – they were all written there.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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