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The Whileaways prove three-into-one works

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The Whileaways.

Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

Celebrating the launch of their second album Saltwater Kisses, folk trio The Whileaways open for Rufus Wainwright at Sligo’s Knocknarea Arena on Friday next, October 23, before playing their own headline show in Monroe’s Live on Thursday, October 29.

Part of The Whileaways appeal lies in the fact that they have three leadsingers, with Noelie McDonnell, Nicola Joyce and Noriana Kennedy all having led bands before they joined forces.

Keith Richards describes what he does with Rolling Stones’ guitarist Ronnie Wood as “the ancient art of weaving”, and that’s an apt description of The Whileaways’ sound, with their three voices coming together to create something singular.

For an album that features three different writers, Saltwater Kisses is remarkably cohesive. It’s a record that has strong folk roots, but is vital in its newness and melody.

“You know when a song sits right, when it’s played you enjoy it, or when you lose yourself singing it,” Noriana says.

“We’re always happy to give each other compliments; if I love either Nic or Noelie’s stuff I’ll always come out and say it. Noelie’s always very good to give credit where it’s due, that’s great given he’s the most experienced writer in the band.”

The Whileaways are a beguiling live act, but capturing that in the studio can be tricky. Fortunately, producers Liam Caffrey and Eamon Brady were able to capture the nuance needed to make a solid folk record.

“Liam’s amazing,” Noriana enthuses. “All of us are musicians, and just about able to string our guitars! Caff is like the technology geek. He spends all his money on good mics, and he reads specific magazines. Himself and Eamon produced the album, along with us, and they just work really well together.

“They’re really particular on getting certain sounds,” she explains. “I know they listened to The Harrow and The Harvest, the Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch album. They tried to mimic some of their sounds, like the banjo sound.  We don’t question anything Caff or Eamon do, we just trust them 100%.”

Saltwater Kisses was recorded in a lakeside house in Glencorrib, not far from Headford, where The Whileaways are based. Noriana feels that working outside the confines and costly time constraints of a regular studio worked in the band’s favour.

“Noelie was more experienced, and he likes setting up an environment that’s relaxed, and where better to do that than at home, or in one of our homes? Recording before, you’d be sitting in a cold room and eating out of lunchboxes, or Centra sandwiches. A quick break, and then you’re back in.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway gets ready for Gilgamesh

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Legend of Gilgamesh on the streets of Galway.

The epic story of a young tyrannical king – two thirds God, one third man – obsessed with fame, composed 1,500 years before Homer wrote the Illiad and the Odyssey, will become a familiar experience over the next few months in the heart of Galway.

Because Macnas, the masters of storytelling and spectacle, are back as the legend of Gilgamesh starts to unfold via the Gilgamesh Experience on Macnas.com and on the streets of Galway.

The legend of Gilgamesh will play out online in the lead up to the indoor show in March and firmly roots the world of the characters in the city and landscape of Galway.

It all starts at https://gilgamesh.macnas.com/ with the reveal of the first in a series of specially commissioned films by cinematographer Colm Hogan.

This week saw the story spill onto the streets with the central character of UTA – the one who cannot die – wandering through Galway, with the same character appearing in a stunning mural which went up overnight on the corner of Bridge Street and Dominick Street. The coming months will see more surprise, unannounced pop up live moments in the city.

A dramatic new interpretation of the world’s oldest story, Gilgamesh is a Galway 2020 commission for the European Capital of Culture celebrations and sees Macnas take its traditional theatre and storytelling into new outdoor, indoor and digital territories, bringing the contemporary themes of this ancient origin story to life.

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

Last of Liam O’Flaherty’s novels is finally republished – 87 years on

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O’Flaherty....banned novel just republished.

Aran author Liam O’Flaherty’s banned novel The Martyr has just been republished by Nuascéalta – 87 years since its first and only publication, back in 1933.

And with this reprint of The Martyr, Nuascéalta publishers complete their epic task of returning to Ireland the last three major O’Flaherty novels banned by the Irish state.

The Galway novel The House of Gold, and O’Flaherty’s insightful and scathing Hollywood satire Hollywood Cemetery, had already been re-issued.

O’Flaherty’s novels – mainly written in the 1920s and 1930s – collectively address significant events in Irish history and the newly emerging Free State.

Nuascéalta’s return of The Martyr to the book shevles comes as the centenaries of the War of Independence and the Civil War are commemorated.

The Martyr gives O’Flaherty’s take on the battle to control the country’s destiny. The novel written just ten years after the civil war, and published in 1933, brings to life the nationwide Free State attack on the anti-Treaty forces.

One such offensive was the landing at Fenit in Kerry – and Liam O’Flaherty fictionalises this event at “Carra Point” and “Sallytown” (Tralee).

Events around the Free State troop landing and its sequel are seen through the eyes of Sallytown’s defenders and its townspeople, clerical and lay.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Musical collaborators for concert in Clifden

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Cormac Begley (centre) with Ye Vagabonds....live at Clifden’s Station House Theatre.

Ye Vagabonds and Cormac Begley will be in Clifden’s Station House Theatre this Friday night; the concert is being presented by Clifden Arts Festival and Music Network and is part of a nationwide tour organised by Music Network.

Ye Vagabonds – Carlow brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn – grew up playing music together and their performances are marked by close harmony singing, tasty accompaniment and their ability to tell a good story in song.

They have played sold-out headline shows in Ireland, France, Switzerland and the UK.

Their second album The Hare’s Lament was released in 2019 to huge critical acclaim, winning the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Traditional Track, and sweeping the boards at the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards where they won Best Traditional Track, Best Group, and Best Album.

For this tour, they’re embarking on a collaboration with Cormac Begley, a renowned solo bass, baritone, treble and piccolo concertina player from a West-Kerry musical family.

Cormac plays solo and in a range of collaborations with Liam O’Connor, Rushad Eggleston, Liam Ó Maonlaí and Lisa O’Neill. He is the founder of the Airt Residential School and the award-winning Tunes in the Church live concert series in Galway and Dublin.

Cormac was nominated for RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Instrumentalist of the Year in 2018 and 2019, and his debut solo album received nine five-star reviews and was shortlisted for the Irish Times Album of the Year in 2018.

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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