Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Friday 21 February, Clonmel - A late arrival as a result of a car crash along the motor way on the way out of Dublin. Maybe we had miscalculated the distance to Clonmel as well. The fact that I'd been told the the gig was in O Keefes Bar, when it was in fact in The Bakery added another hour or so to proceedings. Still, nobody seemed too phased. Got the gear in, including PA (which we rarely bring), set-up and Clarence wen on straight away. The late night revellers warmed to us after a while and the gig was fun, folks taking photos and that sort
of thing.

Afterwards the disco came on and all the girls sang along to the classic 80s hits. Across the way at Hearnes Hotel we had a late drink or two. It was the sort of residents bar that looked like it hadn't changd since the mid 60s. Sticky carpet on the floor, velvet curtains, gilded mirrors. Chatted to an American lawyer at the bar about the law, and a possible gig in her sisters bar in upstate NY. A local musician was keen to do a song, but had left his guitar at home. Clarence lent him his acoustic and the guy did a few covers. Clarence sang one of two as did Les. I took my turn and sang 'Let The Time Slide'. The first time ever in public. 'Telegram Sam' got an airing too, and that was enough. A girl arrived over with a much appreciated bag of chips as a present. I was starving. These were real cheaps too. Supper time. Al nodded off at our corner table. A dodgy painting of President Mary Robinson was our guide along the labyrinthine corridoors. Hang a right at Mary and your heading in the right direction of the bedroom.

Sat 22 February, Ennis - It was on the house, so I went for the full Irish breakfast (veggie version). Al had forgotten his phone, so he went off in search of an internet cafe. Les and I went for a ramble around town. I figured out how to getthe wifi set up and a facebook message from Mercedes in Mozambique led to Patrick Stack passing on phone numbers and Als missus was then able to phone Al via my phone. It was one of those sort of days.

Clarence decided to spend the afternoon in a Clonmel bar watching a bunch of millionaires on TV kicking a ball around a field. Al and I hit the road and it was grey and raining and miserable in Ennis. Met Bernie and took the Lifford Road out towards Lisdoonvarna and Kilfenora. Drove past the great looking ruins of Leamaneh Castle which was originally built in 1480, and what one now sees on the site is the manor house which was built or rebuilt in 1648 by Conor O’Brien, of the famous family who ruled Co Clare for centuries. He was married to Red Mary, but thats another story for another day.
We ended up on the edge of the Burren, or maybe it was a bog. Certainly the middle of nowhere. My traveling companions had business to attend to. I was just tagging along.

Back in Ennis we had dinner, pasta, wine, a good chat. Later the gig. Good to see Paul and his brother there. Very few showed up as a bunch of bands were playing a local charity gig raising money for flood damage. They could have let us know. Spent the night with Debra in Spancil Hill. Visited (another) O Briens Castle in the morning, which I stumbled upon by accident and then porridge and tea and hit the road for Kildare.

Saturday March 8, New York - In the airport the announcement rang out loud and clear...'Can Eagle Eye Cherry please go to gate 21.' Long time since I heard about him. We boarded, guitar in hand.  A sign read " No sleeping on the floor allowed."  We were in the cheap seats for sure. The screen informed us the plane was traveling at 885 miles an hour. Still, the flight from Stockholm took nine hours, and we'd already spent an hour getting to Stockholm.
Arrived into Newark, zig zagged our merry way to Brooklyn and up to Ridgewood near Queens.  Not familiar with this part of the world. Dumped our gear, out for a drink and something that resembled food in a Polish place with grumpy waitress, but all presnt were in such good form, even the waitress got in on the vibe after a while.

Sunday 16 May, New York - Cold blustery days. Explred parts of hipsville Williamsburg, Had lunch in a time warped German Dancehall in Ridgewood. Played at BarChord in Brooklyn on the Tuesday night with Jack. A good crowd in for a Tuesday. Some guy with too much testosterone coursing through his fats lined veins smashed the door off its hinged. Jonas , John Connors and Des from the Golden Horde called down. Jonas (from the Big Geraniums) I had seen last year, but hadn't seen John or Des in years. A good time was had by all....and the money was good too.  Afterwards, Des gave us a lift home in his big SUV. Dropped into someplace with Thalia for a late drink. The bar owner has a psych band called The Oranj. He gave me his CD. Told him Id play it on the radio....and I did.

THe show at Hanks Saloon had good sound, a cool dive bar, but the place was more or less empty. And very cold too. A very very big guy came over to me to compliment me on my set, then promplty fell over, thankfully not on top of me.
That would have meant broken bones.

Happy hour prices all day at the White Horse Tavern in the Financial District. Not the same Whit Horse where Dylan and the clancys hung out, not the one where Dylan Thomas knocked back all those whiskeys. Thats over in in Grennwich. €.3.75 a pint....not bad....and not an Armani suit in site. All dock workers, fire men, off duty waitresss, truck drivers. You get the idea. It was cold and damp on the Staten Island Ferry, but they had a bar. Out to New Jersey to see old friends Kevin and Laura,  while the hawks circled overhead. Jack educated me on US drinking practices of the 40's and 50's.

Back in Dumbo we played at 68 Jay and had a great night. Our hostess Jan took care of business, but I dont think she made much progress trying to convince the booker of the Brooklyn Folk Festival a show next year. But thats fine by me. I wouldn't fit in there at all........