Wednesday February 5th, 2014
“Remembering Anne Lovett” was an event held in Maynooth University to commemorate this young girls passing, 30 years ago. I felt privileged to be part of this memorial. We must never forget Anne Lovett. It happened in the middle of our Island. It could have happened in any town.
Thirty years later it was Savita Halappanavar. How many more suffered and died in the intervening years. Let us remember, let us change, let us be not be browbeaten any longer by those who are righteous and cruel.
You can click HERE to watch a recording of the event.
February 21st Mullingar, County Westmeath
“The Rain was lashin’, The Sun was risin’, The Wind was whippin’ through The Trees, The Madness from the mountains crawling when I saw you first my Aisling” (Shane McGowan )
Nature is having her say. It’s payback time. There is a price to pay for the last century of technical and scientific progress, for the enormous increase in consumption of resources, energy and raw materials. Almost every known labour now has an automatic device. We can travel anywhere in an inst. A dinner can consist of ingredients from all 5 continents – in my father’s time all food came from local fields. Today we use devices for almost every activity. Fossil fuels that took millions of years to form will soon be gone. Our precious drinking water is squandered and misused as we go from floods to drought in a matter of months. On and on it goes, rain forests destroyed to grow crops to feed animals that will be butchered and flown around the world for (relatively) small profit. I imagine 747 freight planes passing in the skies both laden with bottled water being transported in opposite directions. Flood waters rise. I am powerless in my addiction to electricity. I’ve got the flat screen, the computer, the phone, the central heating, the gas guzzler outside the door, every gadget around me here sucks constantly from the grid. Electricity is so cheap that we waste it every day and night. The wind howls. Trucks get bigger and bigger to carry “our stuff” transcontinental. They roll on and off ferries that are as big as small towns, they burn oceans of fuel while sailing endlessly around this poor old lousy old earth. The rain is lashing. I know, I know, yes I know, but I am powerless. As asbestos roofs fly round the marble city, electric cars are being crushed by falling cedars, homes engulfed by rising Shannon waters. Our pathetic collective response will be to consume more, to comfort ourselves with new things, more devices, more meat, more, more, more. Santa Claus, Valentines Day, Fathers day, Mothers Day, Arthurs Day, Foreign Holiday. The sun shimmers through the rain, slates fly and frightened children cry as their cheap portacabin schools are smashed to smithereens. But it’s a beautiful day; it’s a great day to be alive, Thanks Be, long life to all you songsters out there in the four corners. Let’s enjoy ourselves, it’s later then we think…
Brian Maguire is an Irish Painter. His recent work, made in Mexico, is powerful. His process was captured on the film, BLOOD RISING, which is about to be shown in Dublin and London. Brian is a unique artist with deep commitment in his work practice. An emotional and moving film it examines Brian’s journey to Mexico and his involvement with bereaved families of the “Disappeared” young women of Juárez.
For Details of the London Screening on 2nd April click HERE
For Details of the Dublin Screening on 4th April click HERE
Click HERE to visit the website …
March 22nd Kells, County Meath.
Back here in this Independent Community Arts Centre for the second time in 4 years. I’m flying solo again tonight. I did two solo gigs last year so I am nervous at the prospect. Thinking about it last night I realised that over the last 48 years of gigging, 28 years have been solo and 20 have been spent in a variety of different Bands. I have been trying to do more solo gigs these past few years but, in the end, I tend to reach out for the comfort of playing with others. I need to push myself a bit on this. I deeply love ensemble playing. That said, Solo gigs have a certain quality that cannot be achieved within an ensemble. The reverse also applies. I hope to do at least 6-8 solo gigs this year as well as my work with Declan Sinnott and my May -June gigs with Mairtín O’Connor’s band. 2 hours later and I am back in the dressing room sated, sung out and satisfied. a hot mug of tea awaits me and a grand supper. I usually don’t eat for 4-6 hours before a gig so invariably I’m leppin’ when the job is done, I find it’s much better to sing on an empty stomach.
Here is the set list just performed
Yellow Furze Woman
On The Mainland
Back Home in Derry
Where I Come From
Farmer Michael Hayes
City of Chicago
Well Below Valley
John of Dreams
Black is The Colour
2 hours and 5 minutes
Last year I did an interview for the Documentary Film “Skin in the Game”. It was made by Donald Taylor Black who has sent me details of some upcoming screenings in Ireland and America. It will be shown by Maynooth Film for All in NUI, Maynooth, Co. Kildare on Wednesday, 9th April at 8pm. It will also be screened at the Irish Arts Centre in New York on Tuesday, 6th May. You can click HERE for details of the New York screening.
Frank Connolly has written a book on the late Tom Gilmartin – The man who brought down a Taoiseach and exposed corruption at the heart of Irish Politics. It is being published by Gill Macmillan who have invited me to “cut the ribbon” on Thursday April 3rd. I first met Frank Connolly in 1978 as the Irish Anti-Nuclear movement began to assemble. We worked closely together on the first Carnsore Point Gathering. We were both part of a radical and exciting collective which organised the Anti-Nuclear Road Show and subsequent Carnsore gatherings. In 1982 Frank edited my first song book for Brandon Press. 32 years later that book is still in print. Frank’s subsequent work led him to become one of Ireland’s leading investigative journalists. He was foremost amongst those seeking to reveal levels of corruption that eventually brought our economy tumbling down. Elements within Government took it upon themselves to shoot the messenger as they sought to bring Frank’s work in journalism to an end. Some of these elected politicians subsequently left Government in disgrace. Thankfully, Frank continues with his lifelong work.
We have added a 2nd show in Galway on May 15th. I’m happy to be returning to Armagh, Newcastle and Newry in September. All these gigs are up on the gig page.
The Box set 1964-2004 has been deleted after 10 years. I am hoping that a scaled down version can be produced that would keep the songs available. The idea would be to have simple packaging with the booklet available for download.
See you along the way…