“Wood & Wire” EIRE/NI Tour-Part 3

DAY FIVE_Roisin Dubh_Galway_29_04_2017

I’m on driving duties this morning so we head off from a grey, cold Cork but with the joy of last night’s gig still in the atmosphere.It’s a long enough slog up the motorway and there have to be a few good and tea stops for those members of the entourage still hurting from the previous night’s revelry.

I haven’t been to Galway since the last time we played there in 1998 (last century, what a thought) and that was a tremendous gig at the GPO that was promoting the Semi-Detatched album and had NME in tow for a feature in their magazine. That night was rowdy and a lot of fun so I’m expecting more of the same from the legendary Roisin Dubh, a very famous venue that has had all the greats over the years and is renowned for having impeccable taste in music.
On arrival we’re greeted by the wonder Gugai who makes us feel at home right away and we get our gear set up for the evening. Outside it’s cold, windy and granite skied but in the venue it’s a womb like glow of low lights and good vibes.

From the off the audience are good naturedly shouting for songs and joining in with the vibe of the band. There are people in crowd singing every single word of every single song abdvwere very impressed that a lot of them know the lyrics to tunes off our recent Disquiet album too. It’s one of those special nights where, personally, I feel im among friends and the warmth from the occasion nearly moves me to tears especially on Lonely Cryin’ Only and Gone. There are people from Galway with others from Belgium, Switzerland, Spain and Finland all getting involved and making it something special, a night I’ll never forget.

Afterwards the rest of the boys hang out in the venue and drink and swap stories with locals, fans and old friends while enjoying the greatest hits on offer courtesy of the house DJ while I take the opportunity to catch up on some sleep. We’ve played Galway a few times before including the massive Leisurelands venue during the Troublegum tour in 1994 but I can honestly say I enjoyed this one, at Roisin Dubh, the most. Hopefully we can get a chance to come back and play an electric show in the club very soon.

The next morning while we’re packing the gear away several people approach us in the street and thank us for the show. I’m gobsmacked but very grateful. Galway, you have. Even so very lovely.

DAY SIX_Dolans_Limerick_30_04_2017

Like Galway, we hadn’t been to Limerick for a very long time but it’s also the scene of one of our legendary gigs in 1992 at the Agricultural College, a night of hanging off wooden beams and everyone stage diving the whole way back to the mixing desk. All covered by Cathi Unsworth and Steve Gullick for Melody Maker.

Arriving at the impressive Dolans venue we’re given a hearty welcome and sat down in the front of the building where we intend to have Sunday lunch and watch the Everton v Chelsea game. Myself and Richard Baker, our Tour Managing Sound engineer are Chelsea supporters which causes all kinds of banter from the friendly bar staff. The food is great and the football better as Chelsea forge a fantastic away win, 3-0 so it’s a solid start to this bank holiday Sunday.

The gig area itself looks great with a high stage overlooking a wood and stone room and a lovely onstage sound. All the local staff, lighting and sound, are very helpful and Michael informs me that Dolans is one of the venues used in the legendary Siege of Limerick metal festival, an event he’d love to attend. He mentions some underground bands that have played there in the past.

The evenings gig is completely different from all the other Irish Wood & Wire shows. It’s very quiet between songs but not in an offensive way but more like the silence at the theatre or a performance arts piece. By the second set of the evening it’s a lot more boisterous which is what we’ve come to expect and afterwards we hang around to meet everyone, a good decision as there are a lot of super-friendly people waiting to say hello and get their photo taken. Among the crowd are a couple that were present during the real life drugs bust that formed the basis for our song ‘Loser Cop’ off our album ‘Babyteeth’. This takes me back and we’re soon chatting about that fateful night in Portrush when a house party attended by myself and Fyfe was shut down by the police and ended with many of us hauled off to the Police Station. Also in the crowd was film maker, Brian Bowler, who had very kindly brought along a copy of a book by Ivor Browne for me to read. Another very touching meeting was with a group of friends who had first met me at Feile 1993 and showed me a picture of myself and them backstage. We then attempted to recreate the photo in a selfie. I’m slayed that 24 years later these lovely people are still coming to see us play.

In the dressing room afterwards we’re all saying that it’s a shame to see the end of this six gig Wood & Wire tour of Ireland and we wished there was a ton more shows as we were having so much fun. Limerick, thank you for a brilliant day. Big up to all at Dolans and to all the wonderful people we played to during the show and met afterwards. Amazing times.

Andy C

Photos from Dolans, Limerick kind courtesy PAT GUILFOYLE and you can see more of his fine work HERE

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