Dublin airport, Thursday September 14th, 2017
I slept a little on the plane. I watched some Irish Shorts. There was a call for a doctor or nurse on board but it was seemingly a minor emergency. Descending into the patchwork quilt beautiful cliche that is Ireland in September. From the sky the sun was shining. By the time I got my bags it was raining. I bought a five a day pack of fruit. I ate a plum and a tangerine. I’m currently most likely squashing the banana in my backpack, a Niall Connolly circa 1983 classic. I killed some time at the airport wondering what to do before getting a message from my childhood friend Justin who was thankfully ( for me) off work sick for a few days. I had a shower, a bowl of soup, some amazing beet hummus at Justin and Larissa’s. Now I feel something approaching human.
I am tired. I am fine.
Saturday September 16th, 2017 – The Islander’s Rest, Sherkin Island
I’m on an island off the island.
After lunch with Justin I did a radio interview with Paul McDermott for Dublin City Fm. Paul is a real music lover. I met him first about 20 years ago when he managed Orange Fettishes, arguably one of the best Cork bands ever. Paul has been keeping an eye my career and I really enjoyed the interview with him.
Thursday night I played at the Harbour Bar in Bray. Katie Laffan did a great set after me. Susan McKeown came down too and I invited her to sing ‘May 12th, 1916- S Song for James Connolly’. The song originally came about as a result of a direct challenge by Susan to compose something to commemorate Connolly’s 100th anniversary. After the gig I had a great intense chat with Ronan O Snodaigh from Kila. “I’m beginning to learn the martial art of life, Niall.” Fair play Ronan.
I met up with Mac before the gig in the snug of the bar. Mac was talking about whether the van was okay where it was parked. A fella in the corner having a pint with his paper, gave a dry smile and helpfully informed us. “I employ those fellas, there’ll be no chance of ticket before 9am.”
So that was that. Thursday night we stayed in the camper van in a very picturesque site 2 miles outside if Wicklow town.
I also got word that the album received a glowing review on RTE Radio 1’s Arts Programme ‘ The Arena’.
Friday morning we rolled through picture postcard sunny Ireland from Wicklow to Cork city for a 1 interview with Michael Carr for 96fm. I’ve known Michael since I began playing music and again, I enjoyed the interview, though I did go down something of a dark path when asked about the 45the President of the United Sates.
“Niall Connolly’s New York band display great empathy on the Cork emigrant’s latest album (his eighth), of well-observed songs which weave through history and the present into a hopeful future. “ So, says the Evening Herald.
Album available now from: www.niallconnolly.bandcamp.com
Sunday September 17th, 2017 – Hill Terrace, Bandon
My niece Willow’s 5th birthday. Two days on Sherkin Island. Wild beauty. Hedgerow politics. Sparrow Hawks. Blackberries in the ditches. Blue sky on the harbour. The beacon of Baltimore. Sherkin is gorgeous. Go.
I played two nights at the Jolly Roger. Stayed in a beautiful attic behind the bar. My mother and father, my uncle Jim, my aunt Patricia and my nieces Analie, Willow and Fia and their parents Emma and Paul came down.
Mad.Wild. Beauty. Sherkin is gorgeous. Go.