A bit of blues and neo post-Celtic progressive rock tunes us in to February

Posted on: 5th February, 2014

Category: Music

Contributor: Kate Brennan Harding

I often think January feels like the longest month. I liken it to learning a new dance — by the end of January I am finally getting into the rhythm of 2014.

Speaking of rhythm, ‘One Horse Pony’ have saddled up and released their debut album ‘Blue when I Go’. The acoustic blues band should be familiar to a lot of you, as local guitar legend John Noonan makes up one fifth of the line up. Based in Cork, they have been playing the circuit with a residency in The Franciscan Well.  Recently working like Trojans promoting the new album, An Brog has hosted them to a rip-roaring reception.  They will play the Crane Lane on February 9. They are gathering a massive following with their live gigs, and I would recommend catching their juggernaut of blues.

I hadn’t been to De Barras in quite some time so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to catch ‘The Olllam’ on a Wednesday night. ‘The Olllam’ is old Irish for master musician — the band is made up of masters in every sense; John McSherry (founding member of Lunasa and one of the world’s best uilleann pipers) Tyler Duncan and Michael Shimmin are renowned in their own right.

I had been reading about this band for a few months now and what I found surprising was the crossover in publications writing about them. Well known indie blogs, hot press, traditional news and folk sites all heaping praise but all equally struggling to categorise ‘The Olllam’! Simply there is no category that neatly houses this trio and co.

Sitting on a high stool to the side of the stage, I was mesmerised at the beginning — not by the music, but instead with each individual’s musicianship. I couldn’t concentrate for some time on the total sound being created. I watched intensely as the keyboard player layered the tunes. Then the rhythm section of acoustic guitar, bass and drums created the foundation to which the Uileann Pipes and whistles took flight.

There is no doubt about it ‘The Olllam’ are unique, however for me there was confusion in parts. It felt as if there were two different bands on stage at the same time. Maybe I need to be guided in the way of ‘neo post-Celtic progressive rock’ — a self-description!  Or perhaps I should be content with my own opinion! Either way I am pleased to have had the opportunity to witness them. I left feeling like I had been to an art exhibition instead of a gig. It is music that moves boundaries and certainly engages the brain.

The gigs scene is quiet at present, bar February 14, where you can catch Brian Deady in De Barras. He is special…I cannot understand how he is not ripping it up worldwide with his unique style. My pop recommendation is the new Paloma Faith tune – ‘Can’t rely on you’, which has been sprinkled with Pharrell magic dust.

I will be back in March with all the latest in Indie and Disco. If you have any albums for review send them to themeltedlady@gmail.com.

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.

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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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