Playing to the tune of summer

Posted on: 6th July, 2015

Category: Music

Contributor: Mark Holland

And we’re off!  Schools are out, exams are all finally done, days are long, you can smell the warmth in the air, and even the vegetarians amongst us are thinking about ‘having a Bar-bee’.  It’s festival season.

Of course all of the seasons are special.  As a scorpion, I identify most with the autumn; on a low stress level I dread its coming but when it does come I feel immersed in its magic. But the summer is the season that we all wait for, it’s like a treat, our reward for all the hard work we’ve put in during the year, and now the days are so long that we can get around to everything, even a little time off.

Baltimore covered the opening May Bank Holiday weekend with the Fiddle Fair, again, (though we all have reservations about the banks taking holidays) Bandon got bigger and better for the June equivalent, the Chamber Music festival is taking place in Bantry as we ‘write’, as is the Brass Bands weekend in Clonakilty, Macroom is coming up and I’ve been told that tickets for some events are already sold out, not to mention the Valentia Island music festival, which isn’t in West Cork but if you keep following the road…and all the while the Marquee is going on in Cork, with pretty much a show a night for a whole month.

Ok, the Marquee is not perfect, but it would be less perfect if it weren’t on at all.  I think its especially relevant for us from West Cork, easy access if you’re driving, there’s car parking on site, which I think is a real treat, that only costs a fiver even if there’s a dozen of you in the van, and straight home again after the gig, sorted!  I love that tent (marquee), not the tarmac floor or the far away seating but the tent itself, I’m convinced it’s the same one that they use at the Electric Picnic and such delusion is part of what keeps me happy in my everyday life, I need something, actually I need a lot.

But there is something about the different life that we live during the summer time, tunes that we were listening to last year become popular again, tunes that haven’t shook our booty since last summer. What is that? Is there something that irritates us about sunny upbeat summer tunes when the weather isn’t great, that makes us stop loving them when the sun goes down?

I think that there is also something about playing music that changes during the ‘deregulation’ of the summer. We study, in a determined way, to improve, to make ourselves better during the rest of the year that we abandon, that we just couldn’t be bothered with during the summertime. We want to take time out, throw off the clobber and just go for it. Busk on the street with a banjo, no matter how good you are, grab a box drum or a bodhran and head to the beach, a guitar or two around a bonfire, cheer your grandma up with a ukulele, or you could just fiddle anywhere, its summertime, time to have some fun, no rules, enjoy.

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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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7th September, 2017  ·  

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