Sunday, October 23, 2005

Ballymena, Magherafelt, Comber & Portadown

It sounds like a real Tour of the North - The Ballymena Arts Festival event was great, organised by our good friend Colin Agnew, who brought Tony Collins (visit ) over from Glasgow, and also arranged the opening act as well. They were stunning even though they only played two or three pieces - they're an old-time guitar and musical saw duo and were spellbinding. Literally the most astounding version of Amazing Grace I have ever heard. They had to leave immediately after their set so we didnt even get a chance to speak to them , so now trying to find out more about them to see if they might like to tag along with us at LCB shows. We did an hour and a half set and really enjoyed meeting up with some old friends again. The best bit was getting to play the new track "The Hallelujah Man" which Colin gave us, because Colin's mum and aunt were there and came over for a chat and photos at the end. The Hallelujah Man was James Lamont, their father. A great song and we're delighted they've passed it on to us. Crowd of about 180 (filled to capacity)

Magherafelt was ok-ish, it was held in Rainey School, and we did a short 20min set. However it was an organisational nightmare - nothing to do with us - so let's just leave it at that. Poor turnout of only around 70 people as there were two other big events on locally on the same night.

Comber was in the 2nd Presb Church Hall with the new incarnation of the Ulster-Scots Folk Orchestra - and it was a mighty night! Willie Drennan on fiddle, mandolin, tin whistle and of course the Lambeg Drum, with a new accordion player called Ken Hopkins, a new fiddler/dancer called Kerry who was fantastic - a great night. They did an hour, then a fifteen minute interval, then we did half an hour and stayed onstage with them right to the end. Another great night with another crowd of about 180 (filled to capacity)

Portadown was in the Town Hall - we were one of 4 acts who took part, we went on last and did a half hour set. All new stuff not on the "Gran Time Comin" cd, and it all went down really well. Crowd of about 120 (maybe 3/4 capacity)