Tomás Ó’Gealbháin, Seán and Caoimhín O’Fearghail Concert with Donal Clancy

An innocent remark made last week in this column came back to haunt me on Saturday night. I had casually mused, that with all the activities planned by the branch for the week ahead, the O’Gealbháin and O’Fearghail concert on Saturday night would surely recharge our batteries. An unfortunate piece of phrasing as it turned out.

It all started with the smoke alarm -  loud, unexpected and persistent, rudely interrupting Dónal Clancy mid-song and resulting in intensive investigations and loud calls for the removal of batteries (at least ‘til his song was finished!). Having eventually negotiated the batteries/alarm/steaming kettle conundrum, it was onwards and upwards until poor ol’ Caoimhín came under a barrage of good-natured banter as we waited for him to tune up the pipes. As he twiddled and tweaked his uncooperative equipment, a little 7-year old voice helpfully piped up from the front row.. 'I think it needs new batteries!'. As the audience (and musicians) erupted with laughter, Caoimhín wasn’t long in demonstrating that there was nothing at all wrong with HIS batteries! Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said of the concerned little mite who, by the end of the concert, had herself, run out of power and now slept contentedly in her front-row seat as the jigs and reels danced in the air all around her.  It was all part of the gentle magic of the night!

As concerts go, this one was a little gem. The music was true and authentic; the tunes instinctive; the delivery effortless and unrushed. Tomás, Seán and Caoimhín had every foot tappin’ while Donal’s reminiscent and seductive voice had us sad, wistful and grinning in turn as he sang various tales of a young soldier, tender first love and the divilment of the Limerick Rake. Eimear hopped up to play a tune with Tomás, and as the evening drew to a close, the great Bobby Gardiner took out his melodeon and played a couple with Caoimhín – but not before telling us of his great (and justifiable) pride in these young Musicians and former students. Bobby, and all of us, have every right to be proud of these young, local lads. On Saturday night, they demonstrated a natural and true affinity with their musical tradition. There were no great and superfluous flourishes; no attempt to impress with unnecessary speed – just an honest-to-God understanding and respect for the music they share, create and celebrate with such talent.  This was a magical night indeed -  one that required no external energy sources (!), and one that proved to be a cracking opener for the new season of Concerts in Cúil na Sméar.

Our next concert on November 23rd , will feature John Carty on fiddle and Shane McGowan on guitar and vocals. More details nearer the date.

About Us

Comhaltas Craobh na gComarach is dedicated to the promotion of all forms of traditional Irish culture. The group's particular emphasis is education of the young generation. We are based in the townsland of Cúl na Smear in the smallest parish in Waterford about 6 miles North-East of Dungarvan.

Contact Details

Comeraghs Comhaltas 
Craobh na gComarach

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Tel: 087 9898363