Thursday, June 17, 2010
I ♥ Festivals and Irish ♫
Now I know what you people who grew up in Massachusetts with a decent lay of the land are probably thinking -- there’s that big an Irish population in Worcester that it could warrant an entire festival? Well judging from the fact that the tent was packed I’d have to say, yeah, there is.
It was down pouring which probably kept a few hundred away but we didn’t care, there was a tent overhead, Guinness to be imbibed (Smithwick’s for me though, no Guinness touches this Lass’ tongue) and incredible music to enjoy!
We got there in time to catch the end of The Granitemen but unfortunately didn’t really get to listen as we were paying our admission, getting beer, food and a seat. I’ll have to make a point to track them down someday. They didn’t just have any food at the festival either, and no, there was no boiled dinner (much to my chagrin, although there was no vinegar so how could I have eaten cabbage anyway?). They had Irish potato wedges, not French fries, corned beef and ‘kraut, not a Reuben…you get the idea.
During the break we checked out the vendors and my Aunt E bought a gorgeous shawl with a brooch, Aunt S picked up a crest pin from County Waterford, where part of our clan originated from. (I’m a mutt, from 3 different and very distinct counties on the west coast but that’s a story for another day).
Cunla Dear were excellent musicians and took the stage next; a group made up of three guys and a gal. After they were finished, and from what I read during just about every other break as well, a troupe of Irish step dancers from The McInerney School, ranging in age from preschool up through teens, took the stage. They were insane!
I have actually been to see Riverdance, laugh if you like but that is some intense energy those mofos exert every night. These girls were really, really amazing, a couple in particular really had the gift for the dance steps and they were a lot of fun to watch.
Who we were all really excited to see, was Solas. My Mom expressed her crush on one of the members and I could see why, these people sure are talented. It was my first time seeing them live and was quite impressed. Sadly their fiddler had a medical issue and couldn’t be there but there was accordion, flute, other flue-like instruments, guitar and of course the voice. In Irish music sometimes the voice is the most prominent instrument of all.
They were great and then we stayed to hear a couple songs by the headliner, Makem & Spain, but we were all a little cold with soaked feet by this point and decided to hit the road during a break in the rain. I will also have to make a point to catch them again, they were really quite good.
Despite the weather…actually, check that. Because of the weather, it truly was an Irish day -- mid 60’s, humid and raining. All the better for beer drinking and sing-alongs!