Thursday November 5th. The opening day of the Ennis Trad Fest for 2015. I have decided this year to book a room at the Rowan Tree. To be in the thick of it. Ennis is ripe with anticipation. Like a rehearsal for the Fleadh. There are already sessions in the lounge of the Hostel when I arrive.
By the time the official opening gets underway at the Queen’s Hotel the front bar is packed. Mercifully short speeches from Blackie O’Connell, the Mayor and Ron Kavana who sang his wonderful song ‘Reconciliation’ and we were away. Two CD launches, first by Phillip Duffy and Liam Kelly. I had seen these guys play at Tubbercurry and bought the CD there so I headed off for some tunes. First stop Brogans. With Damien O’Reilly, Caoifhionn Ni Fhrighil and friends. This quickly built up to over twenty musicians. A great taster. Where to next? – the perennial problem. Tonight though I only had to choose between Siobhann Peoples at Faffa’s or the Lahawns. I chose the Lahawns this time – and they took the roof of Ciaran’s Pub. The line up was Andrew MacNamara, Joan Hanrahan, Anne-Marie McCormack, Eileen O’Brien, Jim Corry two pipers plus whoever could find a seat.
From the first chord on the piano the place was hopping. Their music was infectious and they were still going at half one when I left. A quick walk around town and there were sessions popping up everywhere. I spotted Tom Delaney and friends in Dan O’Connells. And way after 2am there were still tunes in the lounge of the Rowan Tree.
This is only day 1. Boy are we in for a cracker!