Day 2. In full swing now. Sessions kicked off at 430 and by this time I was well in the mood for tunes. I popped in to the piper’s session in Dan O’Connor’s. Now I love the pipes, don’t get me wrong but I love the fiddle more so I continued my search heading to the Old Ground Here was Niamh O’Dea and Anne-Marie McCormack and friends. In the words of an onlooker “lively isn’t it?”
I won’t go into detail of every session but I dropped into a few, playing in most. There was Brogan’s with Carmel O’Dea, Murty Ryan and Seanie McGrath. Knox’s where Hugh Healy and friends were holding court and Martha and Geraldine Clancy in the Copper Jug. Oh and Mickey Kerin’s as a night cap. What a selection.
You have gotta love this Festival. There’s plenty for everyone. If you really want there are enough sessions to get a seat at the table and if you can’t well the quality of the sessions is so good that you are happy to just listen. And many come here just to do that. On Thursday I spotted Martin Hayes soaking up the Lahawns in Ciaran’s and last night I chatted with Daithi Gormley, this year’s All Ireland box champion and Aiofe Cunningham, All Ireland fiddle, just happy to sit in the corner and listen to the eclectic mix of tunes from the Clancy sisters.
This year there seem to be more people. I walked into Fawles and there was an unscheduled session with a dozen players none of whom I reconginsed. There are surprises around every corner. In the Copper Jug I caught up with Dave Garner, from Manchester who I had met in Australia nearly three years ago. A class fiddler. There is a group of young Swedish musicians here as part of a six month course on Irish music in Sweden. And I met lots of old friends and made plenty of new ones; including a lady who must be Indonesia’s only trad Irish fiddle player. She is passionate about the music despite there being no sessions there.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.