I wanted to post a roundup of some recent music bits and pieces.
Firstly, there was some sad news last Tuesday (19th August). LeRoi Moore, the saxophonist with The Dave Matthews Band died, following complications arising from an ATV accident earlier in the year. He’ll be sadly missed.
Last weekend, myself and Louise took a trip to Fermanagh for the final weekend of the Williams Syndrome Association of Ireland Music / Activity camp. We arrived Friday evening, in time to see TKO play. The lads came up from Dublin specially to play for WSAI, and it was very well received by all there. As is customary, the last night of the week is when the attendees of the camp put on a short musical, which they rehearsed during the week. This year was “Williams School of Rock”, a short musical centered around a school scene, including goths, cool kids, the school principal, a health inspector and a road safety lecture! It went very well, and well done to everyone involved. We really enjoyed it.
Lastly, I went in to Dolan’s last night for Jay Mitchell’s acoustic guitar gig. Jay organised the Limerick Acoustic Guitar Festival and finished up the week-long festival himself with a very impressive gig. This is the second year of the festival, and it’s certainly one to keep in mind for next year.
Last week, myself and Louise attended the Federation of European Williams Syndrome “Sound and Action” camp in Sweden. We were asked to attend by the Williams Syndrome Association of Ireland as leaders for the Irish group attending.
Firstly, Williams Syndrome is a genetic condition caused by the deletion of some material on chromosome number 7. It occurs in approximately 1 in 20,000 births.
The FEWS camp, organised this year by the Swedish Williams Syndrome society, is an annual camp for young european people with Williams Syndrome. It is funded under the Youth for Europe program within the EU.
This years camp, titled “Sound and Action”, provided musical tuition and varied activities to the groups from the 12 countries that attended. There was a choice of four theme groups available – rock, pop, choir and african drumming, of which the Irish group were involved in three – rock, pop and african drumming. As one of the leaders for the Irish group, I got the chance to attend classes in each of these three theme groups, as well as some of the activities. The activities included swimming, volleyball, day trips, computer games and african dance and choir workshops.
Overall, everyone seemed to really enjoy the camp. The schedule was packed full, so we were all tired every evening, and at the end of the week. The end-of-week concert went very well, and was a great way to show off what the participants had learned during the week. We met lots of lovely people from across Europe and got a lot more insight into the varied capabilities of people with Williams Syndrome.
All in all, it was a great week and a very worthwhile experience. Congratulations to the Swedish WS association for a well organised and well run camp.
The long anticipated concert in the Point by Dave Matthews Band was well worth the wait. They played a two and a half hour set to a packed house last Wednesday night.
The gig kicked off around 7pm with Delorentos, the support act, playing about a forty-five minute set. The Dave Matthews Band started at 8pm with the now common initial song “Don’t Drink the Water”. It’s a great crowd pleaser, and it immediately got the crowd going. There wasn’t the same conversation as at Dave’s previous acoustic gig in the National Stadium, so the two and a half hours were filled with music and the odd thank you!
During the second or third song, an Irish flag with “DMB” written across it made its way up onto the stage. Dave held this up on stage for all to see, and thanked the crowd for it! I’m not sure, but I think this may have come from the large Ballinasloe contingent present!
It seems my family may have a knack for predicting unsuspected guests, with my sister wondering aloud on the way in if Rashawn Ross, the incredibly talented trumpet player, would show up. (They also predicted the arrival of Tim Reynolds at the acoustic gig in February!). And sure enough, when the band made their way out on stage, he was there beside LeRoi! He stayed and played for the entire concert (well, except for the couple of solo songs Dave did). At one point, he had a trumpet in either hand and was swapping between them during a chorus. We were also treated to some solo tennis between himself and LeRoi at the end of “Jimi Thing”, which was followed by a violin solo, a keyboard solo and even a guitar solo by Dave himself! Unfortunately, the only time Carter got a drum solo chance was the transition between “So Much to Say” and “Too Much”. As a drummer myself, I really would’ve liked to have seen and heard something akin to the ending of “Crush” from “The Central Park Concert”.
Dave did a couple of solo numbers during the gig. Before starting into “Sister”, which we also heard at the acoustic concert, he told us that it hasn’t been released, but should be available on the internet and to get it there. This isn’t the usual line from artists, but in his own words – “I’ve already been paid”!! I haven’t managed to find a copy of it yet, but will continue looking!!
The set list was packed out with many other great tunes, like “Dancing Nancies”, “Grey Street” and “What Would You Say”. The encore kicked off with “Gravedigger”, the second solo number by Dave and ended with “Ants Marching”. At the end of both the main set and the encore Carter gave away his sticks. After the encore he even threw extra sticks out into the crowd, landing one up on the balcony!
The overall consensus was that it was a brilliant concert and a great night. I’m delighted it went so well, and I hope it’ll prompt a few more Irish gigs from Dave and the band!
Man, what a gig. I may be half asleep looking at the screen, but it was worth it!
We left Limerick to head for the National Stadium in Dublin, only roughly knowing where it was. After getting slightly lost for not turning right (thanks Lou!!), we found our way back onto the South Circular Road, and the venue was easily spotted from there. Having left at 3pm, we were parked with nothing to do at 5:30pm. Doors were at 7:30pm, and the concert was due to kick off at 8pm.
We went and got some food, and waited for the rest of the gang to show up. The venue was small, and fully seated, so there was no major queue or crush to get in. I guess it took between 1,500 and 2,000 people.
There had been no prior confirmation of Tim Reynolds joining Dave for the gig, but we had heard rumours that he was going to be there. The pair were met with huge applause when they arrived out on stage. They started off with a slightly slower than usual version of “Don’t Drink the Water”. Constantly changing rhythm and mood, we heard “Crash (Into Me)”, “Crush” and “Ants Marching” among plenty of others.
In between songs, we got some short narratives which kept the crowd entertained. Having told us how happy he was to be playing in Ireland, he went on to describe a situation that we’re nearly all aware of — the Irish American — that is, when Americans visit Ireland, or vice versa, inevitably the conversation includes “Oh, you’re Irish? I’m Irish!”. This, of course, finished up with Dave claiming he was Irish! Other stories included how Tequila is like coffee, and proof of semi-retardation from pretty insane stunts he did when he was a kid.
Tim Reynolds never spoke during the gig, but his guitar said all that was needed. At one point around mid-way through the concert, Dave left the stage for a few minutes leaving Tim alone. He filled this slot easily with an amazing guitar solo. Throughout the gig though, Tim’s impressive guitar solos met with Dave’s music beautifully.
The encore lasted about 30 minutes, filled with more music, more stories, Guinness (for Dave) and a bottle of wine (for Tim)! The whole gig finished up around 11:15pm, with the crowd glad to step out into the cooling rain from the heat that had built up inside. All in all, a very enjoyable evening, leaving me very much looking forward to the Dave Matthews Band gig in May.
I met Mick ‘the hat’ and Graham from TKO beforehand, but didn’t see them afterwards. I can only presume, however, from the cheers I heard from Mick during the gig that they enjoyed it as much as us!