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Eddi Reader inspired by Vagabond

By CAROL BYRNE GLASWEGIAN singer-songwriter Eddi Reader released her 10th solo album on February 7. For many this would be a milestone but for Eddi, she admits she’s not keeping count. Asked if this is, in fact, her 10th solo album, she says, “Oh Jeez I don’t know. I don’t really count”. She acknowledges that such was the extent of the material created for Vagabond that there was enough to create an 11th album. Naming a collection is always a bit difficult for Eddi and she says she typically goes for a song title. “This calls to attention one of the songs but also I try to find the most apt expression of what I think the album is. Vagabond is about travel and I think that’s what we all are as human beings. We get up walking and start experiencing life until the end of it. Within that we have all our adventures and hopefully it turns us into …

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Tommy Fleming coming to town

PERSONAL insights and anecdotes form part of Tommy Fleming’s current show, which he is bringing to Ennis on January 25. “We change the show every year. This year is my 23rd year doing what I do, so there will be songs from throughout that; some new stuff, some not so new. It’s a very personal show. I tell a lot of stories in it and it’s a very intimate show and very laid back,” he says. He plays a show in Ennis at the start of each year but was actually in the county town late last year as well, when he gave a talk to mass-goers at Cloughleigh. Fleming’s nerves fairly jangled before it but there was some good feedback. “I was asked to do a talk and it was kind of on my life and faith and different things. I said yes to it and by the time it came around, I was terrified because I had never …

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A personal take on the Troubles

MANY of us associate The 4 of Us with the late ’80s and early ’90s but the Northern rockers have never gone away and are about to release a new album, which explores growing up in the Newry of the Troubles. They perform in Glór on December 7 and speaking to The Champion, vocalist and songwriter Brendan Murphy said they will be playing material from the new record along with some of their older songs. “We’ve an album coming out next spring and it’s also our 25th anniversary next year, so we’re gearing up for that. We decided to do a number of shows before Christmas; we’re in Vicar Street in March and we wanted to test out the new record. It’s nearly done and we’re doing maybe half the new album. It’s a longer show because we still play the songs people would expect us to play. Bruce Springsteen is never out of the country now, so you have …

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A memorable night with Dave’s orchestra

AN audience of 600 already have their tickets for what will be one of the most unique experiences for traditional and classical music lovers on the Clare stage. Premiering The Clare Concerto, composed by Dave Flynn, The Clare Memory Orchestra, which has grown to an ensemble of 70 musicians, will perform for one night only in Glór. In what is a fusion of the classical orchestral structure and traditional aural learning, the performance has already sold out. Featuring musicians from classical and traditional backgrounds, as well as those who have experience in both, this is the first orchestra of its kind and was the brainchild of Dublin native and North Clare resident Dave Flynn. He outlined how the ambitious project came about. “I had the idea for a long time and it kind of originated from working with Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill in 2006, when I was commissioned to write a piece for them with a classical violinist. From …

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Tensions run high as friends reunite

BEYOND The Brooklyn Sky, a play about returned emigrants and the tensions amid a group of old friends, will be performed in Glór on October 18 and 19. The play was written by Kerry man Michael Hilliard Mulcahy and is set in his native town of Brandon. It is directed by Peter Sheridan. A group of friends are reuniting after 20 years but their shared past is a powder keg that can easily explode. They all grew up together in Brandon, before leaving for America in the late ’80s. As sometimes happens, the land of opportunity didn’t live up to their expectations and they returned home, chastened, but wiser. However, things happened between them in America, things of the heart and things of the purse and many of the issues were never resolved. The reunion is because one of their group, Jack Flynn, has flown solo across the Atlantic and the stage is set for a celebration. Peter outlined some …

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Belfast comedy flies into Ennis

A NORTHERN theatre company, GBL Productions, will bring their production Fly Me To The Moon to Glór, Ennis on September 21. The story is about Francis and Loretta, two community care visitors. Davy, one of their elderly charges, has had a big win on the horses, although he isn’t even aware of it. When the two cash-stripped women learn that Davy won’t be around for very much longer, they are faced with a major dilemma. Marie Jones is the author of a number of major plays, including Stones In His Pockets and Women On The Verge Of HRT. She wrote Fly Me To The Moon specifically for its stars, Tara Lynne O’Neill and Katie Tumelty. Tara Lynne O’Neill told The Clare Champion that the two main characters might not be the best care workers in the world but their story is interesting and they face issues that most people can relate to. “These two characters, I don’t know how happy …

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Artist Dympna Bonfield preparing for her forthcoming exhibition "Soul Space" which will run in Glor, Ennis as part of Culture night. Photograph by John Kelly.

West inspires Dympna’s Soul Space

SOUL Space, an exhibition by Ennis-based artist Dympna Bonfield is going on show at Glór on Saturday, September 7 and will be there until October 26. Dympna was born and raised in West Clare but was away for many years before returning to her native county. Much of her work has reflected this move and it is the people and landscape of West Clare that largely inspired her paintings. She began her career as a primary school teacher but later attended the National College of Art in Dublin and qualified as an art teacher. This led to teaching art in secondary schools and much of her early work during this time took the form of murals painted in some of the places she worked and can still be seen today. Whilst teaching in the capital, she began exhibiting work in a couple of Dublin galleries and as her reputation grew, she began to exhibit further afield. Her work has now …

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