Hello all! It’s been a while since we’ve updated you on our general shenanigans, but that’s just because we’ve been so busy!!! We’ve had a very eventful year, and hence LOADS of news for you, and are also slowly coming to the end of our annual global trek!
We started out this summer by heading to The Old Songs festival in the wonderful state of New York, where we made lots of new friends and heard some great new music! Even if we were caught in the rain a bit, and spent some of our appearances on the stages playing to seas of umbrellas and raincoats, the audiences kept us all warm with their cheers and good spirits! So we carried on trekking around the north west of America for another ten days, spending some good times with Le Vent Du Nord and many other new friends, and then we got to home for 10 more days, before jetting off to the far side of Canada to Nanaimo on Vancouver island for a week of teaching and broadening young horizons (. . .and absolute madness, but we wont name any names- all we´ll say is that if you are ever looking for a good paper plate/cake fight, Nanaimo´s your place to be!).
And quite honestly, thats just where the madness started for leg 2 of the summer adventure! We headed back to the wonderful Mission Folk Festival in Beautiful British Columbia where we had been two years ago, where (again) we made new, and very good friends in the folks from Calladh Nua, with whom we would later again be crossing paths at the Goderich Celtic College and Festival. It grieves us to remind all who’ve heard and inform those who haven’t, that roughly three weeks after we all departed the festival, it was struck by a devastating Hurricane, which caused some serious damage to its wonderful town. Naturally, everybody is working together to pull the place back into shape, in true Goderich spirit!
Following that we spent a few days in the lovely St. Paul, where some of us slept in nicely ventilated tents under the stars, and some times under extreme thunderstorms- nothing better to make you feel snug in your sleeping bag than a raging storm all around you! We had many laughs at the Minnesota Irish Fair there, and got to know our current touring partners, Altan. And then we finished off our North American touring for 2011 with the infamous and magnificent Milwaukee Irish Fest, where we played three days on the Aerlingus stage, with a wall of Harley Davidsons as our backdrop- if that’s not rock’n’roll we don’t know what is!!!
And so we had four (badly needed, and maybe a little insufficient!) days off before we headed to the UK for three more weeks, where we started out at the Purbeck Folk Festival. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Purbeck Folk Fest, note- a) a super festival and definitly worth a visit, and b) (and this is worth noting indeed) bring your rubber boots because the whole thing is set on a farm yard, in actual barns with actual cow dung for ambiance and actual hay bales for urinals!! But dont let that put you off, because we had some memorable times there and so would anybody who will venture into the wilderness of rural England! We ventured on through the UK, hitting Fylde Folk Festival and other Folk clubs and theatres around England and Scotland, before spending the last week and a half of the UK leg trekking around the Highlands of Scotland with the Blas festival. We experienced wonderful hospitality, met the great new young folks from Feis Rois, and had the great Honour of sharing the stage and the birthday celebration of the legendary Aonghas Grant!
And that almost brings you up to date with all our general goings on,- we are currently on tour in Germany with Petr Pandula’s Irish Folk Festival, where the welcomes are incredible and the hospitalities outstanding. It’s an honour for us to be sharing the stage (and touring buses!) with the great Altan, as well as the new young band Réalta hailing from the North of Ireland, and of course Ireland’s last matchmaker, Willie Daly from Lisdoonvarna!