Niamh's Musings

Join Niamh at home and on tour... the people she meets, the music she loves and the turns in the road.

Sunday, August 27, 2006



We had a wonderful long weekend in Italy. One concert was at the end of the weekend, but myself and Graham were able to have some down time in Savona with our friends Giuilia and Michel, and we ate like kings and talked and laughed and listened to music. But the concert was really wonderful. We drove down to Brescia and were joined by the Fabio Vernizzi trio. The concert was set in an old square, which was overlooked by a most wonderful Corinthian Temple. The music was excellent, and it was such a pleasure to hear Graham play some jazz with Fabio, Federico and Ricardo, - they were really rockin' - Also I had a great time being backed on two songs by them. The Birkingtrees were their brilliant selves too - and a great night was had on stage. Hopefully there'll be more of the same in the future. Thanks to all at Corelli Music xx

Friday, August 11, 2006

Just a little message to Nollie Van Gool - I'm afraid you didn't leave your forwarding email so I couldn't reply to you directly - however the Trouble Tree Folk club has a website - and I hope you can find it. Thanks for writing.


What a lovely long weekend!

We set off on Wednesday, but had to do another thing in Bristol the following day so we got the train there, had a relaxing evening and did our 'thing' the following morning. By lunchtime though we were in Exeter being picked up by the very wonderful Jenny who got us sorted very quickly and without any hassle. Our big gig was that evening, so we sound-checked late as we were first on. We were doing a concert with The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. What an eye opener. I didn't know what to make of them at first - all dressed up in black and white suits etc. but I was blown away with their performance. What fun, what off the wall selection of material, what craic - - fun fun fun. We headed back to the Bedford before it was over and met up with lots of people. And of course the singing session started in the back room later on - and who was there but the Uke's themselves, singing all sorts of stuff. I would have loved to hang out with them for longer but they had to head away to The Big Chill - another day, another town!!

Saturday and the weather was only fab. I rested a lot because of the hectic-ness of the few days, but we were ready for rock and roll that evening for our gig in The Bedford. Again, we ended up at the singing session that evening - with of course our good friends Jim and Gaby McFarland. Well some people sang who don't sing very often and it was a wonderful evening! Though some people also thought it was a bit of a free-for-all session when in fact it was quite a traditional singing session, with people listening to each other instead of joining in - some people were a bit peeved but - tuff!!

Sunday, and after shopping for dinner - (we were staying in self-catering accommodation which couldn't have been better) - we headed down to the Ham for the wonder Waterson/Carthy concert. I really loved that concert, the sun was shining, so I lay on the grass at the edge of the marquee. What a great pleasure when Norma, Martin, Eliza and Tim were joined by Norma's brother Mike and his incredbily beautiful daughter who says she doesn't like the stage! Ah well, but she certainly can sing, and absolutely looks the part!

We had yet another concert in The Bedford that night, this time with Craig Morgan Robson among others, - Moira had been singing serious stuff the night before - but all three were in brilliant form - and I could have listened for at least another hour of their set - lovely entertaining stuff and serious singing! Yet another night at the singing session in the back room - what a wonderful way to end a day.

Monday saw us back at the Ham to watch the gigs with Martin Simpson and Martin Taylor, sadly Martin Taylor was ill and couldn't make the gig - I would have dearly loved to hear him, and of course the two together but it wasn't to be this time - I wish him well. However Martin Simpson on his own was just brilliant - and the highlight of my weekend - relaxed and fresh looking, he came out on stage and started his set with Little Musgrave. From the first note and word I was captivated. The whole set was impeccable. At one stage he was joined by Martin Carthy and they did a few together, really wonderful stuff. I can't describe how I felt except that about 700 other people felt the same! I stole back stage to slag him after the concert - oh - just a petty point about other verses on a particular song - and he knew who I was and took the slagging!

Later that night we had our last concert of the festival, the Irish one, along with Jim McFarland, Phil Callery, Jack Lynch and Len Graham. I have huge respect for all these people and it was a great honour to be on stage with them - and the only girl!!! Lovely concert which everybody enjoyed - though it was hard for me to start each song after the very funny Jack Lynch! Afterwards we retreated yet again to the back room, where this time I had more wine than usual (i.e. more than 2 glasses!) and we stayed till we were thrown out - and actully we weren't thrown out because we managed to get locked in! We met some of Julie Fowlis band - we know her finance Eamonn (Ned) very well - and found ourselves with yet another large glass of wine - anyway - we eventually got to bed at 5 and up at 8 for the flight home! Awh!!!! wanna go back for the craic. It was a really really good weekend and as I write it's still going on - I hope to be back there next year, if I'm not somewhere else!!

Thanks very much to Barry for inviting me and to all the wonderful volunteers and staff who made the weekend a dream for me - special thanks to Jenny for organising transport - and of course to Graham O'C for suggesting me!

Home to much cooler Ireland, watching the large black clouds go by!!!!!