Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Slane was one of the last shows of their 2005-2007 world tour (they ended up in London). Will they be back? The last word today from website PR-inside.com...
THE ROLLING STONES WILL 'NEVER QUIT'
ROLLING STONE RONNIE WOOD has laughed off reports the legendary band are planning to quit touring - insisting they will carry on performing until they drop. It was recently claimed the band's current A Bigger Bang Tour would be their last, because bandmembers Sir Mick Jagger, 64, Keith Richards, 63, Charlie Watts, 66, and Wood, 60, will be too old to hit the road again. But the guitarist insists, "We need a rest, but of course we will tour again. We'll never stop."
So there you have it!
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Trad music at The Glyde Inn, Annagassan (YouTube video)
Video Link: <YouTube video of trad music at The Glyde Inn>
The music at our local, The Glyde Inn Annagassan was just outstanding last night. Particularly "Dirty Old Town" with the harmonica ending... WOW! (sorry we didn't record that one)... but we did record another 6 minute clip (uploaded on YouTube) - Now it's really NOT visually stunning, but have a listen and the clip maybe gives a sense of the depth of talent here on Friday night's now - there were 2 fiddles, 3 guitars, harmonicas & squeeze box and the French sax guy by the end of the night... Brilliant. My ability to capture these sounds (and vision) is limited to my little 4MP digital camera (designed for happy snaps), so I know the sound quality ain't great. Clare discovered a new bottle of rum behind the bar, but apparently it's pretty special and will probably never get opened while we're here. So Clare will tolerate the "Captain Morgan" for now... and I will be content with a pint of cider or two. Thanks Connor...
It's been much warmer here in the last few days. Much less rain. Good. Bye then...
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Our blog was started up on 23 August 2006... so 1 year has gone by. Thanks for all the hits and please keep looking in. We're constantly adding new things to the site - the latest is "snap shots" which adds a visual preview to all of our links, and allows you to look through our flickr photos without going into flickr in full size.
Please feel free to leave comments on the blog at any time, by clicking on "comments" (underlined) at the bottom of each blog entry - it's really simple to do and you can write anything you like - honestly! (and we'll get inspiration from your messages)
Thanks for looking in from time to time...
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Bottom: The fireworks finale to the Rolling Stones concert
(please click on either of these photos for a larger version)
Photo Link: <Rolling Stones photos>
Rolling Stones "A Bigger Bang" Review:
Saturday 18 August 2007, 8.55pm - 10.50pm (plus fireworks till 11pm)
Full Set List: Start Me Up; You Got Me Rocking; Rough Justice; All Down The Line; Dead Flowers; You Can't Always Get What You Want; Midnight Rambler; I'll Go Crazy; Tumbling Dice (with band introductions); You Got The Silver (Keith); I Wanna Hold You (Keith); Miss You (moving to B-stage); It's Only Rock'n Roll (B-stage); Satisfaction (B-stage); Honky Tonk Women (moving back to main stage); Sympathy For The Devil; Paint It Black; Jumping Jack Flash; Brown Sugar (encore); fireworks close...
The Day: So here we were, on the top of a double decker bus at the Drogheda bus depot (20 minutes from Slane) with rain pouring down the windows. It really didn't look good. The bus drivers were hanging around smoking, Stones fans were thin on the ground and punters were jumping off the bus to get McDonalds from over the road. What a beautiful day for an outdoor concert! Eventually we had enough people on board to leave and pulled out towards Slane. Everyone let out a cheer and our pilgrimage began. Slane is a pretty small place, and vehicle access was blocked from all directions. So the bus dropped us before the River Boyne bridge. At the first security checkpoint (manned by the Garda), everyone was hanging around drinking their cans of lager (but you could still get alcohol through if you planned well!) The river was buzzing with inflatable boats ready to swoop on people trying to make an illegal swim to the castle grounds - loads of high-vis jackets everywhere. Across the bridge, we went through the second security checkpoint (more bag checks) but again the checks were pretty cursory - I think years of Bluesfest visits have honed our skills in contraband smuggling. Then down a long, muddy path that seemed to go forever. At this point, you gained a real understanding of the need for wellington boots at concerts & festivals in Ireland (you really need them!) The Slane concert venue is a large amphitheatre, right in front of the castle, going down to the river (the castle is actually quite small). We found our way to the E2 seating block then went to explore. Lots of food vans - 80% of them serving chips and curry sauce... Quite a limited choice at the bar - but ok if you like Heineken for €5 a cup. We bought a couple of t-shirts at €30 each (nothing like a bit of concert merchandising), but gave the programmes a miss (too steep at €15 each). So we sat and watched the crowd build. Clare marked some papers, then the rain came down (hoods up) and I thought for a moment the stage would actually disappear into the cloud... but it didn't. Helicopters buzzed in and out in what seemed like a constant stream for hours. The warm-up acts were fairly lacklusture - there was no doubt this was the Stones show, and they wanted to keep everything else low key. By this point the crowd was well and truly into the Heineken and blokes had discovered the joy of mud-sliding down the drenched embankments... This carried on for a while with much whooping and hollering until the security guys put an end to the fun. The rain eventually stopped, the grounds had really filled up now, the light started to fade, and the stage was all set...
The Show: With a huge wall of lights & video and a burst of fireworks, the Stones started the show with Start Me Up. Binoculars came in handy as the stage was quite distant for us, but the design and use of video throughout the grounds gave everyone a good view. Apparently the set list was almost identical to their last show at Slane back in 1982 - highlights: You Can't Always Get What You Want, Miss You, It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It), Paint It Black, Jumping Jack Flash... Keith Richards sang a couple of numbers too. At the half way point in the show the amazing stage design came into play - a "chunk" of the stage lifted up and moved along a track into the middle of the crowd. From there, they had the whole crowd singing along to Satisfation, then on with Honky Tonk Woman, and more of their really classic numbers (the second half of the show was probably more familiar and memorable than the first, especially for first-timers like us). Mick Jagger was constantly taking jackets off, then putting them back on. He ended up wearing a long coat and scarf (a chilly wind had come up!) All in all, a really great show.
- Lots of the crowd seemed to be just interested in drinking and covering themselves in mud - I can understand the drinking, but the mud must be an Irish thing. We don't think a lot of people were there just for the music.
- When the Stones finally came on, the crowd seemed, well, somewhat lacking. There was applause and some cheering, but nothing like the level we expected (not like other concerts we've been to in Australia, etc.)
- The whole gig was incredibly produced and rehearsed (obviously they play very similar sets at all their shows), but there was some interaction with the crowd. I don't think you can expect too much more from a band that's played around the world for so many years.
- A little gripe, and I've seen this many times, is people streaming out at the first sign of the end of the show. LOADS of people were streaming out before the Stones came back for their (short) encore. At U2 in Brisbane last year (ANZ Stadium), again loads of people had left before U2 played 2 long encores with some of their best hits. I know some people want to get the first bus, but what a waste to leave early!
Check out all the photos from the day on flickr - they're getting LOTS of hits! We're starting to think there's quite a few people out there searching for pics of wellington boots !?!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Went on a walk around the scenic town of Leixlip, County Kildare (West Dublin) this afternoon. The temperature hit 21c - Wow! (according to the weather oracle, which is the temperature readout in the Peugeot!) Just a few photos will be added shortly (the camera ran out of batteries) So the weather seems to be changing - maybe for the better...
Friday, August 17, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Photo Link: <Viking Festival photos>
Video Link: <YouTube video of Viking Festival Night>
This weekend we had Jackson Allan (John Allan's son) to stay with us for a break from the rigors of Dublin living. So of course we went down the local for the usual Friday night trad session, and we heard about the Annagassan Viking Festival. What Viking Festival!? Apparently a full size Viking boat had tried to get into our local fishing harbour that day, but the boat was too big, so they went to Clogherhead (the next village along) instead - where they have a full size port with deep water access. This boat was sailed/rowed to Ireland by a Danish crew - it took them 7 weeks via Norway, the Shetlands & Orkney Islands. So on Saturday afternoon we checked out the Viking boat at Clogherhead and saw some quite large grey seals chasing fish that people were catching. Back in Annagassan, the Viking Festival was well underway in a local cow paddock. Trad music, Irish dancing, a chip van, Viking sword fights, etc, etc. They had history tours of the village and Clare got all the info about Vikings living here in the year 836 AD. All good fun for the village, and the Master of Ceremonies was dressed as a Roman Centurion - not sure what that was all about!