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Author Topic: The High Kings in Killarney!  (Read 2851 times)
Moscapoet
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« on: August 02, 2009, 07:11:12 PM »

     It is a great honor to post a review here about a group of fine men from the CW stable. This was a great night that saw no shortage of energy.

    The site is Ireland's National Event Center in Killarney which is in far southwest Ireland. The venue is a multiplex with several events going on at the same time. The acoustics in the venue are very good. The group itself is very popular in Ireland and parts of Europe. The reason for that is the popularity of traditional music here and they have been actively promoted. Those two differences are why CW has not found wide acceptance here or even many who know about them. However, CW more than makes up for that in the states and Japan.

        Firstly, congratulations go to THK for winnning two categories for which they were nominated in the Irish Music Awards last night. They won best newcomer and best folk. Really quite a feat and well deserved.

     I arrived here by bus today in mid-afternoon and after a nice dinner Dwight and I made our way to the venue next door to the hotel. a handful of other forum folks are there including Norma and Charlie Brock, Joe and Cathy Jensen, and RedHead lad and wife. So at least eight who were at the Powerscourt recordings for CW. we meet them at the venue.

       The show starts at 2030 and I'm wondering what seats the hotel has gotten us for 31 euros. Well, pretty darn good as we are row F slightly to stage right.

        The show itself is all traditional Irish music by four very amiable gents in Martin Furey, Finbarr Clancy, Darrin Holden, and Brian Dunphy. The stage is simple and instruments are as well with guitars, bodhrans, flutes, accordion, mandolin, banjo, and voices. Just as Irish music was meant to be. All that sure keeps costs down and in this economy that doesn't hurt.

        The song set was a total of 22 pieces most very high energy. The audience was mostly Irish and very supportive clapping along. This was my first full on High Kings show and there could be no better place for it than here in Killarney on the emerald isle.

     The set list is as follows: Rocky Road To Dublin, Mary's Wedding, Black Velvet Band, Jimmy Murphy, Fields Of Glory, Cavan Girl, Auld Triangle, Charlie Mops, Step It Out Mary are in the first act. There is a fifteen minute break. Then act two starts with Galway To Graceland, Holy Ground, Go Lassie Go, Fields Of Athennry, Raglan Road, Nel Milligan's Fool, Wild rover, Star Of The County Down, Irish Pub Song, Whiskey In The Jar, and Parting Glass. Then there is a two song encore with Leaving Of Liverpool, and Irish Rover.

      Most of these songs are well known and done by many artists. The artists in the group are from very well known musical families in Ireland with a great history. Each have sites you may visit.

        The highlight of the night was during the song Charlie Mops which is about the inventor of beer. The guys sent a greeting from the stage to the Brocks and Jensens. They then proceeded to change the song slightly. It is now Charlie Brock!! So, Charlie the first round is on you!!! Now how cool would that be to have artists on stage do that?! Well, those fans have been with them from day one and have earned that. It really was great fun and I'm happy for them!

      During the show I sat next to a nice couple from Cork. I could barely understand them as their brogue was very heavy but I managed. They helped me get names for some of the songs. Most importantly they gave me great contact information for radio stations in Ireland that I can pursue with regards to Liv and her CD.

     After the show there is a meet & greet. No this is not the limited, paid for, tightly run kind you get with Celtic Woman. It is my understanding that the reason is the traditional nature of the artists and this is what you do. Well, CW should follow suit quite frankly. That they don't is not well received by their fans. However, we take what we can get and certainly the artists themselves are very engaging and kind with the limited interactions they are allowed and make up for it as best they can from the stage. The line is pretty long and we are towards the end. Who is first in line but the very delightful Joanne Ryan who is the road manager. Psssttt, Joanne, want to trade with Rachel?  Wink Roll Eyes I get a photo with her and she is as always very kind. Next are Martin, Finbarr, Darrin, and Brian. All remember me from last year and are very warm in their greetings. Just like our favorite girls these guys are genuine and down to earth. It was especially nice to see Finbarr again after our meeting in Duluth last year which I'll always think fondly of. BTW his anniversary is coming up on the 8th so please send him your well wishes.

      It appears THK will be in the states in 2010. So, when they do arrive please support them. It is very different from CW, yet the artists are much the same. Treat yourself and tell your family and friends about this fun show and these nice gents.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 08:27:53 PM by Moscapoet » Logged

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mpdallen
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2009, 08:18:36 PM »

Moscapoet,

As is your style you have painted the scene with The High Kings so well and have involved us in the atmosphere that prevailed during their Show, and also afterwards during the Meet and Greet. So that is where Joanne was when she was not seen at Powerscourt. I agree with your assessment of their jobs.

Thank you Scott.

Jim
« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 07:13:17 AM by mpdallen » Logged


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Moscapoet
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2009, 08:29:41 PM »

Actually Joanne was back stage at Powerscourt helping out but we did not see her. So she has had a full plate lately.
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2009, 08:36:10 PM »

Great review, my mom and I are excited that they may be back in the states next year, hopefully they will pop up around my area. We have wanted to see one of their shows ever since we saw them in Duluth last year.
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Heathbrae
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2009, 09:05:20 PM »

     Great review as always, MP.  The one concert I have heard of The High Kings is the original one aired on PBS.  Their style is not choreographed like the CW stuff and is very audience-friendly.  The guys really interact with the audience.  I wouldn't mind if CW did that too, and I agree with you, MP, about the meet and greet aspect as well.  CW needs to do this in order to allow more audience accessibility.  I understand that this can be risky but CW management still needs to loosen up on this issue (and several others as well).  The current situaltion with the concert style and the meet and greets might leave some people feeling cold.  CW's image sometimes comes across, I believe, as being a little bit snobby, and we all know that is not the way the artists are.  They are just presented in a more glamourous and controlled way.  This situation can turn people off because of perceived snobbishness and also the high cost of the tickets. 
     While $200 or $250 may be easy for some to handle, others cannot easily do this, and those people have just as much right to meet the artists as anyone else.  That may be great for PBS stations, but not so great for many people, especially these days.  I am all for supporting PBS, but this way of making money seems a bit phoney.  It's OK to reserve some of the best seats in the house for PBS pledgers, for that is only logical and fair.  But to deny many people the opportunity to meet the artists just because of price is not to good, I believe.  CW needs to either allow either everybody or nobody an opportunity to meet the artists, and all the artists at that.  If that means cutting back on CW's ridiculous tour schedule, so be it.  Let the ladies have some time to meet the fans after each concert and then give them time to rest up before the next concert.  Allow them the opportunity to do some sightseeing, for heaven's sake.  OK, enough on that already.  I am glad that The High Kings are doing well and that they have received some nice awards.  Maybe CW can learn a few things from these guys anyway.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 09:13:53 PM by heathbrae » Logged

Robert Scott the Máiréad Fan
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2009, 09:09:29 PM »

Thanks once again Scott,

Darla and I loveTHK and will see them when they return to the states.  He had an awesome show with them in Pittsburgh last year.  It sounds like they are performing the same songs.

We very much are looking forward to thier return.



Tom
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Moscapoet
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2009, 10:54:56 PM »

Correction!!!!!!!! CW wins award for best Celtic act!! Just got this news!
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 01:21:32 PM »

Correction!!!!!!!! CW wins award for best Celtic act!! Just got this news!

YAY   Smiley Whoo hoooo
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Craig
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2009, 01:34:04 PM »

Scott,

Glad you saw Joanne and she working with THK and of course fun fun Smiley. Also what is the E.T.A. from Dublin area to Killarney?
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Heathbrae
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2009, 02:01:35 PM »

I believe MP mentioned that his bus trip out to Killarney was about 6 hours or so, although that may have been from Eniskerry.  Check his "Irish Experience" thread to be sure, though.
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Robert Scott the Máiréad Fan
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Craig
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2009, 02:24:12 PM »

Thanks Heatbrae, I must have pass that Wink
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Heathbrae
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« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2009, 07:15:03 PM »

You're most welcome, and I did go back to MP's thread to check.  The trip was, indeed, a little over 6 hours long, although I am not sure where it originated.  I am guessing it started in Eniskerry, but it was certainly a good trip nonetheless.  It reminds me of my travels through England in December of 1995 onboard BritRail.  Funny thing, too: my folks bought me that ticket, and a few months later, I received a check from them for the full amount of my 21-day pass.  It seems my dad had entered all of my family's tickets in a BritRail contest and my ticket won for that month. 
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Robert Scott the Máiréad Fan
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2009, 08:22:38 PM »

I truly love the lads, and I think that Mr. Downes has created another fantastic group. When they come to the States again, I will DEFINITELY go to one of their concerts! Grin
Now, if they could sing a duet with Celtic Woman, I think that would be cool. Grin
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