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Author Topic: My first CW DVD recording, July 2007  (Read 58 times)
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« on: July 15, 2017, 08:44:05 PM »

Hi, everyone!

    Back in the first half of 2007 I was not on line yet. I knew no other CW fans. I went to Ireland for the first time and did so alone. That was how compelled I was to see them on their home turf. Tickets were free, as they always have been for the recordings in Ireland. So, my fourth show ever would be night one of the Christmas DVD recording.

   I booked the trip through Expedia and got a good deal. Round trip air fare from Albuquerque via Chicago on American and Aer Lingus, a week at a hotel in Lucan with free breakfast, and three tours, all for around $1300. Once over there my only expenses were meals and a one week Dublin Bus pass which was 25 Euro. The flights were fine. I was thrilled to be taking Aer Lingus and getting a taste of Ireland before I even got there. And they had A New Journey as one of the audio options for the flight. So, an Airbus A 330 with a shamrock on the tail got me over there early in the morning. I was not familiar with getting around as yet so took a taxi to the hotel in Lucan. That was not cheap. Lesson learned, and I did not take a taxi to go back to the airport when I left. Lucan is a town west of Dublin but connected by frequent bus service. I waited a bit and had tea and read the paper until my room was ready. The Spa Hotel is an older facility but just a short walk to the bus. I had my very first Guinness in an Irish pub in the hotel that evening.

   Next day I went in to the city for my first tour. It was a short tour up to Malahide Castle which is in a northern suburb of Dublin. It was a nice day and the castle was very cool. The following day I was back for another tour, this time to the south of Dublin at a place called Glendalough. It is an ancient monastic site associated with St. Kevin. There were plenty of old graves and buildings and one of the best preserved round towers in the country. Upon entering the site you go through a series of archways. As you first enter there is a Cross carved in the stones on the wall to your right. In ancient times all one had to do was place their hand on that cross and ask for sanctuary and you were in. No one was turned away. When I did that a rush of emotion came upon me. As I wandered the site I could not speak. You could feel the spirits. There is a nice trail down to the nearby lakes, one of Máiréad's favorite places, and I walked a short way then headed back. I did not want to miss the bus. Our next stop was the mill at Avoca. Some very nifty bus driving along the way. The old loom there has been in continuous operation for a very long time and turns out some very nice woven goods. I did not buy anything there but did later on at the Avoca store in Dublin. I did have a nice lunch and chatted with our guide who was a wealth of knowledge about living in Ireland. Upon arrival back in Dublin I headed back to my hotel. Next day was a bit of wandering. My goal was to share some of my poetry and hope someone would make them into songs. So I visited a couple pubs, EMI ir Ireland, talked with the folks at RTE, and came away from my endeavors empty. But along the way I saw different parts of the city. I even located CW LTD on Hatch Lane. Next day was the first night of the recording at The Helix.

    The day dawned as lovely as the day before with plenty of sunshine. But clouds and showers moved in. I left early for Dublin and had lunch before catching my connecting bus to The Helix at Dublin City University. By now it was raining hard. I was glad it was not an outdoor show as Slane had been the year before. To make good use of my time I spent a few hours in the library and read up on Irish history. By late afternoon the weather had moderated a bit to sprinkles and started to clear out. I walked over to the venue where about a half dozen other folks were waiting outside. They were avid fans, the first I had met. They had food and drink and we talked quite a bit. I shared my story with them and they told me I should join the Celtic Woman Forum. I did so in August but I would only stay there a few months before this forum came along. A couple hours passed and others began to line up. That included another couple who were avid fans, Charlie and Norma Brock. They had brought a banner for everyone to sign and I wrote a note on it. Soon we were let in to wait in line at various doors. When the doors opened we in front thought we'd get front row center. But we were shunted off to wing sections on wither side of the protrusion from the main stage. They were close seats but not good seats. I was second row in the seat closest to the stage about 15 feet from David at the piano. At no time in the recording can you see us over there as it was always dark. I could not see the back center of the stage and would be viewing the main girls from behind most of the night. Of course, they didn't know me at that point anyway. I did get some interesting interaction with some of the female choir, though. The Brocks were far enough back in line that they did get front row center and could show the banner briefly before the show folks had them roll it up.

    The show and atmosphere were very much in a holiday mood. Funny to be doing this in July. At one point, about three songs in, the lights went out save for one lone spotlight. They had cooked a generator. That problem would plague them again two years later at Powerscourt. We waited about half an hour and then Joanne came back on stage to let us know they would be taking it from the top. It was a Meav solo where the lights had gone out and she had kept on singing through it. The audience was polite and there were smatterings of folks in Christmas garb. It was a wonderful first experience in spite of the poor view I had. It was nice to see Máiréad up close. I won't go into the set list at this point because most of you have the DVD. After the show I had to make quickly for the bus stop as it was the last bus to make my connection to Lucan. Sadly, I missed meetings some of the artists and their families in the lobby. I also did not think to ask for both nights of the recording so I would not be there the next night. I did not make that mistake again.

   The bus ride back would have gone much better if I had taken the correct bus back to Lucan. Instead it dropped me off at another part of town and I had to walk in the dark and try to find the hotel. It took me over a half hour to find it and then only with help from some folks I had met in the pub there a few nights earlier. I was tired, I was bummed about the cold shoulder on my poems and lyrics, I was bummed about not being able to do the second night. I simply went to bed. I had another tour booked that day, this one to Newgrange up to the north. That day was cloudy and rainy on and off. We passed very close to Slane and to the battle site at the Boyne River. Newgrange was fascinating and it was a nice way to spend my last full day in Ireland. Upon arrival back in Dublin I had dinner at a pub in a hotel then made my way back to Lucan. Next day was travel day. I took the bus into Dublin and connected with the airport bus. Security was not a hassle and I arrived at the gate in reasonable time. They have since revamped the airport quite a bit, but back then we boarded outside via airstairs. While I was sitting there a girl came over and sat next to me. She took out her laptop and was poking on it when I asked her if she would watch my things while I went to the sandbox. She chuckled at that and said yes. I returned and thanked her thinking nothing of it. I was on American for the flight home. Some of the fans I had met were on the flight. I let one of them read some of my poems to get her opinion on whether any of them could become songs. Later in the flight she gave them back and said that one certainly could be a song. It was Pile Of Ash. As it happens, less than a year later, Olivia in Australia would make that a song and put it on her album. Amazing. Upon arrival in Chicago we went to customs to get our luggage. One of the fans mentioned that she saw one of the CW choir people. So she went over and talked with her. Other fans did as well so I too joined in. Darned if it wasn't the girl that sat next to me and watched my things while I used the sandbox.  Roll Eyes It was Amy Rivard. She was making a connection back to Canada. We all went over to the domestic terminal together, chatting the whole time. She gave us hugs, signed some things, and then we all parted ways. I went to an Irish pub on the concourse and wound up chatting with some folks over Guinness as I waited for my flight. Amy and I would exchange emails for awhile and there was even hope I could maybe grab lunch with her in Omaha in November. But management was not fond of that idea so the best I could get was interaction with her from the stage at that show months away. She was the first CW artist I ever met. She was very kind and has continued to be to this day. I will always have her as my number one favorite choir girl. She performs fairly often at various places in New York City and some day I hope to take one of those in. For me it was back home to Colorado.

    2007 was my very first taste of Celtic Woman in person. it was but a shadow of what was to come. But I was hooked. I could not get enough of it and especially Máiréad. It was my first DVD recording and my first ever trip to Ireland. All the years in the airlines and I had never been to that country. And back in 1985-6 I could have. I worked with a girl at LAX who was from Limerick. Marion invited me to go over with her at any time and we'd stay with her family. Looking back now I so regret not having done so. Turns out Marion's dad was a leader in the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and he had been in the states setting that up over here as well. Yep, and she was a red-headed firecracker. She was a hoot to work with and party with. In 2007 I was still early on in my writings. I was still very naive about the industry and about being an avid fan. I would learn quickly the do's and don'ts in the next year or two. Monday the 17th will be the 10th anniversary of night one of the recording. I think I may watch it to celebrate. And that wraps up this next piece of nostalgia.

An fidléir's mínealaíne i sprite iomlán sin
Celtic Fiddler
Posts: 118

One CWazy Canadian!

« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2017, 12:28:12 AM »

They blew the generator at ACC too, huh? I'm actually not surprised it expired when Méav was singing. I guess Méav's Christmas 'pipes' were just too much for that poor generator.

At least those generators died happy and in fulfillment of their duty to fan and venue.

I forgot ACC was 2 shows. Something every serious CW fan should know, so thanks for the reminder.

It's kind of ironic that the first CW artist you met was Amy (randomly on a plane / at an airport in Chicago) and I haven't met her yet even though she's from my home town. Lol. Soon... #ChristmasWish

Thanks for another peek into the time capsule.  Cheesy
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