Category: Venues – Meeting House Square

Le Galaxie

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If I could choose a way to welcome in a New Year, it would be at a Le Galaxie gig – minimum of New Years countdown, maximum of dancing like an idiot. Handy then that they are partial to putting on New Years gigs! I just never seem to get bored of seeing these lads.

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 Mick Le Galaxie goes wandering

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Hard Working Class Heroes 2014



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Planet Parade

Hard Working Class Heroes 2014 was a last minute festival addition for me – after thinking that I wasn’t going to be in a position to go, I was so delighted to be able to head along to two of the three nights. A really impressive line-up inevitably lead to clashes, but I was happy with the acts I got to see, particularly as HWCH 2014 was hit by some serious rain and bad weather which meant venue hopping was less than appealing.

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Liza Flume
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Featuring some of the best Irish acts around, Hard Working Class Heroes gives a great chance to catch bands that you might not think of seeing elsewhere. Some of my favourite acts to see now are ones that I first saw at Hard Working Class Heroes.
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A Lazarus Soul

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Cfit

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Vann Music

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Ham Sandwich

First Fortnight 2014

20140112_011407Vann Music (First Fortnight finale gig, Button Factory)

As is rapidly becoming a January tradition for me (and by the look of the crowds, for lots of people!), my first outing of the year was to First Fortnight, Ireland’s mental health arts festival. I’ve talked previously about how amazing I think this festival is, with its mix of music, poetry, art, film and theatre in addition to discussion forums. The fact that year-on-year, this festival has managed to gather growing crowds at a time of year when the tendency is to hibernate, and to keep prices at a level that allows people to come when no-one is feeling flush, is a testament to just how brilliantly organised it is. The growing numbers in attendance mean that the festival is continuing to spread its message of normalising the discussion of mental health in Ireland, and continuing to challenge mental health prejudice through the creative arts. In a country that seems to only be slowly coming to the realisation that talking is important, the open discussion that takes place at the First Fortnight events encourages people to talk but manages to avoid being preachy.

20140111_212123Spot Gavin James going unplugged in the crowd (First Fortnight finale gig, Button Factory)

20140111_215424The Academic (First Fortnight finale gig, Button Factory) – disgustingly talented for ones so young!

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Come on Live Long (First Fortnight finale gig, Button Factory) 20140111_232609

Heathers (First Fortnight finale gig, Button Factory) 20140112_010810 Vann Music (First Fortnight finale gig, Button Factory)

This year, I went to more events than usual. Apart from my traditional trips to the Therapy Sessions music and poetry events, and the Finale gig featuring some of the best Irish acts around at the moment, I went to Silver Linings Playbook followed by a discussion panel and a play so brilliant that I went back to see it again and brought my parents – Confusion Boats (I’m not going to say anything about this other than that I think Ger Kelly, writer and star, is a serious talent, and that everyone should go see it!).

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Laura Elizabeth Hughes (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 1, Workmans Club) 20140103_220914

Ger Kelly (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 1, Workmans Club) – he writes, he acts, he sings, is there nothing he can’t do? 20140103_222935

Mark Geary (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 1, Workmans Club) 20140103_234247Daithi (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 1, Workmans Club) – disappointingly small crowd hung around for his set, which was brilliant as always

I also did some volunteering at the festival for the first time this year. From freezing my arse off at Happy Clouds to getting a chance to see the Poetry Slam, the Milk and Cookies storytelling and baking evening, and the No Room at the Inn mental health service discussion forum – volunteering at this festival was such a privilege. Tiring, but a privilege! The organisers are the nicest, most hard working group of people you’ll ever meet. The fact that this group of my peers (they are normal people, with day jobs, who organise this festival on a voluntary basis) can achieve something so amazing – well, it is humbling, inspirational and just a little bit intimidating!

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Susan Quirke (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 2, Workmans Club) – she may have been nervous but she played a belter of a set

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Evie Murtagh (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 2, Workmans Club) – another terrifyingly talented youngster 20140110_222700

Idiot Sounds (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 2, Workmans Club) – slightly more alternative than I could deal with, I’m afraid 20140110_230745Tara Lee (First Fortnight Therapy Sessions 2, Workmans Club)

In last year’s blog (https://gigaholic.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/first-fortnight-2013/), I touched on why this festival means so much to me, and now that I’ve had a chance to be involved in it in a small way, it means even more. The next piece of this post is something I’ve struggled with – I just couldn’t decide whether to include it or not. I’ve never revealed a huge amount of personal information in this blog, and this was deliberate. Last year’s First Fortnight post was probably the most I’ve spoken about myself here but I felt that in the spirit of what the festival is all about, it was appropriate. And I still feel like, when it comes to First Fortnight, sharing honestly is the least I can do.

 

So, in that spirit, here goes. While I’ve had my issues (haven’t we all?), I’ve been lucky that they have never been too severe, in the greater scheme of things. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t almost cripple me with self-doubt at times – trust me, my brain is often my own worst enemy. I really wanted to sign up to volunteer for First Fortnight for quite some time, but I had to think long and hard about whether I was actually up to it. While I’ve made huge strides in working on myself and my confidence from my lowest point at the end of 2012, I still have my bad patches. The last thing I wanted to do to the First Fortnight organisers was sign up and then back out, which is my pattern when things get too much – but I decided it was time to push myself out of my comfort zone. If I’m honest, I was so nervous on my first day volunteering that I didn’t know whether I wanted to cry or puke, and nearly turned back so many times. I’m sure the people who met me at that first event probably thought I was some kind of mute – nope, not mute, just terrified. But it got easier, and easier, with each event I helped at – luckily, I helped out at quite a few events, so my lasting memory is of how much fun I had, and not how scared and out-of-place I felt initially. The people running this festival are so welcoming, the other volunteers were a lovely bunch, and I am going to be the first in line to sign up to volunteer again next year.

 

If anyone has actually bothered to read until the end of this blog, well done – I think I’d have given up long ago if I wasn’t writing it! Thanks for sticking with it, and letting me share, even though it doesn’t really fit in with what Gigaholic is about. And if anyone who made it this far happens to be a part of First Fortnight, I hope you know how amazing what you’ve created is. From the fact that I look forward to the festival every January, to the fact that I often take a different route to work just so that I can see Maser’s You Are Alive wall on Camden St, First Fortnight has really got under my skin. I don’t think I can express how much being involved in First Fortnight 2014 meant to me, mainly for the amazing festival it is, but also for proving to myself that despite being terrified, I could do it. So, thank you. It’s not enough, but it’s all I can say – thank you. Roll on First Fortnight 2015!

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Stuart Semple’s Happy Clouds (First Fortnight, Meeting House Square)

Hard Working Class Heroes part 2

 20131005_232235Come on Live Long

Saturday night of Hard Working Class Heroes brought a trip to Meeting House Square for three great acts – Spies, Come on Live Long and Daithi. Spies had been on my hitlist since seeing them at the Freezer Sessions in late 2011, and I was delighted to catch them again. Come on Live Long have such a different sound to other acts out at the moment and I’ve yet to be disappointed in their live set. And Daithi, well, is Daithi – a unique dance sound and just brilliant!

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Spies

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Daithi

Le Galaxie in 3d

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Le Galaxie are awesome. Le Galaxie always have awesome visuals. Combine those awesome visuals with 3d technology? And an outdoor venue? On a dry, crisp night in September? As part of the Fringe Fest? Mind blown.
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Michael le Galaxie can jump higher than Dave le Galaxie.

20130914_231106   The moment Dave combusted.

The lads were in fine form, and the crowd were ready to go nuts. All the palaver about venue, and time, and noise complaints (which resulted in a nice crowd statement to the restaurant who almost got the whole thing cancelled) could have taken the edge off, but nothing could dampen the collective spirits. A first chance to hear what went on to be their new single, Lucy is Here, was pretty special too.

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Sparklers, guys standing on the crowd and glitterball jackets. Just go see them. Seriously. GO!

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20130914_233353This guy stood on the crowd. I mean, how cool is that?

Hard Working Class Heroes 2012

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The fabulous Elaine Mai at Hard Working Class Heroes

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Ghost Estates at Hard Working Class Heroes

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Croupier at Hard Working Class Heroes

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Le Galaxie at Hard Working Class Heroes

Hard Working Class Heroes – a brilliant (and amazing value for money) opportunity to see some of the cream of Irish music across a whole heap of venues. My obvious highlight was Le Galaxie who have yet to disappoint, but also got to see a whole load of acts for the first time – Forrests, Ghost Estates, Croupier, The Strypes, Hudson Taylor, Heritage Centre and the Dirty 9s – along with another chance to check out the supremely talented Elaine Mai.

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The Strypes at Hard Working Class Heroes

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Hudson Taylor at Hard Working Class Heroes

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Heritage Centre at Hard Working Class Heroes

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The Dirty 9s at Hard Working Class Heroes

*Originally posted on www.gigaholic.tumblr.com on 31/12/12*