as an Irish band, it behooved us to celebrate this most auspicious day
with something that the band had never done before - put on a show. The
venue for this landmark moment was a little country lodge called The
Weaver's Nest, in Wakkerstroom, which is 27 kilometres east of Volksrust
in Mpumulanga. The proprietor of The Weaver's Nest is a maniac Irishman
himself, going by the name of Mark Devinny, who proved a very gracious
and appreciative host.
Most of us drove down to Wakkerstroom on the morning of Saturday the
15th of March, with Neil Thain and Euan Gilchrist travelling down the
evening before. These two gents were our sound and lighting team, and
huge thanks go to Euan for his unselfish assistance. Neil imitated a
piper on occasion throughout the evening.
We started the evening with a 15 minute opening, playing a few sets of
typical Irish stuff, like Maggie, All around my hat, and Galway Bay,
amongst others, and proceeded on to dinner at around 7:30 pm. After
sampling the delicious buffet on offer, we proceeded off to our change
room, and donned our black SA Irish golf shirts and green socks. After
removing them again as well as removing the kit we wore to the opening
bit, we put them back on again. Roit, aff we go, then!!
We started the gig around 9pm, after having to defrost our fingers and
other bits. Fortunately one of our astute band members has knowledge of
Wakkerstroom in the evening, and had forewarned us that it gets a tad
cool there. Opening with Killaloe, and moving into our medley, we got it
all off to a grand start. Our thanks go to a lady with the voice and
disposition of an angel, Marina Coetzee, for volunteering her talent so
readily and unequivocally. She sang a few favourites like Danny Boy and
The Last Rose, and also accompanied Patrick Dean in a duet with a first for both of
them - a Gaelic song called Chi Mi'N Geamradh, or as it's affectionately
termed in the band, Ghiminimimimimimim .. imim. Thanks to our other 2 girls,
Sharna and Kendra, for doing the sword dance and fling so well. Hey,
we're Irish, we can do what we want!!
The show was very well received, and we finished the formal part of the
evening around 10:15 pm, with the encores carrying on for at least
another 20 minutes. After that we got onto the the more serious business
of locating the bottom of a few pints *Hic*
Monday the 17th of March saw us at the WheatSheaf in Bryanston, which
was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Not being nearly as cold as
Wakkerstroom in the evenings here in Johannesburg, we managed a very
decent tone in a very short period of time, and it held throughout the
evening. A few drinks afterwards were also most welcome, and then off we
went home to try and recover from what was a very tiring, but absolutely
brilliant St. Paddy's weekend.
Some feedback from our fans about the weekend:
"The best St. Paddys I have EVER had" - Mark Devinny, Weaver's
"MORE MORE!!" - Obvious connoisseurs in the audience.
"Let me tell you about PASSION" - Mark Devinny, later
"OOOOOOOOOOOOO!!" - female audience members discovering that what
an Irishman wears under his kilt is better.
"MOOOO!!" - a discerning bovine spectator
"Gesh me 'nuther zhrink, an' lemme shell zhou 'bout PISHIN ..
PiZHUN .. errr .. *hic*" - Mark Devinny, MUCH later
As has been stated before, as Guardians of the Irish Spirit, there's no
putting us down. (unless there are a few cases of beer where you want to
put us down).