St. Patrick's Day - March 15 & 17, 2003

Once again, 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:

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).

Wakkerstroom Pics | Wheatsheaf Pics

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Article courtesy of Patrick Dean - March 2003