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2021 - A Very Quick Roundup!

I think everyone would agree that 2021 was a bit of a shit show, but there were some highlights... Well, at least for me there were! So, sit back, relax and enjoy my 2021 in 75 seconds!
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2021-12-28 Paddy Casey - Whelans, Dublin

I thought Covid had the last laugh, I though Covid had killed off any chance I had of going to another gig in 2021... But I was wrong! Somehow Paddy Casey and Whelan's in Dublin managed to put on an early gig that passed all the current Covid restrictions. So, 3 days after Christmas, I headed up to Dublin for a 6:00pm gig. I've seen Paddy on many occasions, a lot of them during the Christmas season, so to continue on with this tradition, even in a pandemic, was a great Christmas present. As I said, the gig kicked off at 6:00pm and was done by 7:40pm.  A short gig by Paddy's standards, but everyone had to be out of the venue by 8:00pm so there was no messing around. The gig was great, all the fan favourites were played, a few from his new double album ' Turn This Ship Around '.  Saoirse Casey also played a couple of songs mid set and, as always, was great! Anyway, that's it, that's all there was to it.  By 8:00pm I was in my car and heading for home.  By 9

2021 MJs

It was another tough year for the Irish Music Industry.  Covid Restrictions meant there was no live music scene until July, and vven then, capacity at gigs was severely limited and gigs were an all seated affair.  Over the following months restrictions were relaxed, but unfortunately, with the immergence of the Omicron variant, the life music scene was once gain under severe restrictions with gigs limited to 50% capacity.  In reality, this meant most gigs were cancelled as it made the shows financially unviable. Elsewhere, artists seemed to be finding a rich vein of form in the studio.  There were so many great records released in 2021 by Irish artists, I did my best to buy them all, but still managed to miss out on a few! So, now all that is out of the way, lets get on to the 2021MJs! First up is Podcast of the Year . I've really enjoyed listening to the Keith Walsh Podcast .  It's a lighthearted take on life, but deals with a lot of serious issues.  Well worth checking out. N

2021-12-03 Tolka Hot Club - Sin É Dublin

So, it turns out that this gig, The Tolka Hot Club at  Sin É in Dublin, might well be my last gig of the year.  The Govt. brought in new Covid restrictions limiting gigs to 50% capacity and most, if not all artists are rescheduling their shows for next year. Anyway, back to the gig.  I'd never seen THC play live before, but I had seen their accordion player Ken perform with Emma Langton on many occasions and, when offered the chance to go shoot them, I jumped at it. I was unfamiliar with their music, but it was fantastic to see live and the crowd loved it! I'm not sure how to describe their music, but maybe a dash of swing, a bit of jazz, maybe some French cabaret and a dash of the Balkans thrown in would it justice! I'd definitely recommend going to see them live when you can. Needless to say, I really enjoyed it and if this does indeed turn out to be my last gig of 2021, then I went out on a high! I won't lie though, it wasn't the easiest shoot ever!  It's a

2021-11-17 For Those I Love - Olympia Theatre, Dublin

I can't remember the first time I stumbled across For Those I Love , I think it might have been on the Tommy Tiernan Show  in early 2021, but I'm not sure...  Anyway, the debut album, also called For Those I Love was released in March 2021 and I obviously bought it.  If you haven't heard it yet, I'd suggest you go buy it, it's probably the album of the year.  A week later, tickets for a gig in the Olympia Theatre went on sale.  That, in itself, is pretty spectacular. The Olympia is a decent sized venue, and For Those I Love were a relative newcomer on the scene... Needless to say, it sold out and, well, I was there and what a night it was.  It was a gig filled with love for lost friends, anger that friends were gone, joy at the crowd reaction and, well, the cheers for Shelbourne Rovers! Look, it was just an epic night, just incredible and probably the gig of the year! Support on the night was from the brilliant Jordan O'Leary of The Scratch who kicked things

2021-11-13 Pete Kavanagh - Moat Theatre, Naas

It had been a while coming thanks to Covid, but Pete Kavanagh finally got to launch his debut album ' Join Up the Dots ' in the Moat Theatre on Saturday night, and what a night it was! Pete literally bounced on to stage, gone were the worries that this gig might never take place due to lockdown fears, it was on and it was happening! From the off, the night was filled with laughter and we were treated to a run through of the album with the crowd singing along at times. The album isn't all happiness though, there are sombre moments, such as ' Mercy ' which deals with the Church / State  Mother and Baby Homes scandal. Anyway, it was a fantastic night, great to see the album get the launch it deserved and great to see Pete get the credit he richly deserved! Support on the night was from  Mairéad Carroll  who treated us to a set that included, song, poetry and some beautiful fiddle playing! On to the photos:

2021-11-02 Janet Devlin - Soundhouse, Dublin

I first saw Janet Devlin on X Factor way back in 2011 and then she disappeared off my radar for the next 8 or 9 years.  Then, after all that time, she popped up on my social media accounts and I started following her. Over the last few years, Devlin has been very open about her struggles with her mental health and alcohol issues and released a book called ' My Confessional ' that dealt with a lot of those issues. So, when she announced a Dublin gig, I figured I'd head along and see what's what, and that's how I ended up in the Soundhouse last night! She literally bounced on to stage and straight into two songs before even stopping to take a breath!  I'd love to tell you what she played, but honestly, I can't, I'm just not that familiar with her work.  What I can tell you though is that it was a bloody good gig, I really enjoyed it! Support on the night was from one of the best buskers you'll see in Dublin, Saibh Skelly .  Keep an eye out for her, s