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2023-04-24 Concert for Ukraine - Vicar Street, Dublin

I got a message from Hally 4 days before this gig was due to take place wondering if I'd like to shoot it.  The details were scant, but it was a charity gig and a few names were mentioned.

Well, I obviously said yes and so set in 4 days of panic and self doubt!  I was going to be the only one photographing the show.  What if they don't like my style?  What if my photos are out of focus?  What if?  What if?  What if?  Self doubt, it's an absolute bastard!

Roll on the Monday of the show.  I took time off from the day job and was in Vicar Street for 2:00pm.  A few introductions later and I went off to wander around the venue, see where I might get some good shots from.

As I was doing that, everyone else was doing their soundchecks, so every so often, I'd sit down and watch them do their thing.  I knew a few of the performers onstage, so thankfully after a few chats, the nerves started to fade.

7:30 came, doors were opened, stage lights went on and the show kicked off and the next few hours are just a blur of music and poetry from both Ukrainian and Irish artists, so it's lucky I had the camera, otherwise I'd remember nothing.

There were plenty of stand out moments, but for me, personally, the conversations I had back stage with some of the the Ukraine performers were heart-breaking and will stay with me for ever.  Stories of their former lives and what they are doing now... Stories of towns and villages destroyed during the war... Stories of family and friends lost in the war...  Just heart-breaking, yet told with such poise and grace, I couldn't help but admire these women.

As the Temptations once sang, "War is something that I despise, for it means destruction of innocent lives..."

Will this concert change anything?  Cynics will say no, but I have hope that the funds raised for the Irish Red Cross and Ukrainian Action will save at least one life.  I have hope that our friends in Ukraine will fell the love and support of the Irish people.  After that...

Anyway... It's taken me a week to go through the photos and to try and put what I felt in to words.  Are the words any good?  Probably not,  but I'm proud of some of these photos.  So, in no particular order:

Glen Hansard

Cathy Davey

Mariia Yaremak

Olesya Zdorovetska

Anna Krys

Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Hally, Colm Quearney, Robbie Malone

Richie Buckley

Graham Hopkins

Megan O'Neill

Megan O'Neill, Maria Kazatkova

Cathy Davey

Roddy Doyle

Mariia Yaremak

Olesya Zdorovetska

Cathy Davey

Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi

Maria Kazatkova

Paul Muldoon

Victoria Amelina

Glen Hansard

Colm Mac Con Iomaire


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