To love a pub is a perfectly reasonable thing. Every night has the potential for high points and surprises. It is in pubs where we meet new friends, and hear new music. The pub is where a person might go, from time to time, to find some kismet, if you will. It’s your third place. Well, it’s our third place.
We like pubs so much that if we can’t play inside one, we’ll do our level best to bring the pub to wherever we happen to be playing. Getting the audience to join the band in the fun, like they would if we were just around a table together, is the process of “pubification.” Experienced fans already know that pubification takes some counting, exaggerating, clapping, and remembering what day it is.
Man, we really got it done this March, and we have the pictures to prove it. We went regional.
Weekend of March 10
Thursday 7-10 PM on March 9 was a great night at Ann O’Malley’s in St. Augustine, FL.
Playing there is an absolute joy. Everything about our hosts and fans in Saint Augustine is delightful, and we’re grateful to feel the love. HUGE shout out to Mike and Kelly, the owners of Ann O’Malley’s, which is highly recommended for a sandwich and several beers. We’re always surprised at how beautiful, kind, and generous the people we meet in St. Augustine are.
An excellent breakfast along the water in Saint Augustine fortified us for the long drive up to the 33rd Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in North Myrtle Beach, SC, at which we performed from 2-4 PM on Saturday, March 10. Perfect weather and perfect moods led to meeting our new friends, Matt, Pallas and Alda. With the Muckers on stage, John spent time dancing with his peers, I mean the kids. An evening at the Knot, with cool-ass proprietors and good friends Roger and Regina, and we were off to bed for a long drive home the following morning.
Weekend of March 17
Friday – St. Paddy’s Day – was a day we all knew we were taking off of work. We began at the Celtic Ray, the iconic Irish Pub in the heart of Punta Gorda, FL, where we opened the day at 12 Noon. March 17 is a wonderful day for Irish musicians, and it’s a wonderful day for drinkers, but it’s not a great time for Irish musicians to drink too much. We didn’t drink anything! Well, except water. Surrounding us were several acres of Kelly Green, enjoying the beautiful day, drinking the beer of our lovely hosts. Just grand.
Later that night, we saw so many friends at the 3 Keys Brewery in Bradenton, FL, where we performed a full set from 7-10 PM. We were grateful for a good time spent with some of our nearest and dearest friends on a beautiful night. Bill the Piper, the Irish Dance Academy, and the New World Celts made the night a great success.
Next morning, which was a Saturday, we were on our way to Boxi Park, in Orlando, for a 3-5 PM performance. High points of the day included excellent Irish dance, a great set by Eireann’s Call, and the chance to meet several new friends. We were cognizant of our sound technicians, who did an amazing job. Talented sound engineers make an absolutely massive difference. Not everything was perfect that day: our ride actually died on the highway and Uber was necessary to get us to the gig. All was fine, even if we looked a little disheveled when we arrived.
Sunday we played at SunCreek Brewery in Clermont, FL from 5-7. We had a great crowd, and even after playing all weekend and being totally knocked out, we met new friends who were so cool. On top of just hanging out, they took some drone photography of the band.
Weekend 0f March 31
The weekend was spent having the greatest time ever at the Dunedin Highland Games. Friday night was the Street Party and Parade Finale, which was an amazing return to an amazing event we love, but this time with even more people in attendance. We loved having even more kids dance in front of the stage than last year. We are starting to feel like the Pied Pipers of Irish Speed Folk.
Saturday, April 1 we spent all day in the Beer Tent at Dunedin Highland Games. The high point of our performance was a big surprise. Kind of like last year, when we demonstrated that we’re rated for Category 1 hurricanes. Every performance under the Big Beer Tent at the 2023 Games was spectacular, and yet there’s one moment that truly stands out as singular: During our second set, we were singing ‘Fields of Athenry’ in four part harmony when Murphy’s Law put its thumb on our scale.
Here’s the blow-by-blow of the epic two minutes:
- 0:00 We lose all electric power on stage and sound cuts out just after the first chorus of the song
- 0:20 In a moment, the crowd quieted because John shushed everybody. (the nerve!)
- 0:40 In another moment, the crowd drew in
- 1:00 We sang the chorus of the song together, with members of the crowd joining in.
- 1:30 Our awesome sound engineer, Norris, restored power to the stage just as John’s solo started!
- 2:00 We finished the song to everyone singing and raucous applause
Just another chance to live in the moment and to put the music first. We’re grateful to be so lucky.
So, we’re feeling pretty lucky.
There is still room in our Ireland Trip, but we are very close to filling up. You can find the itinerary here. If you would just like to ask a question, call us today at (941)374-9333 or email us at email@example.com.