Two legends of traditional music, sitting with achieved composure on stage, almost mirroring each other in their postures – there was something so powerful & fundamental about their presence it was difficult to find a way to photograph them. The camera preferred to keep a distance.
But the night began at the other end of the musical life arc, with a pit stop outside on the street to hear Sour Milk – legends to be, perhaps. The exchange went: “Will I take a photograph of ye?” “Are you from the Wicklow People?” “No. I’m taking pictures to put on the festival website.” “O. OK. Go on!. … Wait, [to a friend pushing in on frame of the shot] – hey, you’re not in the band.” Some discussion. “O, you’re a band, are ye?” “Yes. We’re Sour Milk.” “Excellent name.” ” We’re busking.” Snap-flash. “Now you have to make a donation.” “You’re good.”
Opening the concert was Cormac Murphy, award-winning accordian player and Fuinneamh member, accompanied by his friend Oisin on bouzouki. Like it did for Eric, the latter’s surname escapes me at the moment. He’s a fine player and it is to be welcomed that his name came to the fore when Cormac was searching his mobile phone contacts list for someone to play with him for this gig. Cormac’s playing was gentle, lively and mesmerising; and the tunes a delight to hear.
Cormac must be only 17 or 18, but he had a lovely gentle and calm way of introducing tunes and he even slipped in a few anecdotes reflecting how traditional music mixes with modern life for young players.
After another set, the standing ovation built quickly and with applause accompanied them all the way down the aisle.