To Dublin for the unveiling of two statues of Luke Kelly.

Monday Club on the road.(photo courtesy Katie Nicholas)

Those who know us will know that we play each week at the Ian Prowse Monday Club at the Cavern Pub in Mathew St, Liverpool. No covers are allowed so all acts play their own original material and collaborations are actively encouraged, so we play along with Ian and anybody else who will have us, as an honorary “house band.”

Playing there has brought us to the attention of often large, diverse audiences and resulted in many invitations to play elsewhere, including opening for Ian Prowse gigs in London and Liverpool, playing at the aftershow party following the Premiere of the Garry Popper produced film Get Back (aka The City That Rocked The World) and playing the original music night at the world famous Cavern Club celebrations of 50 Years of The Beatles.

Just before Christmas 2018 a mutual friend of Ian and renowned Irish singer songwriter Damien Dempsey visited the Monday Club, not for the first time, and was so impressed by what he saw that he wanted to share the talents on show with his friends in his Dublin home. He sought and received some Dublin Arts funding and the result was an Ian Prowse Monday Club trip to Dublin.

Ten of us were there for less than 36 hours over one night and were treated like old friends by all we met. Our sponsor, guide and chief entertainments officer was a lovely man called Ray Corcoran (Sparky). The occasion was the unveiling of two statues of the legendary Dubliners singer Luke Kelly on the 35th anniversary of his death.

We missed the first unveiling at the Gaiety Theatre because our flight was delayed by snow. We made it to the second just in time to hear speeches by the Irish President and Luke’s family. We saw singing children in orange wigs accompanied by John Sheahan, the last surviving member of the original Dubliners and met local dignitaries, including Oscar winning singer songwriter Glen Hansard. Then on to a tasty and warming meal at a lovely little restaurant called Ernesto’s in Rathmines, by Jonathon, a living saint, who couldn’t have done more to make us feel welcome.

Then straight to the venue for the gig, an evening of music at The International Bar cellar. An ever growing list of local performers joined the Liverpool contingent for a celebration of Luke’s life expertly MC’d by Ian Prowse with Damien Dempsey and Lankum amongst many other contributors. Our Dublin resident Monday Clubber Milky came and slayed us with one song!  Damo sang with Prowsey, then with Sparky! Someone sang a Beatles song! Not us! And to see an Irish TD (MP) singing along to the chorus of Hide The Sausage will stay with me forever. The Liverpool contributions were understandably enthusiastically received and left a lasting impression on all those there (“Deadly” means “Sick” apparently!). Luke Kelly’s nieces joined us and led an acapella acoustic slice of pure emotion. Our happy band was a diverse group of all ages and we talked and laughed for the whole time we were there with all our new friends. I missed the late night pizzas but was up in time for a big breakfast and a brisk sightseeing trip to the statue we’d missed the day before.

We saw deer in Phoenix Park, we visited the GPO scene of the Easter Rising and we laughed and talked some more. We packed a lot in a short time and it just flew! It was a privilege to spend the time with such a lovely diverse bunch of people. Thanks to everybody! In the words of young Mr Grace “You’ve all done very well!” It was ace! Barry xx

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