As famous folkie gatherings go, it wasn’t quite up there with the many all-star bashes round at Ronnie Drew’s old place.
Still, there were quite a few turned heads and sweaty palms looking for an autograph when two of Ireland’s most celebrated folk icons turned up at The Hot Spot on Sunday.
The gig was a rare appearance by the legendary Martin Carthy and his long-time collaborator, John Kirkpatrick, and slipping quietly into the crowd at this full-house gig on Sunday afternoon were old muckers Christy Moore and Paul Brady.
And if that weren’t enough, the long-standing, bodhrán-bashing Chieftain Kevin Conniff decided it was worth jetting out to our sleepy seaside town too.
And who can blame them? The 78-year-old Carthy was a major influence on the likes of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon (the latter famously nicking the Hatfield troubadour’s take on Scarborough Fair), and later, Richard Thompson, his influence on the folk revival of the 1960s and beyond earning Martin an MBE in 1998. His wife, Norma Waterson, is a folk force to be reckoned with too, as is their daughter, Eliza Carthy.
And being the professional musicians that they are, Moore, Brady and Conniff knew better than to distract from the main attraction on Sunday, all three keeping their big happy heads down until the final song was sung. And even then, Christy was gone in a blink, the Kevin, and then Paul, the high kings of ta’ra quickly hitting the road, Jack.
They all promised Hot Spot proprietor Ailbhe that they would be back, but, chances are, it’s going to take another solid gold folk legend to again lure Christy, Paul and Kevin to Greystones on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
I wonder if Bob and Neil might be interested in a quick warm-up jam before Kilkenny on July 14th…?
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