Tales from the Rails (Cork) – the goodness of folk and potatos

Crane Lane

This was my first ever trip to Ireland, at least to play shows. With a gig at Bradley’s, the Crane Lane Theater, a Balcony TV appearance and a living room / online gig, I feel it was a successfully tour of Cork.

At first, however, it felt like much was against me and this trip… starting with the unfortunate person who jumped in front of the Gatwick express, bringing traffic to a standstill and having to catch busses and taxis to the airport. It’s funny how quickly you get desensitized to these thing in London (bloody hell, another suicide, I’ll be five minutes late to work now, how inconsiderate..), but I still found it slightly odd just how upset some of my fellow passengers were. I did try to reassure one lady that, even if she did miss her flight, it’s fairly certain that she still had a better day than the anonymous fatality. Anyway, we caught our flight and all was well, at least in our little universe.

I fell ill pretty much straight away and my first day in Cork was spent visiting pharmacists and doctors. I’m really only telling you this because I thought it was noteworthy that the Irish Doctor actually told me to eat potatoes… no joke, doctor’s orders. I did eat potatoes and drank the local brew (Beamish – like Guinness, but with a slight coffee taste) and got through the week.

The entire trip was made possible by the kindness of friends and strangers alike. Paco, a local legend, helped me arrange the shows. His mate Jeff very kindly leant me his lovely guitar for the entire trip (thank you so much!), my dear friends Cian, Katie & Mark, Anita, Joanne from Balcony TV, Ronan and lots of new friends who put me up, fed me and made sure I was OK – I really can’t thank you enough – you’ve left me with the feeling that Cork is the friendliest place in the universe, from the doctor down to dancing Dave (the happiest homeless person I’ve ever heard of).


Paco and Jeff at Crane Lane
Paco and Jeff at Crane Lane

The phrases I heard most over the week were “Ah, sure” and “It’ll be grand” and it always was. I’ll try really hard to bare that in mind. Cork, thanks a million, I look forward to seeing you again in 2014.


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