As Ireland’s premier traditional acoustic band Lúnasa return to the UK for a twelve date tour this month the band will be sharing their tour experiences with Folk Radio UK as part of a guest tour blog.
The line–up for this tour features Kevin Crawford and Cillian Vallely on low whistle, uilleann pipes, tin whistles, Tola Custy on fiddle, Trevor Hutchinson on double bass and Shane McGowan on guitar.
Monday 6th October:
Kev and Tola make their way from the west, drop their hire car at Dublin airport and settle into the luxurious Carlton Dublin airport hotel for the night. Shane has made his way over from the West and is spending the night at Trev’s Dublin residence.
Tuesday 7th October:
Richie arrives outside Trev’s in our fancy tour bus at 6am. We pack. Lovely for the neighbours! Then it’s down to Dublin Port for the 8.20am ferry to Holyhead. Lovely calm seas. 4 hours of shipboard life and we find ourselves in Holyhead. A relaxing 4 hour drive courtesy of driver, sound man and general factotum … and best pal, Richie and we’re outside Carlisle station looking for Cillian who has flown in from New York and then taken the train up to Carlisle. There he is, that bedraggled huddle over there struggling with the vending machine.
And on we go to Langholm, arriving at the Buccleuch Centre just in time for our sound check!! It’s been a big day. We grab a bite, tune up, get some mad practice in with our additions for this tour – Shane and Tola. Although we were in pretty good shape with Kev having forced us to run through the set several times in the bus when most of us just wanted a kip. Really lovely staff and crowd. Totally enjoyable show and our UK tour was on its way. To say we slept soundly that night would be to say an absolute snoring truth.
Everyone finally arouses from their slumbers and we hit the road around midday. Most are starving having slept through breakfast. Less than an hour down the road Richie is forced to stop by a growing chorus of moaning musicians. Actually the stop is handy as we discover this services as the Days Inn hotel our manager Stu has booked us into. It’s actually on the way back from tonight’s show at the Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline to the following night’s gig in Cockermouth. Stu obviously thought this was a bit of clever tour planning. Who are we to question such a clever chap … but question it we do. We give Trev responsibility for addressing this with Stu at the appropriate moment.
The show tonight was an absolute blast. It’s funny, it was a smallish crowd but they made one huge amount of noise. Their support was just the tonic we needed knowing we had to go back down the motorway we’d just come up to get to our hotel for the night. Managers!!!
We love The Kirkgate in Cockermouth. We always have a full house there. The B&Bs are homes away from home. Happy days. An amazing and uplifting show. We can’t wait for next time.
OK, that’s all for now. We’re in Bromsgrove and need to be on our way down to Cardiff. We’ll fill you in on everything next time.
October UK Tour Dates
14 – St David’s Hall, Cardiff
15 – Exeter, Phoenix
16 – Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury
17 – Ropetackle Centre, Shoreham-By-The-Sea UK
18 – The Apex, Bury St Edmunds UK