It reaches out to members of his family both in his native North London and in County Fermanagh where his family’s roots lie. Its combination of traditional and contemporary compositions with short passages of spoken word brings to life snippets of family history. Of themselves, they may illustrate quite trivial incidents but, collectively, they evoke a heritage shared by so many Irish families. Families dispersed through emigration but nonetheless preserving a sense of belonging both to a place and to a culture.
The album made a big impression both on me and Johnny so it is with great pleasure that we’re able to share the first in the set of three videos from the Union Chapel album launch in February, a gig that he poured his heart and soul into. The first is Mena’s Teapot (also our Tune of the Day).
Over to James:
On the 5th of February 2018, we launched Chewing The Fat in the Union Chapel. This was one of the most intensely emotional nights of my life with many people participating and a packed audience – and we pulled it off!
It took over a year of preparation to launch Chewing The Fat in the Union Chapel. Much blood, sweat and tears went into every aspect of the gig and for that, I’d like to thank all the musicians and crew for their efforts.
In the Dark is the first tune in the set and also the first I ever wrote. It was written whilst staying at Crean Bottoms, Cornwall, which is where Tommie Black-Roff (accordionist from TEYR) hails.
Mena’s Teapot was written for Tommie and Philomena Gavin (‘Mena’), in memory of an accident that occurred with one of her cracked Teapots. These two pieces are paired with Dreaming Of Home, which marks our arrival at my grandparents, Jim and Mena’s, home in Fermanagh.
We projected images of places important to the narrative of the album throughout the gig and we decided to also feature excerpts of the footage in the videos. Mena’s Teapot begins with the runway and aircraft lights from one of my flights to Fermanagh to interview my granny Mena, and then it progresses to her kitchen/living room.
I’m very proud, humbled and privileged to have worked with people who I regard as not only some of the best musicians in the world but also a great group people. The video is no substitute for the night itself (even though I think the video is fantastic) but I hope it gives you a good sense of what it was like.
Order Chewing the Fat via Bandcamp: https://jamespatrickgavin.bandcamp.com/album/chewing-the-fat
For more details and live dates visit: http://jamespatrickgavin.com/