Well, I turned into an almost fifty year old twenty something on Saturday night last. I had a date with Jemser. I had no kids in tow. I forgot about teenage angst. I even put on slap!!And we got on the DART and arranged to meet very dear, old old friends (not OLD just hanging about a long time!), family and whoever happened to stick their head into the upstairs space of Toners in Baggot St. It was weird. Like deja vu all over again. 'Cause d'y'know what - Celtic Tigers may have come, roared their lungs out and scratched all about them but Toner's of Baggot St (upstairs) is still the Toner's of Baggot St (upstairs) that I spent many happy weekend nights thirty years ago.
This is what I love about Dublin. It has all these mad little scruffy (sorry Toners - you are fundamentally scruffy...and celebrating same!)venues all over this mad, bad, sad and deadly capital city. In which are the most unbelievably talented and stoic artistes. Singing and playing. Covers, original stuff, interpreted stuff. Above all a deep and abiding love of music by people.
The opening act were three young men, youths, all three only barely half way through their teens. They were three fifths of a band called 'The Milgram Device' (google it). We will hear more about these young men. They were magnificent. Young, earnest, full of life and fun. They played a varied set, including numbers from Biffy Clyro, Pete Doherty and Mumford and Son. Apparently they're writing their own stuff too but aren't yet ready to share it with the rest of us.
The main event came on after a respectful ten minutes to allow us recover from the enthusiasm of the Device-ees. Oh Lawdy! It was a wait well rewarded. How do I describe Riverwide? Well, for a start they have three glorious female voices in Rachel Cunningham, Cathy Mc Evoy and Emma Bolger.Then they have all these deadly musicians about them. Like the finest bass guitarist of his generation Paddy Joyce. Like Ian Finaly, saxophonist extraordinaire (plus he's first rate at other blowy (things!) Like Frank Bolger on percussion and Marian McEvoy on fantastic lead guitar and banjo (despite her protesting she couldn't!!)
And I didn't get home 'til after 3 am and en route I stuffed my slightly inebriated self with a burger 'n chips from a chipper before we got a Nightlink bus from the centre of the city to my 'village' of Swords in Nth County Dublin. And I felt twenty (maybe twenty-five) again. And I also felt almost fifty and happy about that too. Our future is safe folks, I have seen the future of our nation, and it pleases me greatly.
Ps I admit a bias, Seamai of the Milgram Device and Rachel of Riverwide are respectively my son #1 and my stepdaughter #2. But I'm an impartial observer!!