Ennis All-Ireland Fleadh - 1977
The "All-Ireland" has returned to Ennis, Co. Clare, some 39 years since it was last there in 1977, and I was there - my second trip to Ireland. I hope everyone who’s there this year has as good a time as I did all those years ago, and here are a few random memories from that weekend.
At least 3 members of this site that I know of were there too - "Ptarmigan", "cos" and the much-missed "bodhranbliss" [ RIP ], whom I never met. Now this is really strange - "Ptarmigan’s" last comment here was 8 months ago, and "cos’s" 5 years ago, yet they have both posted here in the last 24 hours !
I hope they see this, and add their reminiscences too, but here are some of mine :
1 - the Senior Flute competition. Won by Patsy Moloney , a play-off for second place between Michael Flatley and Mick Gavin.
2 - Billy McComiskey and Brendan Mulvihill from New York winning the Senior duos.
3 - 16-18 trios, a young uilleann piper pumping away like hell with her right arm, and producing no sound because she hadn’t connected the bag to the bellows ! I think her trio did win, so fair play to the judge for not holding that against her.
4 - Olcan Masterson from Dundalk playing his own composition in the senior whistle. He was 3rd but I thought he should have won. He played it again later in a session in a public toilet [ all the pubs were full ], John Skelton from London learned it, and it thus became known as "The Convenience Reel" when John recorded it with the London/Irish band "Shegui" the following year.
5 - an almighty session which went on until about 5 in the morning, featuring 4 prize winners who soon after went on to form "Stockton’s Wing". Maurice Lennon - who had won the Senior fiddle earlier that day - played a solo, which is still my favourite piece of Irish fiddle music ever, and I’ve heard a lot in the last 39 years.
I did take a few photos that weekend - I’ll try to post a couple on the website homepage.
If anyone here was there in 1977, what do you remember of it ?
If you’re there this weekend, how’s it going ?