31 May 2022

Bluegrass Omagh 2022: a view from the audience

Above, top to bottom: Midnight Run, Cup O' Joe, Broken Strings,
Anthony Toner and the Doone Brothers

Thanks to Des Butler for these photos and the weekend experiences of himself and his wife Pat. Des writes:

Just back from Omagh and was glad to have attended if just to get back on the 'Bluegrass Trail' again and shake off cobwebs. Huge attendance but not all bluegrass fans - a lot there just for a day out and to picnic with some very young family members, but of course that is people's prerogative.

Top of the bill was Seth Mulder & Midnight Run, who delivered a hard-driving, non-stop, solid bluegrass performance. Having heard this band perform at the Shannonside Winter Fest in January 2020, courtesy of John Nyhan, I have to say they blew me away then and also at Omagh; the only drawback at Omagh, in my opinion, was their performance was outdoors and at times the sound system did not lend itself to that environment.

Slocan Ramblers gave an equally fine performance with superb musicianship and harmonies. Likewise Cup O' Joe, Broken String Band, and a band I hadn't been able to get to hear until now - Anthony Toner and the Doone Brothers, whom I enjoyed immensely.

Unfortunately the climate in this country does not always lend itself to outdoor performances. During both days of the festival the Folk Park was basked in sunshine but as evening drew in the temperature dropped remarkably, to such an extent that on Saturday night roughly twenty-five per cent of the audience had left prior to the finale. We ourselves left about twenty minutes before the last performance as it had got far too chilly to remain seated outdoors even though we had layered up.

Catering facilities were very much disjointed, with various outlets having to be visited if one wanted to partake in food as well as any beverage. Another drawback on leaving the Folk Park was that there appeared to be no taxis servicing the venue. Having phoned two local taxi services and being told by them they would be there in half an hour, an hour later and none appeared. On trying to contact them again their phones were not being answered.

Here's to the old days at Omagh with several top bands, a heated (if necessary) marquee, good hospitality outlets, and solid bluegrass fans - not to forget the great jamming sessions afterwards.

© Richard Hawkins

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home