Eleanor Mc Evoy
Eleanor Mc Evoy, living at Campden Street
I decided to use her performance of Ave Maria on my funeral as nr. 1. Here a review in the press about her newest album, released on 22 april 2004
"HOT PRESS 21st April 2004 Vol. 28 no. 7
Review "Early Hours" [Market Square]
Her last album, 2001's Yola, saw Eleanor McEvoy move away from the electric pop rock of her major label days to the more rootsy, acoustic approach of her earlier work. It was a wise decision, both artistically and commercially; the success of that album (particularly in the UK where it won several awards) opened up a whole new audience for the Wexford based singer-songwriter.
Early Hours follows in much in the same vein, albeit with a much stronger jazz influecne than its predecessor. Muted trumpet, cascading piano and brush-stroke thythms underpin the opener "You'll Hear Better Songs (Than This)" which sets the tone for much of what follows. The sultry, late-night mood is continued on an inspired interpretation of Chuck Berry's "Memphis Tennesssee" - the piano and bass arrangement making it sound like a cut from Miles Davis' "Kind Of Blue" album. Things move up a notch or two on the pleasant, mid-tempo pop of the recent single, "I'll Be Willing", while a traditionally based intrumental, "Driving Home From Butlers", showcases her fiddle playing.
McEvoy's lyrical themes concern the human condition - love, happiness, and sadness, but she also tackles subjects such as religious devotion ("Ave Maria") and the death of a close friend on the poignant "slipping Away". the low -key mood is broken only by "Days Roll By" a dance-pop number with a fulll band arrangement. A version of Bert jansch's "Where Did My Life Go?" is a brave choice and a beautiful song - but the absolute highlight and one of the best songs she's ever written is the gorgeously melodic and heart rending "Make Mine A Small One".
get straight on a bus or train...
General tip? Get straight on a bus or train and escape. No just kidding, there are still quite a few places around Dublin worth a visit. Besides the usual sights within the city centre (most of which can be viewed quite comfortably from atop a doubledecker tour bus - quite a few tour operators in this field these days), a relatively cheap DART ride (electric train) will bring you out to Howth, a lovely fishing village just ten miles north of the city and festooned with great restaurants, lovely walks around Howth Hill and a lively pub scene.
As Dublin city centre is quite compact a good historical or literary walking tour can be more rewarding than you might imagine - just be wary of those 'guides' who may have rewritten history somewhat to ensure that they can incorporate as many pubs as possible, and despite what you may be told it's not every pub has a literary past. In fact most of the city centre pubs nowadays don't have a past that extends beyond the big development boom of the early 90s! If you're into the Irish music and don't like being sucked into tourist traps try Hughes pub behind the Four Courts any night of the week - it's where musicians go to swap tunes and there's a session every evening (sometimes very good ones too!).
Anyway back to the plot. You could do worse than spend a quiet hour or so people-watching in Bewley's Coffee House on Westmoreland Street, or try this - take a number 3 bus out to Ringsend (10mins) and locate the start of the South Wall, a three mile long stone jetty that defines the southern approach into Dublin harbour. You'd be brave to do this in a gale force wind, but on a calm day you will pass one nature reserve, three lovely beaches, a swimming area and eventually arrive at a lighthouse, from which you will have a unique view of the city. (I won't mention the power station and sewage treatment plant you also pass at the start).
The ready, witty, unthreatening, impulsive conversationalists that prop up nearly every bar in the town. It pays to brush up on your philosophy, social history, archaeology, mythology, sport and whatever you had for breakfast as you'll meet an expert on all these subjects (and more) no matter where you go (and often the same person!).
PS - the photo up above is of the Rotunda Ballroom (aka the Ambassador Cinema and now a nightclub), famous for many reasons - but important to me as it's where I came into the world. Not in the ballroom I hasten to add, but in the adjoining Rotunda Maternity Hospital!
Is everyone on crack??
Yes, you will hear the Irish talk about crack all the time. Or so you think!
In fact, they talk about something that is spelled as craic.
Craic has nothing to do with the drug of the same pronunciation. It is an Irish word that hasn't a straightforward translation. It is a feeling, it describes an atmosphere.
Craic is about having a good time (in a pub, with friends, ...), about enjoying yourself, about having fun.
So after a party, one might say, "It was good craic!".
The expression "What's the craic?" is often used instead of "What's up?", "What's the latest?", "What's going on?"
Cockles and Mussels
See the statue of Molly Malone.
At the foot of Grafton Street, this Dublin statue is referred to by Dubliners as "the tart with the cart."
According to legend, Molly Malone was a poor girl who made her living pedling fish by day , but otherwise occupied (employed?) by night. As a provocatively attired lady of the evening she enjoyed another profession.
She is reported to have fallen dead on a city street in the summer of 1699. Most attributed her death to typhoid fever. It is said that Molly's ghost haunts the streets where she once plied her trades.
The bronze statue was erected during the Dublin millennium in 1988.
go on the DUBLIN TOUR by red...
go on the DUBLIN TOUR by red dubbledecker bus.......hop on and hop off wherever you want......
ticket valid for 24 hts.! just being there in the pubs, listening to live music and watching people sing and enjoy themselves.....
After a day of hopping on and off the bus the best place to go.......is a nice restaurant: see tips...