A festival can bring us as a community together in a very special way… that is a thought that seems to wind its way through the first days of our festival like a theme.
Yellow Submarine – Illustration Workshop for kids aged 8-12
After apparently thoroughly enjoying themselves at the opening night, Rush-based illustrator Peter Donnelly and Skerries resident and children’s book writer and illustrator Niamh Sharkey were back to guide a group of twenty-odd children through the process of illustration. The theme was – aptly enough, given the Illustrated Beatles exhibition is on at Skerries Mills at the moment – “Yellow Submarine.”
The kids were first asked to just scribble, to loosen their hands and to warm up… which they seemed to really enjoy, and very soon, they were drawing and colouring their own illustration of that classic Beatles song.
If you look at our gallery of pictures carefully, you’ll see we smuggled in one picture that doesn’t belong: One of the participants of the Minecraft project actually built his own Yellow Submarine, and we thought it might be fun to include it here!
Pictures: Ann Rooney (most), Michael McKenna (2), Mat May (1).
No wonder this show was sold out within a few days. Just look at the faces of the people in the audience! Loving it, they were. Kids and adults alike. Jack Wise is one of those entertainers who can make children and parents laugh at the same time – and about very different things. That is a true gift. And he’s so funny and nice at the same time!
This was Jack’s second visit to Soundwaves, and by the looks of it, the Festival audience would really not mind at all if he came back yet again, thank you very much. There might even be scope for two shows! Magic how magic still appeals to audiences in this age of CGI and online tricksery.
Pictures: Michael McKenna
It was one of those incredibly beautiful evenings in Skerries. As we came up to Blue, the sailing boats in the Harbour were just silhouettes against the orange sky (Skerries is one of the few places on the East coast where you can see really lovely sunsets, another advantage of living here.).
And upstairs, from the window of Blue, it looked so good that Eleanor McEvoy said later that she’d been very worried when she arrived, that she’d have to compete against that… but much to her relief, by the time she took to the stage, it was completely dark, and people could focus on her music.
Before that time, however, we were presented with the very interesting musical offerings of i am niamh, a musical grouping around Niamh Parkinson, who that night was accompanied by a cellist and a violinist whose names I (and I am ashamed to admit it) did not catch. If someone could please furnish me with them, I’d be most appreciative… Niamh used on-stage (live) recording techniques to sing two- and three-part harmonies with herself, played the keyboard and sang in a way that showed new directions in music making, and gave an intense and challenging performance that reminded those present of the fact that one of the great things about a music & arts festival like Soundwaves is that you’re exposed to music you would otherwise not even know about. Fair play to Angela, the organiser of the night, for booking this fascinating musician.
And then for the main act…
There was not a single person in Blue that night who did not go home thinking that they were really, really privileged to have been at that gig. Some of us were long-time Eleanor McEvoy fans. Some went because they wanted to support the festival. Some went because they were asked to come along… Some went because they were interested in this singer. For whatever reason we were there… we loved it. And that includes the singer herself, who tweeted that very evening:
Magic just about sums it up. Eleanor seemed to really ‘click’ with the place, and with the audience – and with the whole festival. We have written about her at some length elsewhere, and we were very much looking forward to the gig. To say we were not disappointed would be a massive understatement. Eleanor is such a musician, so personable, so funny and engaging. And very, very appreciative of the whole community thing that is so important to us in Skerries. Eleanor, it seems, loves those small festivals where twenty people or so put in an insane amount of work to put together a programme for the benefit of the people in their local place.
I could go on for a bit about the things she said, and about how much the audience loved her songs, the ones she wrote herself, as well as various cover versions, including one of Georges Moustaki / Edith Piaf’s “Milord” (which is not yet on any of Eleanor’s 10 albums, but we have a strong feeling it might be on the 11th, given the reception it got). About the way she gave four encores after a full set. About the way she then stayed and chatted to everyone who wanted to talk to her, and seemed to genuinely enjoy it. But I won’t. I’ll just finish with this thought: If the second day of our festival was so engaging, uplifting, and varied (between the three events we had), what will the next days bring?! I for one have decided to make sure I get to as many events as I can. So tomorrow I’ll be off to The Bubble Room and get my ticket for Shadows and Light on Tuesday night. Joni Mitchell’s songs, brought to us by Maura Flynn (vocals), Dave Mulligan (guitars) and Paul Enright (keyboards), upstairs in Joe May’s (another room with a view). It’s a date!
Photographs: Michael McKenna.