The Vodafone Galway Comedy Carnival takes place in the city next month, and proof of its massive success last year is the fact that this year’s festival is being spread across two pop-up venues in Eyre Square.
The by-now familiar Spiegeltent will again be erected in the Square, but will be accompanied by a brand-new sister venue called ‘The Red Box’ for the festival, which runs from Tuesday, October 25 to Monday, October 31.
Organisers have managed to attract a stellar line-up for this year’s event, with Galway resident and Galway City Tribune columnist, Tommy Tiernan, being joined by other home-grown talent such as Jason Byrne, David O’Doherty, Andrew Maxwell, David McSavage, Al Porter, The Rubberbandits, Aisling Bea, Deirdre O’Kane, PJ Gallagher, Bernard O’Shea, Barry Murphy, The Nualas, Colin Murphy, Joe Rooney, Fred Cooke, Chris Kent, Joanne McNally, Eleanor Tiernan, Colm O’Regan, John Colleary, and Eric Lalor.
The Waterford Whispers News Live show could be particularly mischievous as should the darker late night KARLnival with celebrity transformer Karl Spain. Today FM’s Dermot & Dave are hosting their hotly-anticipated Live show, Abandoman.
The net has been cast internationally as well for this year’s event, and has managed to ensnare the likes of Jason Manford; Milton Jones, who has succeeded the late, legendary Henny Youngman as the ‘king of the one liners’; Edinburgh Comedy award winner, Sam Simmons, Edinburgh Newcomer award winner, Sophie Hagen; and 8 out of 10 Cats star, Joe Lycett.
The organisers went Stateside to grab two of the original giants of improv, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood from Whose Line is it Anyway. They’ll be joining The Steven Frost Improv Allstars for an unmissable show.
Others on the festival programme include Better Call Saul’s Joe DeRosa, Tom Stade, Glen Wool, Jamali Maddix, Lloyd Langford, Police Academy sound effects genius Michael Winslow, Foil Arms and Hog, and The Pajama Men.
“We would especially like to thank Galway City Council for allowing us to build our festival hub in Eyre Square and to squeeze in a new venue – The Red Box,” said festival director, Kevin Healy.
“My hope is that anyone making their first trip to Galway be they customers or performers get to experience some of the magic that residents and regular visitors feel so intensely.
“I’d also like to express my gratitude to our main sponsors Vodafone whose outstanding commitment to live comedy is remarkable and allows us to put on such a great show.”
■ Tickets are now on sale at www.vodafonecomedycarnival. Com
Folk duo launch What Will Be Will Be
Folk duo Niall Teague and Pádraic Joyce are launching their new album What Will We Be, a blend of folk, Americana and acoustic music, this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in An Taibhdhearc.
The success of their well-received 2020 release Taobh le Taobh, as well as recent successes at the Pan Celtic and Oireachtas Song Contests, spurred the duo on to record this new album which represents many years of collaboration and musical development.
It features Niall and Pádraic on vocals, harmonies, and acoustic guitars, Maidhc Ó hÉanaigh on double bass and Neil Fitzgibbon on fiddle. The catchy title track, What Will We Be, features contributions from percussionist Jim Higgins (The Stunning, Christy Moore, Paul Brady) and haunting, driving melodies on vocals, guitar, and fiddle.
Themes of love and hope are woven through Come Away with Me which features interplay between piano and fiddle as well as rich vocal harmonies.
People, places, and broken dreams are celebrated and lamented on Martin and Tom, Guitar Gold, Memories of You and Achill Island. The influence of David Henry Thoreau’s novel Walden features on the tracks Simple and Wise and Walden, with the beauty of nature, escape and simple pleasures at their core.
The album moves from minimalistic folk ballads such as Galway Ghost to swirling, string-laden arrangements on the song Neptune, both of which are influenced by maritime tales from Galway. Much of the work on this album was supported by the Arts Council, including work with musical arranger Eoin Corcoran and the string ensemble Treo.
The album will be launched this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in an Taibhdhearc. Tickets €22, plus booking fee at Eventbrite.ie.
All roads lead to Dunmore as town tunes up County Fleadh
Dunmore is the place to be this weekend for lovers of traditional music, as the Galway County Fleadh will take place there from this Friday, May 19, to Sunday, May 23.
It is 10 years since Dunmore last hosted a fleadh and the local Comhaltas branch, which has re-formed since Covid, is looking forward to facilitating this gathering of music, song, dance and craic.
The official Opening Concert will take place in Dunmore Town Hall this Friday at 8pm with the acclaimed Mulcahy family from Limerick. Mick, Louise and Michelle are well known throughout the country, thanks to their live performances, television appearances and numerous CDs. They were the winners of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Grúpa Ceoil Award for 2023. Tickets for their concert can be purchased on the door and a great night of music is promised.
Two days of competitions will kick off this Saturday at the town’s Community School, with more than 1,500 competitors taking part. Participants will be hoping to qualify for the Connacht Fleadh 2023, which will be held in Ballina, County Mayo, from June 23 to July 2.
Competitions for those aged Under 10, Under 12 and Under 15 will be held in a large variety of instruments on Saturday, as well as in singing and Comhrá Gaeilge. Sunday’s competitions will be for the Under 18 and Over 18 ages groups, as well as in dancing.
On both days a large entry is expected for Grúpaí Cheoil and Céilí Band competitions across all age groups.
Seventeen Comhaltas branches from across Galway will have participants in this weekend’s competitions, which will result in a large number of visitors to the Dunmore area.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the competitions, which offer a great opportunity to hear and see the talent on display. There will be sessions in local pubs over the weekend as well and everybody is welcome to attend these.
For more information on the County Fleadh, go to www.galwaycomhaltas.ie.
Piano concert rescheduled for Tuesday
Music for Galway’s concert with renowned Swiss pianist Cédric Pescia which had been due to take place on April 27 but which had to be deferred, will now take place next Tuesday, May 23, at 8pm, in the Emily Anderson Concert Hall at the University of Galway.
This concert of German classics with Bach at its core, will brings the Bach element of Music for Galway’s 41st season to an end.
This world-class pianist who won the famous Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition, has a repertoire that spans many eras from baroque to contemporary and he is widely known for his elaborate programmes. Cédric Pescia describes music as ‘language and movement at the same time’.
Audiences will have a chance to experience his soft, clear touch as he performs a programme for solo piano that will include classics such as Schumann’s popular Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), a suite of nine short pieces, and the penultimate of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, No. 31. These pieces will be interspersed with French Suites by Bach.
■ Ticket for Cédric Pescia’s concert are available at www.musicforgalway.ie, or by phone 091 705962 and on the door on the night. They cost €20/€18. The price for fulltime students of all ages is €6 while MfG Friends can avail of the friends’ rate of €16.