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Sugar Beat’s sweet smell of success!



Two generations of music fans converged on Tuam last weekend for the second staging of the Sugar Beat festival, which again proved a great success – despite the weather.

Heavy showers on the Saturday and some drizzle on the Sunday certainly didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of those in attendance – most of whom were prepared for the adverse weather conditions.

But there were very differing audiences at the two day festival as a more mature audience turned out on the Saturday to hear veteran performers The Stunning in action.

However, earlier in the day there was a very good crowd to hear Tuam’s one and only reggae band of the ‘eighties, Too Much For The Whiteman – and they certainly brought a local audience out.

Among the line-up was lead singer Mouse McHugh, Leo Moran of the Saw Doctors, Alan Flynn, Mike Stewart John Brogan, Mike Ivory, Gerry McHugh, Axel Grude and Derek Cronin.

They played for almost an hour and did an encore – and they were clearly delighted with the crowd reaction.

Indeed there are suggestions that the reggae group may reform on an occasional basis in the not too distant future. All of the members of the band are mainly local and they certainly would be a major attraction.

Then on Sunday a much younger generation turned up for the Louis Walsh-managed Hometown which has a major local interest in that band member Brendan Murray is from Tuam.

It is not surprising that proud parents Frank and Julianne Murray are relishing in their son’s success having only joined the group early last year.

“Brendan is delighted. It is a great achievement and we are very thankful for the support he has received from Tuam. It has been absolutely brilliant,” Frank Murray told The Connacht Tribune.

Brendan is a student at St. Jarlath’s College in Tuam and has been involved in the local music scene for the past few years. He was involved in a local group that performed around the Tuam area and also in venues in Galway city.

He was also an accomplished under age footballer with Tuam Stars, playing under 16 and minor – but at the moment his priority is to pursue a career in music. His brother Denis Murray is member of the Tuam Stars senior squad.

Festival organisers Shane Donnellan and Rossi Sheridan said that they could not do anything about the weather but they received a very positive reaction from those who attended the two day event.

The tented village at Tuam Stadium had several food and drink outlets as well as covered areas where music fans could escape from the rain.

The organisers were delighted with the reaction to the quality of music that they provided and promised that next year’s event would also be a two day festival.

The Gardaí reported that there were no incidents at the music festival and that everyone present behaved well.


Folk duo launch What Will Be Will Be



Niall Teague and Pádraic Joyce.

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

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All roads lead to Dunmore as town tunes up County Fleadh



Most of the competitions for young musicians will take place this Saturday in Dunmore Community School. All the competitions are open to the public.

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


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Piano concert rescheduled for Tuesday



Pianist Cédric Pescia.

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, 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.

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