LI Irish Fest 2008

We were out at the LI Irish Fest which was held at the Abbess Farm in Calverton from about 2 until 11 on Saturday, and I had been having such a good time I had forgotten to take any pictures at all. All I have are some crappy shots from a cell phone, though I think Sport had a camera with him. There were 7 tents of various sizes, all very impressive. I quipped that we should find out how much it costs to have one of these put up, so we wouldn’t need to set up any tents at all when we camp; We could just partition the huge thing into rooms! In fact, the only thing that wasn’t impressive about the fest was the turn out. I don’t know if it was a lack of advertising or what, but there were some awesome bands playing to nearly empty tents which was a shame. The lack of crowds was very welcome to me personally, however – I just hope they broke even at least. Those tents were probably not cheap.

Finn’s Fury did a bunch of tunes that we play, though they did them in a much more rocking fashion of course, though I missed much of their set as we left to eat some food under another tent that had a couple tables. We could still hear them, but not too well.

We followed Cate over to listen to Stone Cross which is an Irish Influenced folk/Americana duo. We sat in the back while the kids played in the dirt, and doing cat’s cradle games.

Then we watched the Inishfree School of Dance performance which was phenomenal. It was also phenomenally hot so I felt bad for the girls in their heavy dresses – but the tents gave lots of good shade, and luckily there was a lot of wind out on the farm.

My family drifted over to the Tommy Makem tent to take in Makem & Spain Brothers who, with their pedigree would find it difficult to avoid playing that distinctive Clancy Brothers hootin’ and hollarin’ Irish pub music I love so much. They didn’t disappoint, but their tent was nearly empty.

We cut loose from the brothers and headed back to where we saw the dancing in order to catch MacTalla Mor whose pipes we heard calling from across the field. You can’t keep Sport away from pipes, especially when he’s wearing his ‘Sport kilt’. The kids ran all over the dance floor for over an hour having a grand time.

I headed back to catch The Prodigals, a Manhattan band whose members are from Ireland. I’ve gotten more into them lately and really enjoyed their set. This seems not to have been a very popular opinion with most of my friends who mostly abandoned me for the show, though Tim did pop in for a bit at the end.

We cruised around a bit before we ran into 7s and 3s! We checked out their set for a bit, and as usual they were great. I said hi to Jack (the penny accordian player who I think is the band leader). I had met and played with these guys at Barney’s one weekend which was fun (for me). They were all very nice to me, and great musicians. I personally like traditional music though, so I may be a bit biased.

Then we caught Bangers & Mash, and they were a lot better than when Sport, Tim & I first caught them at a bar out in Moriches sans fiddle player a couple years back. I hadn’t seen their singer before either who put on a great show. The kids danced around again for another hour or so and sang a lot of the lyrics to The Night that Paddy Murphy Died which was pretty funny.

All in all, a great time was had. The only change I’d make next time is to force myself to drink a bottle of water in between beers. I was largely unproductive today as a result of the partying.