All posts in November 2018

The Wesht is Besht

I’m back from County Clare, it’s four and a quarter hours from there to here.  Bernard, who was hosting the gig in the old reformed school house in Maghera, warned me that there were several Maghera’s and that everyone gets lost looking for his place.  This information put me into a bit of a panic, because Mike and I are now known throughout the world as the team who always get lost.  I went straight to Clare (my wife, not the county) with this issue and pleaded for help, she is pretty good at this kinda thing.  A day later Clare handed me my phone and said that she had programmed Maghera into it.  And yes there was one in Northern Ireland, and not to worry, this was the right one.  She had tried putting in St Stephens Church, which was next to the Old School House, but Mrs Google said NO!  Happy with Clare’s assertion that we were covered, I left it at that.


First we had to get to Limerick, that was easy enough, and then we turned on Mrs Google.  She sounded confident and even though she speaks with an American accent, she seemed to know her way around County Clare well enough.  She told us we were an hour and ten minutes away from Maghera, great said I to Mike, we are going to be early! 


The road signs began to indicate names that Bernard had mentioned in his warning about the different Maghera’s, there’s one up on the mountain too, he said, “Where there is an R.T.E mast, but we’re nearer to Tulla”  Said he, and I was heartened to have seen a sign for Tulla.  Now the road was getting narrower, and the sun began to descend behind the silhouetted trees and muddy sky.  Tulla became nearer and nearer, and I cheered Mike on. “We are really close now” says I.  “Only five kilometers to Tulla”  “wee-haw” Cried he from behind the wheel. 


Several clicks later Mrs Google gave us a new command “Veer slightly to the right in two minutes” What happened to distances I thought to myself, shouldn’t it be a hundred yards or whatever?  Then there it was, a kind of slide to the right, we took it and descended down a small hill.  This was a very narrow road, only fit for one car really, an S.U.V came towards us with the attitude that we were invisible, we pulled into the ditch, my passenger side buried itself in the wild thorny bush, we heard an aggressive thump, the S.U.V hadn’t bothered to slow down as he banged our side mirror back and went upon his way.  We had been climbing hills for a while on our previous narrow road, now we were climbing again on an even narrower one.  Bernard did say that he was a good bit out.  On we went for about fifteen minutes, and then Mrs Google instructed us to take another right in a couple of minutes.  This was a different matter completely, as soon as we turned on to it, we could see that it was a whole other class of ruggedness, we expressed some consternation out loud to each other, but like the good lapsed Catholics that we are, went onward. 


It was a down road, pitch dark with pools of mucky water and undisturbed rocks, in fact the road appeared undisturbed, like maybe no one ever went near it.  We kept going, Bernard did say it was a good bit out.  We came to the bottom of a muck hill in a swamp, and were on our way out of it while praying, when Mrs Google said “You have arrived”  “What?? Are you fucking joking me!” There was nothing, more of nothing than I had ever seen.  Empty black fields behind stark briary bush, scarecrow trees, Mucky ground, mucky skies, and a lonely moon that badly needed charging.  We were alone in the middle of a black and brown nowhere, and suddenly it felt a bit frightening, could we get out of there? And if we could, where were we? Why was Google maps saying that this was it?  I got out just in case, to take a look across the fields, maybe this was it?  Bernard did say he was a good bit out, Nope, not a light or a lamp to be seen for miles.


We needed to turn around and get out of there, how? Mike remembered that there was an old gate back there where we could probably turn. We were backing up through the slippery mud and deep puddles, when Mike said he wasn’t sure if it was front wheel drive or rear, panic again.  I got out and directed him, slipping in the muck and covering myself in it.  We turned around and made it back to the road, where a man was building a new house in the dark with a floodlit digger.  “We were in the middle of nowhere” said I to him like a broken man.  “Well you’ll have to go back to the middle of nowhere agin”  Said he in a thick Clare accent, pronouncing Maghera “Mowra”  I put St Stephens Church into google, and this time she recognized it because we were so near.  We found it! and now I have to stop and rest. Phew!

There were French people there from Bordeaux someone from Germany, a woman from Wexford, solicitors, accountants, film makers and musicians, and Sally the cute little Jack Russel, and Martin Hayse’s cousin who told us that Martin lived right where we had landed by mistake, in the middle of nowhere. This is a photo of the gig.  They say the Wesht is Besht.

A Sock and A Shoe

I Have a friend who does a sock and a shoe, and a sock and a shoe. He was very annoyed when we all laughed at the idea, and I have to admit it’s a bit odd that we all thought it was so odd.  It’s such a minor thing, isnt it? Who cares how anybody puts on their shoes and socks, who ever said that there was a right and wrong way.  Non-one ever told me to put my socks on first and then the shoes, it’s not any quicker.  In fact if something were to go wrong, like the building catching fire, it might be better to have one shoe than none, of course you’d have to hop out of the building, but if the ground was hot, it would be helpful.


But what is so odd is our asuumptions that the way we are doing it, is the only way.  I remember being equally shocked when a friend of my Brothers said that in his family they did not put butter on the bread before the Jam.  He didn’t see why it was necessary, what had butter got to do with jam he asked.  I once told my Brother (the same one) that I hated if bread was soggy, never would put tomato’s in a sandwich, because it would get wet.  Then I explained that I never have food in my mouth, especially bread, when I drink tea or any liquid, he just didn’t believe me, after I insisted, he thought it was really odd.   


Of course, since then, I have found that there are many odd enough things about me, one of them is that I like to play in Parlours-not exactly the road to world domination.  Furthermore, I have no desire to dominate the world. I have had letters of disapointment from people who are great supporters, regarding this. “Just give it one more major push Pierce, please”  It’s hard to be a fan of someones music, if they are in a vaccum, it takes a bit of courage to say I like this guy that no-one ever heard of.  After my recent London gig (thanks to those who were there, great gig)  a woman with a London accent came up to me and said she had really enjoyed the show but. “When I called my Irish friend and told her excitedly that I had tickets for you, she said that she had never heard of you, I was gutted”  she then made an expression that seem to suggest she had been cheated by the (real) quotes and the blurb in the fancy brochure for Crazy Coqs-even though she loved the show, she felt unfullfilled because her excitement wouldn’t  hold water when it came to delighting about her experience, because I wasn’t well known. I gave her the answer that I always give about her friend “well she’s heard of me now!”


Bernard Dowd, who is hosting a Parlour show in his wonderful converted School House in Ennis Co Clare, has asked me to give his number out for anyone who might want to attend, knowing that I seldom play in that area he is saving 10 spaces, so here it is-Bernard Dowd in Ennis, Co Clare.  0874686578-I am playing there on Saturday November 24th.


I love you more than my upright piano.  Pierce xxx


Tickets are on sale for The Hot Spot Greytones Dec 7th

And Greenacres Wexford on Dec 28th……Christmas.