The Swell Season

What a weekend!
I got up early on Saturday and walked OJ before me and Tash got the bus to Belfast. It was great to see Margaret cos I hadn’t seen her in so long. We went for a drink in Auntie Annies, then bought food in Tescos and she cooked us a yummy dinner, which was accompanied by nice music and her drooling over a picture of Leonard Cohen (you had to be there!)

We got to the Opera house at 8 and met Fiona. Colm and the Hare’s Corner played first. For anyone who doesn’t know, Colm is the violin player in the frames. he recently released a solo instrumental album that I’d definitely recommend. The set was beautiful and i really could listen to that violin all day!
We met some friends and frames board people during the interval. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the gig, but when the Swell Season came on I was transfixed. The band featured frames members Glen, Colm, Joe and Rob, along with Marketa and Graham Hopkins. They played mostly songs from the Swell Season album and Once soundtrack, with a couple of frames tunes (which sounded great with piano in them) and a brilliant cover of astral weeks. Glen was very entertaining as usual, imitating the Belfast accent, and asking if the Ulster Hall was being refurnished or had it been blown up. My sides were sore laughing at one point.
A group of us went to Lavery’s after the gig, where some of us drank pints of fanta! Yum! I eventually got to sleep back at Margaret’s after being freaked out by all the teddies, but that’s another story. Mags you are a brilliant hostess really. Cheers!

On Sunday evening I took advantage of our guest list tickets and went to An Grianan with Laura. Thanks so much Claire for making it happen. Peter Delaney played as special guest this time. We only heard two songs but he sounded good. This gig had a similar set list, with an amazing version of Tim Buckley’s buzzing fly and a song from the Wickerman. Colm played a solo piece, accompanied by his imaginary band (the pedal!) There was a bottle of whiskey (thanks to Sandy from Atlanta) that got passed around onstage and then around the audience. Very entertaining! We were in the very back row so it had no chance of reaching us. The atmosphere and audience were much quieter than the previous night, but that’s one of the things I love about the theatre.

The Swell Season played for just over two hours. My parents came to collect us and took OJ, as he had been on his own for most of the day. There were lots of people waiting upstairs so we knew Glen and Marketa would come out. OJ got petted when we were waiting so that kept him happy. When they did come out everybody cheered. A really sound man let me skip the crowd and get some pictures. It was embarrassing at the time, but great because we would have had to wait for ages and we really didn’t have time.
Glen gave me a big bear hug. I always think when I meet him that I’m not going to start rambling about how brilliant the gig and the music was, but I can’t help it. He was just like “tanks. Tanks” and when I mentioned Belfast he was like “You went there too!” and did his Belfast accent. I’m not sure what he thought of my sarcastic sense of humour (which really has to stop) but he laughed anyway. He and Mar both petted OJ and were impressed with how gentle and quiet he was. I explained that he’s like a different dog when his harness is off. Glen: “Oh so he’s in work mode now then?” I told them he couldn’t come to the gig because he is afraid of drums, and that if they ever play in Cooldiscs again he could go. That is probably just wishful thinking. My mum congratulated them both before we left, and they were very humble and grateful.

This weekend was tough for personal reasons, and I had to go to a funeral today. There were times that I wasn’t sure if I would go to either or both gigs. I’m glad I did now. I think that’s part of the reason that meeting friends, new people and Glen and Marketa was extra special.

Say It To Me Now video from Belfast:

Belfast Set List:
Colm/The Hare’s Corner

The Ghost of Pickering Forest (new)
Emer’s Dream
Thought No 3
Blue Shoes
Second Wave
The Red Road
Thou Shalt Not Carry Timber
Time Will Tell
Set List for The Swell Season
This Low
The Moon
When Your Mind’s Made Up
I have love you wrong
Falling Slowly
Say It To Me now (unplugged)
Astral Weeks (1/2 unplugged due to technical difficulties and a touch of Lou Reed’s Take A Walk on the Wild Side)
Go With Happiness
Maybe I Was Born to Hold You in these Arms
Low Rising (an homage to Van the Man)
The Hill (Marketa solo)
If You Want Me
People Get Ready

3 thoughts on “The Swell Season

  1. Comments taken from the frames message board:Nika:pics are fine and greatFoofur. Nice write-up, cheers for posting..i will try to upload me videos from letterkenny in the next few days too..first i will need a big sleep though! x Vic:Foofur, great pics. Nice you had some time with Glen and Mar and the guest list too, very nice my dear! Great to see OJ, I grew up in a town that raises dogs to be guides and it was always hard to NOT pet the puppies. Glad you two found each other. OJ looks quite happy to be meeting Mar and Glen too!Cheers from CaliforniaVic:Foofurry Your blog page is great, what a good use of this new fangled internet thingy! I enjoyed all that I’ve read, nice job. It’s like a journal of Yosemite that John Muir made, interesting at the time, fascinating as a legacy of our times.Foofur (me)Cheers Vic glad you enjoyed reading. If i’d taken OJs harness off it would have cheered him up a bit, but then he probably would have jumped on Glen and Marketa and licked them to death and maybe that wouldn’t have been good either. He does love getting his photo taken though. Didn’t realise my mum and cousin took so many photos. Makes me look like a right stalker. Where does Glen get his patience?Where did you grow up? I’m the worst for distracting and petting guide dogs, and I should know better. Nolan:me, too foofur and vic…..i’ve been know to pet them while they have their harnesses on. they are just too too wonderful and the temptation was just too great. the dog belonged to a friend who used to live in our little town and he didn’t mind much. i only did it once or twice in years. love those hard working doggies.Mindy:Great pics and site Foofur. I really enjoyed it. Loved the description of the gigs, and I obviously have to work on my accent discernment, because I didn’t get that he was doing a Belfast accent… typical American. Also, I don’t think your humor should be changed one bit, but I’m from New York and we are possibly the sarcasm capitol of the world. Maybe that’s why I liked you so much.Foofur:Mindy your great! Glad you liked it too.We were getting organised for the photo and Glen was like “what do you want me to do? Do you want me to hold him?” and the first thing that came out was “Yeah if you can lift him!” he laughed and then said politely Do you want me to hold his lead?”Then he showed me what way to turn for the camera and I was like I don’t know these things, but I have an excuse! He probably thinks I’m crazy but he wouldn’t be the first and he won’t be the last.Glen your a gentleman!

  2. Hi Jenny. Thanks for visiting my blog! I loved reading this post because (a) OJ looks so similar to my Jesse (I hope he makes a good guide dog!) and (b) I saw the film Once early this year and loved it to death including Glen Hansard’s music (high rotation on my MP3 player right now). I liked it so much I even blogged about it. OK, and (c) Irish Whiskey is my favourite spirit but that doesn’t count. 🙂 Now I need to visit the link…

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