The gig

Ionad Cois Locha or the Dunlewey Lakeside Centre is situated on the shores of Dunlewey Lough in the shadow of the haunting and mysterious Poison Glen and at the foot of Mount Errigal, the highest mountain in the county.
That was the venue for the Glen Hansard gig on Thursday, one of the most unique performances I have ever seen.

We arrived there an hour early hoping to get a cup of tea but they weren’t letting anyone in so we ended up going to the Seaview hotel.
The gig itself was held in a room that held about 200 people and was very packed. A staff member asked a guy I was with if I was blind, and then let us sit in the small balcony. This was brilliant because we had more space. Still, I can see why they told me it wouldn’t be a suitable venue for a guide dog, and it was so so hot!
Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh and Manus Lunny played for half an hour before Glen came on, and needless to say they were brilliant! A large part of the audience were probably there because of them, and didn’t know Glen or the frames music, which made the gig more unique.

During her introduction to Glen, Mairead described how she has known him since he busked on Grafton street, and always thought of him as a sensitive performer. It is obvious that he loves what he does, and she guaranteed the people who hadn’t seen him before that they wouldn’t be disappointed.
He played for almost two hours: a mixture of frames and swell season songs and a few snippets of covers inbetween. His stories and jokes kept everybody entertained and the room was silent as he sang. There were no electric guitars either. The audience sang along when he asked them too, and you could tell that everyone there was absorbed in the music. The highlight was when Lunny and Ni Mhaonaigh joined him on stage to sing ‘the auld triangle’, with Glen finding audience members to help out with some of the verses. It was amazing!

We met Glen as we were leaving. He begins the conversation with me by giving me a hug and chatting in his Northern Irish accent! I couldn’t resist taking a hand at him about a recent interview he did with Dan Hegarty on 2fm at Electric Picnic. He talked about how he met Stevie Wonder and ended up jamming with him. They sang the chorus of a song then Glen knodded over to Stevie to sing the next verse, then remembered “shit, he can’t see!” Of course I find stuff like this hillarius. We were interrupted by a girl with a dog (that’s another story!) and then he shouted “you have a great sense of humour” to me as I was going out the door.

Tickets went on sale the next morning for the frames 20th anniversary tour, so I got mine for Belfast. There’s at least ten people I know going so its going to be brilliant! Even a girl who didn’t know much about the frames until the Dunlewey gig texted me the next day to say she’d got tickets too. Nice one!

I haven’t done the performance justice by describing it here, but it was one of those things you had to see for yourself. One of those gigs that you know your never going to see again. Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh is organising a gig there once a month, and all of these are probably going to be special. It feels like your in a room of people you know because everyone is so relaxed. The people are there for the music, and the musicians aren’t there for the money. They are there because they share a strong bond through music.
I’m just delighted that I found great people to go with, and had the chance to see my favourite musician play in such a wonderful place.

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11 thoughts on “The gig

  1. Nice review Jen – and Glen is right, You HAVE a great sense of humour. Loved the Stevie Wonder story – I mean what sort of eejit would wave at a blind man????

  2. Thanks John. Its a great story. Its the kind of venue I could see Christy playing in sometime. Keep an eye on the centre's website as their might be some musicians coming up that you'd like.Christie thanks for the comment. Great to meet new frames fans 🙂

  3. There's a chance Hanni and I may be traveling to Portaferry before the end of the year. Would love t visit any schools you are in contact with while we're there. And hey, maybe we can meet you in Belfast for a concert?! Let's stay in touch.

  4. Waw Beth that would be great. Imagine I've never been to Portaferry. Have no idea of schools except local ones, but I live two hours from there.I could meet you in Belfast I'm sure. Keep me posted 🙂

  5. Hi Jen,Great blog. I've spent the evening reading old posts.I wonder if that Mairéad is the same one that gets a mention in the Stars are Underground. "Tell Mairéad that you saw me, see how they follow, when the piper plays the song!"Cillian

  6. Hey Cillian!Cheers for reading the blog and commenting on that post. Did you find it from the frames board? Just curious!Interesting thought. I never really thought about who that Mairead might be.Happy Christmas and new yearJen

  7. I just clicked on your name after you'd left a message on my Frames-based IrishPeloton blog post. Then searched for 'Frames' in your blog search box, and ended up reading most of the posts that came up! Thoroughly enjoyable time spent.Happy Christmas to you too!

  8. I remember the Mairead woman said that luka bloom had played there a wee while before glen.I caught a few tuesn of his at the sxsw festival thing in the summer there, even though it was waaaaaaaay too packed to get into the tent.That would've been great to see.I'd love to play the dunlewey room, here's hoping I get famous enough soon enough eh? 😉

  9. Hey Connor!Its an amazing room for gigs alright, and I could think of a few people I'd really love to see there.That was probably an example of an almost perfect Glen gig, if there's such a thing.Will you make sure I'm on the guestlist for that when your famous?:D

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