A little bit of ‘banter’ at Other Voices

This is the second year that
Other Voices
has come to Derry. Basically if you like the kind of music that I do, it’s the perfect weekend. Since 2002, St. James’ church in Dingle is the venue where bands perform over three nights, which are filmed and made into a Television series called ‘other voices’. These gigs are streamed in pubs around the area, and lots of live music takes place in the town during the weekend. Around 80 people are lucky enough to make it into the venue, and tickets are given away through competitions.
Other Voices came to Derry for the city of culture last year, and returned again this weekend. Despite entering at least five competitions each year, I’ve never been lucky enough to get tickets. Last year I watched it online and didn’t go near the city, but this year I was determined to attend at least one thing. Most of my friends don’t like the same kind of music as me, and if they do, they aren’t always the most adventurous type when it comes to discovering new music. It’s not practical or sensible to go to a busy venue with O J on my own, so nighttime gigs weren’t really possible. I would have just loved to have spent the whole weekend in Derry, wandering around finding new music, but being blind makes that impossible. This isn’t meant to be a poor me post! So I’ll talk about the one thing I did have the chance to attend.

Music journalist Jim Carroll hosts an interesting event called
where he interviews a wide range of people in front of an audience. It has become part of Other Voices, and I went to The Cottage in Derry’s Craft Village yesterday to have a listen to a few of the speakers. The afternoon began with a couple of tunes and a chat from
Colm Mac Con Iomaire,
violinist, composer, and member of The Frames, who had played in the concert the previous night. He’s working on some really interesting things at the minute, and the music he’s making is beautiful. My aunt stayed to hear him and was really impressed. She left then to go shopping, and I listened to Conor Masterson talk about the making of his film
in the deep shade
which is an art documentary about the frames. I have the DVD, so it was interesting to hear the ideas and thoughts behind the film. It’s a fantastic film about how such a creative group of musicians can work together and make music. Definitely worth checking out if you like that kind of thing at all. I’m not just recommending it because they are my favourite band!
Next was a discussion with David Caffrey, one of the co-creaters of ‘love hate’. I hadn’t planned on staying for this bit, and although I didn’t watch the series, it was really interesting to hear how films and TV programmes are made. I left at four to go for food with my aunt, but there was still a couple of talks to go, which I’m sure were interesting too.

I think ‘banter’ is a great idea. It’s very relaxed and informal, and Jim Carroll really does his research and knows his guests before interviewing them. It was nice to meet him, and for anyone who is familiar with him, yes, he does talk that fast!! I had O J with me, and of course he got lots of attention. He got petted by David Caffrey and Colm Mac Con Iomaire, who came over for a chat before he played. I hadn’t spoken to him in so long, so it was nice to have the chance.

Although I only attended a small part of Other Voices, I’m glad I did, even if O J was the only one who came with me. Sometimes the thought of going somewhere on your own with a group of strangers is worse than actually doing it. I need to remind myself of that next time I’m debating whether to do something or not.


One thought on “A little bit of ‘banter’ at Other Voices

  1. I know exactly what you mean about deciding whether something is worth the trouble or not — not meant as a “poor me, I’m blind” statement, but it’s just reality. Glad you made it to the banter sessions, I always appreciate someone who does a good interview.


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