Monday, July 18, 2011

Part 5b, Waterford evening and yesterday's photos

Kells Priory

Working on Kells Priory

Old cemetery at Kells

One of the Mills

Not my way of making a Black Russian.

Lounging at the Tall Ships

Inspecting the Maybe

Random Street Music

The Colombian ship

Hogeye Navvy in concert

Carole and Ken show us how it's done.
Waterford is laid out in a nice, straight grid, like a proper city. Finding the Inn should be easy. We come to Parnell first, way, way at the end of the town where the river turns right toward the long bay and the sea. Looking at a handy map we see there is no Johnson that crosses it. There’s a John’s Town, and a Saint John. Enquiring of a pair of guarda directing traffic where Parnell changes names we’re directed back to John’s Town, turn right, and it’ll be on the left. The guy knows it exactly.

And so it is.

The pub people are expecting us : straight to the back room with you pirates, no lingering up here with normal people. You’ve got your own bar down there.

In spite of our much longer than necessary route, we are still the first Hogeye shirts to arrive. Two other bands are here, each occupying a cluster of prime corner couches and tables. They’re making tentative musical forays, each testing the others, but nothing’s started yet. I try to colonize a booth, but the empty tables between me and the Vagrants Crew are not to their liking and I’m coaxed up to a table within conversation distance.

Alright. Some wine in hand, a Bushmills for brotherman, and we can do conversation. The Vagrants are from Wales. They carpooled over just this morning, took the ferry, and here they are.

The place fills up. Some more tuning occurs, and a few tunes between the talk. The Hooks and Crookes captains arrive and grab the tables closest to the bar. Hogeye Navvy then occupies the very booths I envied at first, and two or three more groups fill out the whole meeting space. Around 8:45, catering vans pull up to an entrance we hadn’t really noticed and start filling the next room with food.

Now that is good food, and courtesy of the festival organizers to boot. The broiled chicken with gravy is delicious. Baked potatos, salad, cole slaw, and what’s this ? Drink tickets ! Why, yes, I just might have that Drambuie for dessert. Right after this here pint.

There’s enough of us that we don’t all have our plates full at once. Somebody starts something and others join in and the whole room gets into it. Or a solo stays a savored solo, unless a secret signal is given allowing ganging in on a chorus, or a finger indicates a lone instrument may join. By 9:30 there’s a bit of a formal introduction and it’s decided that we’ll go around the room, each band doing two songs ‘typical’ of their style, followed by a general free-for-all.

Mac explains to the room that we have to leave early ( ?? what happened to 12:30 ?), so we get to go first. That we’re going so far, far, very far away to neighboring Kilkenny county generates much ribbing and laughter. The Exmouth Shantymen are next, and I really like their second song, which uses only their voices and the sound of the chains they hold being rattled and dropped. They line up in three rows of three for it, nine chained rowers, plus the captain ? master ? off to the side, and different guys each do the verse of their life. Really neat.

Once we get around the room, Mac gets up and announces we’ll do our farewell song, as we really must go. So we do the song - and I hear comments that this is one they’ll definitely be looking up - Johnandrew announces that, er, we missed the last early shuttle back to the vans some minutes ago and thus we really don’t have to hurry away after all. To much general amusement.

But Mac is set on an early night. We have another set tomorrow, after all. A few songs later it’s announced that our taxis are here for us. Huh ?? Everybody drink up and get out.


It’s only 11. The evening is just getting going. There are still drink tickets on the table.

But we pack up and go, and while we’re downing a last swallow and having a last pee, the room starts in on a farewell song of their own, and they all stand and wave us goodbye as we file out into the night.

Almost worth leaving first for.

The best part : while I’m in the bathroom Darrell scores two different cds from the chain gang shantymen. I get one ; we’ll trade at Christmas.


Titus said...

Kells! Kells!

Is this the first post in which you reveal you're actually over there to sing, or am I just very, very slow.

Whatever, way to go!

NanU said...

Well, the world is probably better off if I don't sing. Of the 24 in our group, only 4 are members of Hogeye Navvy; the rest are relatives and hangers-on and just people looking for an excuse to travel. I hope they go on another tour of Scotland soon!