A night in Sarn Meyllteyrn

24 02 2011

Imagine the scene…

It’s a dark windy night and you’re in a Ford Fiesta making your way down the winding roads through Pen Llŷn ( the Llyn Peninsula). You drive through deserted villages where light pours out through bedroom windows as people shelter from the cold. Once you reach the next speed limit sign the streetlights are gone and you drive in complete darkness with only cat’s eyes in the road to guide you on your way.

You drive round a tight bend with a stone hump-bridge and then down a steep hill which curves into a hairpin bend, then back up a hill which takes you so high you can almost see Ireland. 

Finally you arrive at your destination, a bend in the road, and off it a road up a hill where you see a light shining at a doorway.  People loiter at the door of this pub in jovial spirits and they welcome you with thick North Walian accents. You walk inside to a room heaving with people and through to a back bar where people are dancing as if their life depended on it to this…

Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog – Merch y Mynydd (Daughter of the Mountain)


Hotel Shampoo

8 11 2010

Gruff Rhys has amassed enough free shampoo bottles to build a hotel.

Gruff Rhys will be live in the Sugar Club, Dublin on Dublin on November 15th.

Gimme Shelter

22 07 2010

In a past life I used to write gig reviews for a music website as a way to get into things for free. I saw lots of great musicians, sometimes met them and occasionally got free drink and all I had to do was write a few hundred words about it. (I was always honest – nobody can bribe this Cailín.)

As I mentioned previously in Music in the Rain,  I went to see Paloma Faith in Iveagh Gardens. I bought the tickets in advance as I knew her last show sold out and I didn’t want to be disappointed. However, I didn’t realise that the gig was an open air one (I should read things properly for a change) and was told no umbrellas would be allowed.

When I got there it began to rain so I put on my rain jacket and my friend and I stood under trees to keep dry. That’s when I heard the laughing. From a tent in the corner of the field the sound of people having a great old time was easily heard…well it’s hard ignore a woman who laughs like a Banshee.

We left the glum looking middle age couples in cagouls who were trying to keep warm and dry under trees which were next to some rotten smelling portaloos, and decided to go and investigate this mystical place of fun and frivolity. But, no…at the entrance to the canvas tent we were told we needed some special wristbands to gain access and so we were denied.

As I said, I’ve been on the other side of the fence drinking free beer and getting to know the other VIPs who have a tendency to talk loudly just to make sure they’re heard, but I’ve never been privilege to this kind of elitism – what I mean is, if you’re special then you get to stay dry. I am pretty disgusted that people who paid at least €35 a ticket had no form of shelter. Even the bar was open to the elements so you couldn’t even enjoy your drink, which you paid €5 for, without getting wet. C’mon people, how hard is it to put one more marquee up for the people who pay good money to see the show?

So we had to stand, in the rain and watch as trays filled with  a particular brand of larger were given out to these Very Important People and I sought solace in my wine which I was drinking out of the mini plastic bottle it came in so the rain wouldn’t water it down. As you can imagine, this was not a high point in my life.

Theatre outing take 1

15 04 2010

On Monday, I had tickets to see Traces at the Olympia theatre in Dublin, a venue I have been to a few times this year. I have to admit that it’s not my favourite theatre to see a show because there are too many places where your view can be restricted, but that’s by the bye.

The seats we were allocated were at an angle to the stage with some of it not in view. So as soon as the lights went down we moved. Of course, half the audience turned up late so it wasn’t long until we was turfed out of the seats we’d commandeered.

The opening act was great – Fiona Melady played some beautiful songs which the audience revelled in. Each song received a rapturous round of applause and the audience listened in silence to each song. My only criticism would be, she didn’t say who she was at the end of her set, so those of us who were not paying attention at the beginning or people who arrived late didn’t know who to Google at the end of the night.

During the interval we had a few drinks in the theatre bar and the atmosphere was relaxed and fun. The main show, Traces, had been given such a build up it would be interesting to see if it lived up to expectation…and after my night – I couldn’t give you an honest answer.

What I saw of the show was amazing – beautiful dance and breathtaking acrobatics that had everyone oohing and aahing.

However…the row in front of where we were sitting arrived as the show was beginning. It was clear early on that these people decided a night at the theatre was the perfect excuse for a session and the smell of rancid alcohol wafted from them. They began to talk loudly over the show, and didn’t quiet down when they were shushed from all angles. The couple in front turned around and asked them to be quiet which resulted in giggles and swearing from the women in question.

I also asked for them to quiet down, but I was ignored. Then one turned around and accused me of kicking her seat and in her head that constituted assault. Then the people behind me got involved by fighting my corner and…well to cut a long story short my evening was ruined by these people.

I have never experienced anything like it! Why do people think it’s acceptable to go to the theatre off their faces then make everyone around them feel uncomfortable? I felt threatened for the rest of the performance and was worried what they were going to do next.

It was worrying that not one member of the Olympia staff was on hand to diffuse the situation and it was perfectly clear that there was an incident taking place. At the end of the show I made a complaint to the manager who offered tickets to another date of the same show, which I accepted, but as you can imagine this experienced has tarnished my opinion of the place.

None of this is a reflection on the show which deserves the glowing reviews it has received. I’m just shocked that people think it’s acceptable to behave like this in a theatre – especially when there were children present.