Have you been smit­ten

Gorey Guardian - - NEWS - By JIM HAYES

WHEN the idea of a fes­ti­val in a ‘tent’ on Wex­ford’s quays was first mooted six years ago, few be­lieved it had any chance of suc­cess.

Now, the Wex­ford Spiegel­tent Fes­ti­val is one of the high­points on the town’s en­ter­tain­ment cal­en­dar, bring­ing in acts who would not oth­er­wise con­sider a Wex­ford per­for­mance, par­tic­u­larly around the time of the Opera Fes­ti­val when the town’s premier per­ma­nent venue, the Opera House, is un­avail­able.

The se­cret of the Spiegel­tent Fes­ti­val’s suc­cess is the venue. Back in 2012, vi­sions of a mar­quee-type tent filled with plas­tic chairs and a ply­wood stage were quickly dis­pelled when the first spiegel­tent ar­rived on the ferry from the UK. Not so much a tent as a pop-up mu­sic hall, the or­nately dec­o­rated spiegel­tent, built of wood and can­vas, with mir­rors and stained glass fea­tures, had a vin­tage charm all of its own.

The draw of the spiegel­tent would not have been enough with­out the lo­ca­tion. Stick a spiegel­tent in a field and there’s no guar­an­tee the peo­ple will come; stick it on one of the coun­try’s best wa­ter­front civic spa­ces and there’s every chance they will. The oc­ca­sional clack­ety-clack of a pass­ing train only adds to the nov­elty value.

In the few years since the first Wex­ford Spiegel­tent Fes­ti­val, many no­table artists have fallen for the lure of the spiegel­tent - Bell X1, Paul Young, Christy Moore, Albert Ham­mond, Steve Earle, Mick Flan­nery, and Dono­van among them.

This year, Bob Geldof and the Boom­town Rats join that grow­ing list.

Never a man stuck for words, it will be in­ter­est­ing to hear what Geldof has to say about his spiegel­tent ex­pe­ri­ence, a far cry from the Rats’ pre­vi­ous Wex­ford per­for­mance 42 years ago in The Dol­phin at the top of The Faythe. That was be­fore Band Aid, Live Aid and even the hits, like ‘Rat Trap’ and ‘I Don’t Like Mon­days’, that brought the Ir­ish up­starts chart glory and fame across the Ir­ish Sea and be­yond.

These days the Boom­town Rats are among a moun­tain of acts ply­ing their wares un­der the um­brella of ‘nos­tal­gia’, but that will hadly stop Mr Geldof spitting the same venom as his younger self in the Spiegel­tent Par­adiso, if the mood takes him.

The Boom­town Rats play on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 28, and - in­cred­i­bly - it’s not yet a sell­out.

The same can’t be said for some of the Spiegel­tent Fes­ti­val’s other at­trac­tions. ‘Liv­ing Next Door To Alice’ hit­mak­ers Smokie play open­ing night, this com­ing Fri­day, and there’s not a ticket to be had for love nor money.

Other sell­outs in­clude Tommy Tier­nan on Satur­day, 13; The Stun­ning the fol­low­ing Satur­day; and broth­ers Harry and Al­fie Hud­son-Tay­lor, AKA Hud­son Tay­lor, on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 26.

At the time of writ­ing, tick­ets re­main for all the other Spiegel­tent shows: Wild Youth and Chas­ing Abbey co-head­lin­ing this com­ing Fri­day night, start­ing 10.30 p.m.

The Blind­boy Pod­cast (with Blind­boy of the Rub­ber­ban­dits) at 7 p.m. on Satur­day. Bosco’s Gar­den and Cin­derella, for all the lit­tle peo­ple, at noon on Sun­day. John B Keane’s The Match­maker, with Glen­roe’s Biddy (Mary McEvoy) and co­me­dian Jon Kenny, at 8 p.m. on Sun­day.

Lo­cal duos The Ocelots (twins Bran­don and Ash­ley Wat­son) and Bas­civille

1, The Boom­town Rats; 2, Some­thing Hap­pens; 3, Jon Kenny and Mary McEvoy in The Match­maker; 4, Foxy P. Cox, who hosts the Pea­cock Par­lour; 5, Bren­dan Grace; 6, char­ac­ters from Helga’s Vic­to­rian Cir­cus; 7, Wild Youth; 8, Emma Do­ran and Julie Jay; 9, Bosco.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.