Singer and flute player Katie Theasby was the star of the show yesterday evening at the Music at the Gate.
The Music at the Gate series continued yesterday with two sessions, one in the morning and one very special show in the evening. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it to the morning show but thankfully we did get back to town for the evening.
And what an evening it was!
Singer and flute player Katie Theasby was the star of the show, her beautiful voice, with the fine backing of local pianist Brid Dunne, echoed around the centuries old Laurence’s Gate in the cool of the evening and the beautiful light from the low evening sun lighting the stage made for a sublime experience that held her appreciative audience enthralled.
The only complaint we’d have is that her set was too short. We could have sat there all night.
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Katie was born in London but grew up in a musical family in Kilfenora. She has played at many festivals including Glastonbury and has collaborated with many other musicians including the famous Kilfenora Ceili Band, Paddy Keenan and Finbar Furey, Stocktons Wing, Kinky Friedman and others.
Niamh Parsons has come to be known as one of the most distinctive voices in Irish music with comparisons to the likes of Dolores Keane and Sandy Denny. The great Scottish balladeer Archie Fisher said of her that, 'a songstress like her comes along only once or twice in a generation.'
Thankfully she came along to Drogheda last night and it was good. Her personality and charm could be seen in her eyes as she sang some of her favourite songs that she learned growing up in Dublin.
Niamh spoke fondly of her parents who brought herself and her sister to the famous Old Shieling Hotel in Raheny, where they heard singing from the likes of The Johnstons, Emmet Spiceland, Sweeney’s Men, Dolly McMahon, Danny Doyle and many of the other musicians and singers that were playing in Folk clubs at that time.
‘My father was a great singer, and on long journeys the family used to sing in the car – I don’t remember a time in my life when I was not singing – I love songs.’
That love for songs and singing shone through in Niamh’s performance last night at Laurence’s Gate. It was a joy that was only slightly marred by children going unchecked as they played noisily on the pavement to the left of the stage. Niamh has been singing long enough not to allow such interruptions to phase her but it was a distraction albeit a minor one, from what was a very enjoyable set.
Drogheda Country and Blues band The Tune Raiders got proceedings off to a great start with a couple of Johnny Cash Classics. This trio are one outfit to watch and we believe they are very busy on the local pub circuit.