Wow! Once again, we were bowled over by an electrifying and eclectic brownbread mixtape. Tonight’s theme “do you speak my language?” evoked incredible responses from our fantastic performers. We were treated to a wondrous mix of lyricism, idealism, realism and musicality. As always the room was jam packed with the most generous and buoyant crowd. Thanks to one and all who made it another high tide mark for the brownbread mixtape. The night truly continues to grow from strength to strength. Next month we will be officially doing live streaming of the gig over d’Internet!
The night kicked off as usual with a singalong, clap-your-hands, stamp-your-feet thematically relevant tune by Kalle and Enda. The tune, with a sense of true inevitability, was Land Down Under by Men At Work. Slightly doctored lyrics meant that the song began with “Brown bread mix from a man in Brussels…”. The audience, as ever, were fun loving and willing to sing along in full voice.
Our first act to the stage was the brilliant poet and performer Brian Conaghan who simply floored us with his lyrical meditations and recitations on the themes of identity, racism, love and much much more. Brian is an immense talent and the crowd duly devoured his words.
Next up on the roster of top drawer acts was our first ever full band. And what a band. Joyce & The Sonic Gypsies managed to squeeze five folks on to our little makeshift stage and they packed a real musical punch.
Drawing on rhythms and sounds of Ireland and Turkey, with thoughtful lyrics and harmonies, they made quite the impression. Their next gig will be at Whelan’s on Wexford Street, so we were proud to have them with us at the brownbread mixtape.
Next up was a new experience for the brownbread mixtape. Through Enda’s wife Ria, we had been given permission by Patrick Hurley to read his deeply personal war poetry. Kalle’s wife Jessica stood up to read the raw, powerful snapshots of Patrick’s life in the military on his current tour of duty in Iraq. We are grateful to Patrick for sharing his poetic thoughts and unique language about his experiences.
Closing out Side A were our very own brownbread players, Gus McDonagh, Sean McDonagh, Kalle Ryan and Eva Bartley. Some brand new sketches were written specifically for the night on the topic of linguistic interaction. First up was a sketch by Gus about “Two Dubs in a Pub” that got roars of appreciation and recognition. Never before has so much been said with so little.
The second sketch entitled “An Actual Conversation on YouTube” was a funny look at the level of conversation amongst those that post on YouTube comments with reference to a particularly superb clip. We’re pleased to say the sketch was truly LOL.
Following the interval, the tempo and talent did not abate. Side B kicked off with a series of hilarious audience-written tales of linguistic interaction. We then held a raffle in aid of our good friends Eimear and Liam Keohane, who are headed to Haiti with Haven to build houses in April. A stellar selection of prizes (incl. massive chocolate easter eggs, fancy champers, brown bread mix) was won and the raffle proved to be a roaring success. You showed your spirit and generosity by donating 602 EURO to Eimear and Liam’s cause. Thank you to everyone who contributed! We wish them well on their remarkable journey.
Our first performer of Side B was the inimitable Catherina Behan who knocked us out with her honest, lyrical and emotional poetry. The room was spellbound for her entire set as she deftly delivered several standout poems. Catherina can be regularly be seen performing her poetry at events around Dublin. Do not miss her. She is the real deal.
Kalle then tried to agitate and rally the troops with a poem about the current spoken word and musical revolution that is bubbling in Dublin right now. Nothing like a bit of call and response to get the people ready for a bit of lyrical revolution. Bring it back, bring it back. Bring it back that old school craic.
the brownbread players returned to the stage and performed a couple of new sketches by Kalle. First up was Sean and Gus in a sketch called “dat dere” which looked at the poetic sound of Irish people speaking English. Do you see dat dere? Wha where? Then Sean and Kalle performed a sketch in which they conversed in a nonsense language about a night out on the town. Laat gaan in staan. They got a really great reaction and marked a real progression in the sketches being written and performed by the brownbread players. We like to describe the sketches as Beckett after eating a LOAD of skittles.
We closed out the evening with our second musical act of the night, the ever-excellent James Guilmartin. After an early twangy guitar malfunction, James settled into his effortless stride and gave a terrific airing to some tunes off his recent debut “Intro Into Exile”. He was then joined by our very own Enda Roche on percussion and “trumpet” for the exquisite Gypsy Love Song. Closing out his set, James had the room swaying to the Al Green classic “Let’s Stay Together”. A sea of happy faces singing along.
It was another wonderful night that capped a fantastic month for the brownbread mixtape. We did an interview with the award winning Dublin Community Blog and got a great write up by Marcel. Well worth a read. For more videos of performances from this month’s brownbread mixtape, go to our newly created youtube channel. We welcome your comments and feedback.
And so another month draws to a close and we are cooking up quite a show for March. We will have some world class poets and musicians in to perform. And, as always, we hope to see you all there again. Spread the word and point people to our web based presences below.
All photography by Stephen Murphy (c) 2010