The Highstool Prophets played classics from The Dubliners, The Wolf Tones, The Fureys and many more.

Live music returns after 500 days

Live music returned to Cavan for the first time in over 500 days at the weekend as the first in a series of concerts were staged at Abbeylands, Cavan Town. Cavan County Council’s ‘Streets Ahead Local Live Performance’ kicked off on Saturday and Sunday evening.

The initiative, sponsored by the Department of Arts, marks a return to performances “in a safe way”.

The gigs at Abbeylands were co-ordinated by Townhall Cavan and Cavan County Council Arts Office. Two free, family-friendly, non-alcohol outdoor concerts took place on Saturday night from 8-10pm and Sunday evening from 6-8pm. Further gigs are scheduled for this coming weekend.

Saturday saw a rip-roaring concert as The Highstool Prophets thrilled those in attendance. Even the showery evening didn’t deter the audience. The non-stop, two-hour show saw The Prophets play classics from The Dubliners, The Wolf Tones, The Fureys and many more.

On Sunday evening The Song Sisters performed an eclectic range of tunes from Stevie Wonder to Fleetwood Mac in beautiful summer sunshine. With a full band of well-known Cavan musicians including Paul Cox on drums and percussion, Jim Kelly on bass and Peter Denton on lead guitar, ‘The Song Sisters’ are Geraldine McDonnell, Carmel O’Donohoe, Eileen Tackney, and Geraldine McGrath. Their beautifuly arranged harmonies had the audience in the palm of their hands from the very first number. The backdrop of the Old Abbey transported the audience from the current climate of Covid to better times when live music was taken for granted.

“Overall, the event went extremely well with absolutely no problems,” event organiser Padraic McIntyre, manager at Townhall Cavan, said of the shows. “We took a pretty cautious approach for the first weekend with just 100 tickets available and which had to be booked on-line. I know we probably could have sold it out several times over such was the demand for tickets, but we wanted to see how our event management plan would hold up.

“People were wonderfully co-operative, and the venue is so spacious everything went off without a hitch,” Padraig told the Celt.

Proposals to accommodate larger audiences are in consideration: “We have a meeting within Cavan County Council to review the whole weekend and I am very hopeful we can increase capacity. The guidelines are now 200 people at outdoor events and Abbeylands can certainly cater for that number with ease.

“It was just fantastic to see people out enjoying live music again, to see smiles on peoples faces so it would be my ambition to have more people enjoy these concerts over the next two weekends.”

The next two weekends see more of the cream of Cavan music talent on offer with Twisted Ninja on Saturday, August 14 at 8pm and Shane McCluskey and Grainne Smith on stage on Sunday, August 15, at 6pm. The tickets for these events were released yesterday (Tuesday), August 10, at 10am from